66 min LIV 0 ATA 2
Simple goal. Deep cross from the left by Gomez beyond the far post. Hateboer towers over Robertson to win the header and steers it back across goal. Liverpool, playing musical statues, don’t track Gosens run in from the right towards the penalty spot and he buries his side-foot volley past Alisson to double their lead. If the results stay like this with Ajax and Atalanta winning, Liverpool would have nine points, Ajax and Atalanta seven each.
64 min LIV 0 ATA 1
The changes have brought a quickening of the tempo. Robertson storms down the left and whips over a cross that was inches shy of Formino’s near-post run but Toloi got there first and Atalanta break …
62 min LIV 0 ATA 1
Liverpool send on four subs: Diogo Jota, Firmino, Fabinho and Robertson for Origi, Salah, Wijnaldum and Tsimikas.
60 min LIV 0 ATA 1
Lovely inswinging cross from the left by Paco Gomez with his right foot. Ilicic steals in behind Tsimikas and sidefoots a powerful shot past Alisson. They’ve deserved that.
58 min LIV 0 ATA 0
Liverpool give the ball away again, this time Wijnaldum because he had none of the usual passing options …
56 min LIV 0 ATA 0
Yellow card for Tsimikas, who has had a poor game, for catching Hateboer on the ankle.
55 min LIV 0 ATA 0
Klopp is standing at the edge of his technical area, shouting at his players and Magnus Pike-ing his arms around as they continue to give the ball away and invite Atalanta on to them. He’s had enough and orders about four subs to get stripped.
52 min LIV 0 ATA 0
A second Liverpool shot, this one a 20-yarder from Neco Williams that is charged down easily. Atalanta break and pour forward, Gomez, their most inventive and best player jinks through and tries to tee up Ilicic for a shot but plays the pass too close to the alert Alisson who hurtles out to gather.
50 min LIV 0 ATA 0
Free-kick on the left, 35 yards from goal. They tap it to Alejandro Gomez who dribbles towards the box then hammers dipping shot that Alisson dives forward and to his left to grab inches above the grass by his right post.
48 min LIV 0 ATA 0
Cristian Ronero seems to have twanged his left groin overstretching for the ball but for now carries on. Gosens is brought down by Neco Williams who hit him from the side with a trip as the left wing-back was about to stretch his legs and bomb down the line.
46 min LIV 0 ATA 0
Despite some intense half-time warm-up routines from Diogo Jota and Robertson in particular, Liverpool stick with their starting XI.
All a bit vanilla so far. Atalanta have moved the ball better and have been troubling Liverpool’s defence with their movement off the ball but they lack a proper centre-forward while Liverpool’s uncharacteristically wayward passing has stymied their attacking thrusts.
44 min LIV 0 ATA 0
It’s too far out and straight to shoot so Milner pretends to launch it into the box then slips it down the left for Tsimikas. His cross is behind Matip and at the wrong height but the ball rebounds all the way through to the right corner where Salah pounces on it, pushes it out from under his feet then spanks a right-foot riser a good 18 inches over the angle of crossbar and post.
42 min LIV 0 ATA 0
No shots of any kind from Liverpool yet. No corners. Barely a pass into the penalty area.
Mane is brought down 40 yards from goal as he tries to spin and turn away from Pessina.
40 min LIV 0 ATA 0
Milner seems to be struggling after a couple of heavy tackles earlier but is continuing for now. Hateboer whips a left foot cross from the right into the box and the ball is hacked clear by Matip.
37 min LIV 0 ATA 0
Ilicic presses his case again to the referee. Replays show Tsimikas placed his hand on his shoulder but hardly yanked him back. He had already brushed it off by the time he collapsed. He should have taken the shot on instead.
35 min LIV 0 ATA 0
Ilicic drives into the box and flings himself to the floor as Tsimikas tries to stop him. The referee waves it away and VAR doesn’t even bother to check. Steve McManamanamanamanaman says ‘there was an arm’ from Tsimikas bit ‘not enough’. I presume he was referring to a tug on the shirt rather than a handball.
32 min LIV 0 ATA 0
Much better from Liverpool as Mane takes the ball 10 yards inside the Atalanta half and drives forward. He plays it across from the inside-left to right for Salah who tries to initiate a one-two with Milner but the Liverpool captain is surrounded by Atalanta shirts and can’t prod the return into the box through a thicket of white socks.
30 min LIV 0 ATA 0
It;s been all Atalanta for the past 20 minutes. Their passes are finding their own players. Liverpool’s so far generally are not.
28 min LIV 0 ATA 0
Gosens again down the left fores in a cross fro Ilicic’s near-post run, beating Neco Williams to deliver it but Alisson and Rhys Williams bail him out.
26 min LIV 0 ATA 0
Ilicic in the D plays a lovely left-foot pass between the Williamses for Gosens run into the box from the left. All he needs to do is trap it and shoot but his first touch is a shocker and the ball runs out of play for a goalkick.
23 min LIV 0 ATA 0
Well-timed and crisp sliding tackle from Neco Williams stops Gosens from getting round the back of the Liverpool defence. Atalanta definitely the slicker of the two sides at the moment. Bit too much of a ‘getting to know you’ vibe about this Liverpool line-up.
