Beware the Atlético Madrid sucker punch. Liverpool knew it was a possibility, however much they controlled this Champions League tie, however much they dominated in terms of possession and chances. While the margins remained slim, it could happen.
It almost came at the end of normal time when Trent Alexander-Arnold conceded a needless free-kick and the unmarked Saúl Ñíguez headed Renan Lodi’s delivery past Adrián. The Atlético celebrations ignited like a firecracker only to fade upon the sight of an offside flag against Saúl.
Liverpool ought to have won this game several times over. They attacked in waves, battering Atlético, testing their resilience to the limit. The most influential player on the pitch was the visiting goalkeeper, Jan Oblak, who made a string of excellent saves. Diego Simeone, the Atlético manager, said afterwards that “Barcelona have Messi but we have Oblak”. Liverpool also blew fistfuls of chances, none more gilt-edged than the 67th-minute header that Andy Robertson crashed against the crossbar when gloriously placed.
Klopp’s team had led on the night through Gini Wijnaldum’s header on 43 minutes and, early in the extra period, they finally got the goal that put them in front on aggregate. Wijnaldum was the creator, powering up the right flank to cross for Roberto Firmino, whose header hit the inside of the post. When the ball rebounded to him, he steered it into the other corner.