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First and foremost, congratulations to Atletico Madrid and Diego Simeone. And an especially legit congratulations to the Atleti supporters at Wanda Metropolitano. You did it. You beat Liverpool 1-0 in leg 1 of the Champions League Round of 16. 💪
You were absolute animals. You unnerved the refs. You gesticulated on the sidelines and on the pitch like you were repeatedly getting stung on your dick by a swarm of bees. You were equal parts brutishly physical against Liverpool as you were soft and whiny little pixies if you so much as got breathed on.
You had everything go right for you. In the 4th minute, you were gifted a set piece goal and converted. You then amped up the physical/soft-as-Charmin routine and gesticulations and gutted out an impressive win. You did this despite holding just 28% possession and generating 1 shot on target. You did this by being more organized than your opponent and converting your chance while being physical / soft.
And none of it matters.
You literally played your best game in a year while Liverpool played their statistical worst. And you only won 1-0. At home.
You’re not advancing to the quarterfinals. Enjoy this while it lasts. You may not even qualify for the Champions League next season.
We’ll write up our full preview as the match gets closer, but here’s a hot take based on some numbers.
538 were able to remove Manchester City and Bayern Munich’s d from its mouth long enough to update their probability table today. It doesn’t look great for Liverpool, who only have a 54% chance of advancing. That’s basically a coin-flip. But again, 538 spend as much time polishing City and Bayern as Atleti players over-react and fall down after being not-touched.
Oddsmakers, however, are a little more bullish.
Liverpool are priced at -215 to win their home leg 1 match (68% implied probability). The draw is +310. An Atleti win is +650 (13% implied probability). Liverpool are seen as heavy favorites to win. They’re also -129 to advance to Atleti’s +100.
Liverpool did see their title futures drop from co-favorite with City at +400 to a second best +550. Whatever.
At Anfield, Liverpool will not get the ticky-tacky non-fouls called against them like they did at Wanda. Anfield will rattle Atleti just like Wanda did Liverpool on Tuesday.
Liverpool won’t play their worst game of the year, and Atleti won’t play their best.
This isn’t overcoming Barcelona with Lionel Messi on a 3-0 aggregate. It’s overcoming Atleti with erm Diego Costa on a 1-0 deficit.
Atleti earned this win. They were the better side. Their fans kicked ass. But their journey will end at Anfield.