Liverpool 1-2 Atletico Madrid

Pre Season Friendly

Saturday 8th August 2009, Anfield.

The most anticipated pre-season friendly in years, Liverpool played out their first friendly for the season in front the Kop.

It was a special afternoon in store with Fernando Torres finally making an appearances against his former club, Atletico Madrid – but it was also a return for the first time for Florent Sinama Pongolle, who left for Atletico Madrid after a stint with the Reds. Add to that, this was the first chance for the Anfield faithful to see their new right back Glen Johnson in action at Anfield since his move from Portsmouth.

The game started scrappy, with Liverpool having much of the ball but it was a case of one chance, one goal for Atletico as Aguero found the net with a diving header in the 13th minute after peeling away from Daniel Ayala in the 6 yard box.

Jamie Carragher was then substituted 3 minutes later with what looked like a minor knock by San Jose.

Liverpool responded to the early set back through Mascherano’s perfect through ball for Torres from the halfway line but Torres’ heavy first touch meant Atletico could clear, but only momentarily as the ball fell for Dirk Kuyt – but it was just out of reach.

In what proved to be a hectic back end to the first half, the Reds saw a penalty appeal turned down as Torres surged down the right hand side of the area to be brought down by Juanito.

A minute later, Glen Johnson picked up a throw in and dribbled past two Atletico players to play a through ball for Gerrard on the edge of the box, but after Gerrard got on the end of the pass, he shot wide.

Almost immediately after, Gerrard and Torres linked up and when Gerrard released Torres he had a defender to beat, but his attempted square ball back to Gerrard was deflected out for a non-threatening corner.

Aguero was proving to be a thorn in the defence and after a long ball went to Ayala, Aguero placed pressure on the ball carrier and won it down the right hand side and proceeded to run into the box, but the tight angle allowed Reina to come out and smother with ease.

Liverpool went two goals down just a matter of moments later as former Manchester United striker, Diego Forlan, picked the ball up on halfway, passed forward to Simao and the flick on back to Forlan saw him finish beautifully from the edge of the area and beyond Reina after being given too much space by Ayala and Johnson.

Liverpool refused to give up, as is often with the Reds, and Torres latched onto a perfectly played Gerrard through ball and, one on one with Asenjo, you’d have put your house on Torres scoring but his shot hit the inside of the post and bounced clear.

The last piece of action of note from the first half saw Torres once again break through the defense after picking up a stray ball in midfield and running past four defenders, but his square ball back to Gerrard was blocked out.

The second started with a great chance for the Reds. Gerrard curled in a corner and Lucas rose highest to glance one across goal but, despite two red shirts being unmarked, neither got to the ball with the goal gaping.

Johnson fought hard down the right and won the ball from the Los Colchoneros defence deep in their half and linked up with Kuyt, who laid off for Torres to get a cross in and Gerrard’s desperate lunge saw the ball trickle just wide of goal.

Another apparent penalty was turned down on 55 minutes as Lucas knocked a superb 40 yard ball for Benayoun, who crossed for Gerrard and in attempting to knock the ball in space, the defender used his arm to help clear the ball while in the box. With the referee on the spot to make a call, all appeals were ridiculously waved away.

Torres continued his brilliance in the second and dazzled three defenders before getting past two more, but as he shaped to tee up a team mate, Asenjo came out to block.

Pepe Reina almost suffered embarrassment in the 75th as he attempted to dribble past Aguero but the Argentine anticipated it well and it took a last ditch recovery from the Spaniard to save himself.

A more encouraging display in the second period saw Liverpool rewarded with a goal to Lucas Leiva. After an attempted clearance fell to Gerrard, Lucas hung back on the defensive line unnoticed and after Gerrard picked him out with a sublime through-ball, Lucas proceeded to slot home expertly, leaving the Reds with a one-goal deficit with ten minutes to go.

Another penalty appeal was turned down in the 85th minute as Lucas tapped the ball to his advantage in the box but as he shaped to shoot, was barged off it.

That could have evened things up on the day but it wasnt to be, as Atletico Madrid ran out 2-1 winners.

An injury to Jamie Carragher will cause some concern as the Reds defense was shaky throughout in his absence but many positives to come out of this final encounter before the start of the Premier League in 8 days.


Aguero (15), Forlan (33), Lucas (82)

Team News

Liverpool Starting XI: Reina, Insua, Carragher, Sanchez Ayala, Johnson, Benayoun, Mascherano, Leiva, Kuyt, Gerrard, Torres.

Our Man of the Match: Lucas

8 comments on
Liverpool 1-2 Atletico Madrid

  1. i think that liverpool played very well against athletico medrid and torres played well i think that it was quite funny when diego forlan kept getting booed every time he touched the ball but all in all i think that it was a great game.

    ray commander

  2. Babel was signed as a c/forward but was never given a chance in that position, Lucas knows he has to deliver this year or else, Kuyt can move into c/forward, I am more worried about our back four although young Kelly has been impressive. Stevie G, Mash, Lucas, Benny and Riera can all mix it up abit, hope Rafa is looking to Jan window if there are no more arrivals before then..

  3. lucas did play… dare i say it… really well – and not just for lucas!!!! 😮 i think nando played really well and was very unlucky not to score. i think michael turner would be a good signing so offer 9mil (i know its a lot for a hull player but…) as we need a defender to replace the injured carragher, aureilio, skrtel and agger. maybe go for distin as well as he would be cheap

  4. Not much to say about this game . It was typical of all our pre season games with no sign of improvement from last season.Ok we didnt have our defensive players but more is needed to push for the title.
    Glad this pre season is over now and hope things can only get much better when it counts.
    The Mighty Reds LFC

  5. I saw the later stages of the game… of lucas was perfect with that finish.. was ok with torres n i think voronin will do wonders this year… 2 goals from him against spurs in the opener… the youthful defence needs those big names around them but they did well at some stages against AM.
    Lots of praise for AM n the quality of players… some known n some new to me but impresive… i liked the touchs of that brazilian midfielder who come on later..
    i think we will do well from next week…stop those 1 point games n get the full 3. preseason hiccups gives a real measure to strengten n sure rafa will work the best out…

  6. Is it just me or is anyone else worried about our lack of centre forwards?
    If Steve G & Torres are out or off their game we are sunk. No worth while options and nothing to change when we rund out of ideas. Voronin needs sacking if we can’t flog him and Ngog is a No Go!

    We need some goal getters or it’s going to be the same old, same old for sure.

  7. Too bad I didn’t have the opportunity to watch the game here. From the report, I could say that we did show an impressive performance against one of the strong Spanish clubs. Kudos to the lads!! Especially to Lucas. I guess, the pre-season games which he has been involved in has put lots of confidence in him and he has been improving from one game to another. Another playmaker in the making I hope. I wonder if we have put a stronger backline like Skrtel or Agger whether they could score one like Aguero?. As for Ayala, this match has been a good experience to him against the likes of Aguero, Forlan and Simao. I’m sure, he’ll be one of the team backbones in the future.
    It’s disappointing that we lost but, I think Rafa could take lot of positivities from this, fine tune here-and-there and be ready for our 1st match next week.


  8. Some good movement but by and large a lot to ponder over too.Forlan’s goal makes me thinkl that he’d be a good signing for us with the bonus of him being an ex-Man Utd player that will surely anger Fergie.

    With Aurelio,Skrtl and Agger out we can’t afford Jamie to be on the bench with them so hopefully he’ll be fit for the Spurs match.Phew!!!…Lucas the man of the match is surely saying something like perhaps he’s coming good!!?

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