21 min LIV 0 ATA 0
Remo Freuler bends a cross from the right over the six-yard box. Tsimikas, who has looked tentative so far, messes up the header, nodding it tepidly to Gomez 18 yards out but the captain shanks his shot.
19 min LIV 0 ATA 0
Sloppy passing habits continue with Mane, of all people, misdirecting his when Origi and Salah had split ahead of him and given him two options for balls into the box.
16 min LIV 0 ATA 0
Romero seems to be man-marking Origi, following him out to the right wing in a race for Milner’s angled pass and he beats him to it by virtue pf a slide tackle.
13 min LIV 0 ATA 0
Gosens is sandwiched by two Liverpool players as they climb for a header and takes a clump on the back of the head. He looks dazed. Gollini wants a yellow card but the referee isn’t persuaded.
10 min LIV 0 ATA 0
Gosens dispossesses the dawdling Neco Williams 40 yards from goal on the Atalanta left and he feeds it inside to the veteran captain Gomez who races down the inside-left channel then sweeps a left-foot shot wide of the left post. Lots of errors so far from misplaced passes, poor positioning and dallying in possession.
8 min LIV 0 ATA 0
Tsimikas gives the ball away cheaply, Djimsiti wins it and after a backward pass, a long ball is played over the top for Gosens, the left wing-back who beats the offside trap with the help of Matip, piles into the box and thumps a left-foot rising shot that Alisson slaps round the post for a corner.
6 min LIV 0 ATA 0
Tsimikas concedes a free-kick just inside his own half but nothing comes of it. Fifty seconds later the left-back whips a cross towards the penalty spot, trying to pick out Origi bit the centre-forward shoves Romero to get ahead and the referee awards a free-kick.
5 min LIV 0 ATA 0
Salah plays a tepid crossfield pass from the right wing on halfway short of his centre-backs. Ilicic pounces, takes it 10 yards then flashes a 25-yard left-foot shot wide.
3 min LIV 0 ATA 0
No one yet has managed to get the ball down to play as a number of bouncing balls, hooks, flicks and chips are cut out by Liverpool’s defence. Back Atalanta come up the right.
1 min LIV 0 ATA 0
Atalanta, playing in white with blue and black flashes on the shirt, kick off, attacking the Kop. Liverpool win the long pass upfield and start to build up the left.
Klopp on Maradona
I’m 53 years old and it feels like my entire life, he was part of it. When I was very young, I saw him for the first when he was, I think, 16, and from that moment one he was the player for me. Diego was a sensational guy; Maradona had some struggles, let me say it like this. I will miss them both.
And now for those of you watching in black and white …
Liverpool (4-3-3) Alisson; N Williams, R Williams, Matip, Tsimikas; Jones, Milner, Wijnaldum; Salah, Origi, Mane.
Substitutes Adrian, Koumetio, Clarkson, Cain, Kelleher, Robertson, Jota, Minamino, Firmino, Fabinho
Atalanta (3-5-2) Golini; Toloi, Romero, Djimisti; Hateboer, De Roon, Freuler, Pessina, Gosens; Gomez, Ilicic.
Substitutes Panada, Zapata, Miranchuk, Sportiello, Scalvini, Ruggeri, Rossi, Piccini, Mojica, Lammers, Palomino
Referee Carlos del Cerro (Esp)
As you might imagine, tonight’s game has been overshadowed by the death of Diego Maradona, the darling of Argentina, Boca Juniors, Napoli and those who love the game.
Liverpool’s match with Atalanta will kick off at 8pm and a fourth victory from four games would clinch qualification for the last 16 for Jurgen Klopp’s Red Men.
According to the manager at Tuesday night’s press conference, Liverpool ware wary of an Atalanta backlash after their 5-0 Champions League hammering by his side in Bergamo last time out.
The Serie A side, quarter-finalists last season, arrive at Anfield looking to avenge their heaviest home European defeat courtesy mainly of a Diogo Jota hat-trick three weeks ago.
They have won their last three European away games – scoring 11 goals and conceding three – and Klopp is not underestimating his opponents.
“Atalanta would be a threat without a point to prove to be honest,” he said. “The night in Atalanta was really special, we played exceptionally well and pretty much everything was right. Things came together and we won the game the way we won it. We know that this game has nothing to do with the game tonight. We know that we have to be ready again.
“Atalanta are a top team with a special way to play. We did well at Atalanta but we need to do well again otherwise we will have problems. I expect problems, to be honest, because it’s always like this. But we try to work on the solutions in the short period of time we have.”
Klopp heads into the game light in midfield with James Milner and Fabinho having to cover for an injury crisis in defence. With Naby Keita being added to the injury list in Sunday’s win over Leicester, options for the centre of the park iare looking sparse with Jordan Henderson, Thiago Alcantara, Xherdan Shaqiri and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain all injured.
It could mean another Champions League start for 19-year-old academy graduate Curtis Jones, who was in the XI in Italy at the start of the month and impressed again at the weekend.
“I’m not too surprised about the sports part of his development. We saw five years ago that he was an exceptional talent,” Klopp said of Jones. “When you are in an environment like a top-class football team, and you are one of the top talents in the club, then you have a lot of things to do as a person. His personal development is even more impressive than his sports development. That’s great, really. Super player and it’s really good for us. Last year already and this year he made the next step. I’m really pleased for him, and it’s good for us as well.”
Source: The Telegraph Travels