'This is Anfield? This is el Atleti' - Spanish press laud Atletico Madrid after beating Liverpool

Atletico Madrid scored three goals in extra time to 'humiliate' Liverpool and move into the last eight of the Champions League

Diego Simeone celebrates at Anfield
Image: Diego Simeone celebrates at Anfield

Atletico Madrid were lauded in the Spanish press after they stunned reigning champions Liverpool at Anfield to qualify for the Champions League quarter-finals on Wednesday night.

Jurgen Klopp's side appeared to be heading through when Roberto Firmino put them 2-1 up on aggregate early in extra time, but Atletico responded with two goals from Marcos Llorente and another from Alvaro Morata to claim a 4-2 aggregate win.

A frustrated Klopp was left to bemoan Atletico's defensive approach afterwards, but back in Spain there was nothing but praise for Diego Simeone and his players on a famous night for the club.

'This is el Atleti'

"Glory for Atletico at Anfield," reads the headline on the front page of AS. Their match report, meanwhile, plays on the famous sign in the tunnel at Anfield, with "This is Anfield" becoming "This is el Atleti".

"When extra time started and Firmino made it 2-0, it looked like the end," writes Patricia Cazón. "But nothing could have been further from the truth, because This is el Atleti.

"Nobody knows how to suffer like Atleti. This Atleti side that only a few crazy people believed in two months ago. They always come back. Especially when nobody expects it."

'Oblak is Atletico's Messi'


Llorente adorns the front page of Marca, but most of the praise in Alberto Barbero's match report is reserved for goalkeeper Jan Oblak, who made a string of outstanding saves to keep Liverpool at bay.

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"Klopp's squad scored two goals, yes, enough to reach the next round, but it was thanks to the Slovenian that they did not multiply that by two or three.

"They shot a lot and almost always well. They played a lot and almost always well. They showed what they are.

"But on the other side, nobody surrendered. Jan and his boys had no fear."

He added: "There will be nobody who forgets this night in Liverpool. Almost 3,000 people were crying in the stands at Anfield after a historic period of extra time. An extra time in which they seemed to have been eliminated, but in which they later reaffirmed: you always have to believe."

Simeone, meanwhile, compared Oblak to Lionel Messi. "We have a goalkeeper who is the best in the world, just like Barcelona have Messi," he told reporters.

Liverpool 'humiliated' in Anfield 'epic'

Mohamed Salah reacts to a missed chance against Atletico Madrid
Image: Mohamed Salah shows his frustration at Anfield

In El Mundo, Julian Ruiz writes: "Incredible, but true. Atletico eliminated the European champion. They didn't just win at Anfield. They humiliated the best team in the world.

"It cannot be described in any other way than as a unique epic in the history of football."

Klopp was critical of Atletico's playing style after the game, saying: "I don't understand with the quality they have, the football they play. They could play proper football, but they stand deep and have counter-attacks."

In Spain, however, Simeone's tactics were universally lauded.

"They are going to ask me who are the heroes of Liverpool," adds Ruiz. "But first of all, we have to recognise Simeone's distinguished approach, the sacrifice of Cholismo, and faith, which also moves mountains in football."

'Madness' at Anfield


"Madness," screams the front page of Mundo Deportivo.

"Atletico did it after suffering and resisting for 90 minutes, against an admirable Liverpool side who always looked for goal," writes Javier Gomara.

"But you have to find it. And defend it. And that's what the Rojiblancos did in extra time, where two goals from Llorente (yes, Llorente) and another from Morata sent Los Colchoneros through."

In a separate article, Walter Zimmermann lauded Llorente for providing the game's turning point with his first goal in extra time.

"It was like jug of cold water over Jurgen Klopp's team," he writes. "After that goal, Liverpool's barrage was not the same, even though they knew that they only had to score one goal to reach the next round."

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