Salah’s dream form continues in Liverpool win at Atletico Madrid as Griezmann endures nightmare.
Mo Salah continues his dream form in Liverpool’s win at Atletico Madrid, with Griezmann enduring a nightmare.
MADRID, SPAIN — When you’re hot, you’re hot, and no one in the world of football is hotter right now than Mohamed Salah of Liverpool. Some players, like Antoine Griezmann, strike such a rich vein of form that they catch every break and relish whatever bit of luck comes their way — and then there are others who can’t seem to escape the feeling that nothing is going right.
Liverpool’s 3-2 Champions League victory against Atletico Madrid in Spain, which put Jurgen Klopp’s side five points ahead at the top of Group B, was a display of the finest of football’s greatest club tournament and a reminder of why the game can survive without a breakaway Super League. But it was also a story of two attackers — Salah and Griezmann, two world-class forwards — who are now enjoying and suffering life on different ends of the spectrum.
Salah extended his total for the season to 12 goals in 11 games for Liverpool, netting either side of Naby Keita’s 20-yard volley to keep Liverpool’s perfect record in Group B intact. His first goal, a left-footed drive following a dribble on the outside of the Atletico penalty area, was awarded to him despite seeming to strike both James Milner and Atletico defender Geoffrey Kondogbia on its way into the net.
– LaLiga, Bundesliga, MLS, FA Cup, and more on ESPN+ – Watch ESPN FC every day on ESPN+ (U.S. only) – If you don’t have ESPN, you’re out of luck. Get immediate access
Salah became the first Liverpool player to score in nine consecutive games when he scored at the Estadio Metropolitano, a record that Ian Rush, Roger Hunt, Luis Suarez, Michael Owen, Robbie Fowler, and Fernando Torres all failed to achieve. Only Robert Lewandowski (37) has scored more goals in the Champions League than Salah has in that time frame since joining Liverpool from AS Roma in 2017. He surpassed Steven Gerrard as Liverpool’s all-time leading scorer in the tournament with his goals in Madrid.
Salah is just a magnificent player who is now in the prime of his career. Everything he touches either finds its way into the net or results in a goal for one of his teammates.
Griezmann used to be in this situation. He scored 133 goals in 254 games and added 50 assists during his first time at Atletico, but a two-year stay with Barcelona proved to be a disappointing experience in which the France international struggled to gel with Lionel Messi.
Griezmann scored 35 goals and added 17 assists in 102 games for Barcelona, but he never quite lived up to the expectations, and he returned to Atleti on loan in the summer, with an obligation to buy him for £34 million at the conclusion of the season.
It must have been difficult for the 30-year-old to be booed by the home supporters on his return, and things haven’t improved much since then, with the 30-year-old having unable to score or assist in LaLiga since rejoining Diego Simeone’s side. Last month, Griezmann scored in a 2-1 victory against AC Milan at the San Siro, but he was yet to score on home soil.
Against Liverpool, though, Griezmann looked like the old Griezmann during a blazing first half of counterattacking by both teams.
Griezmann drew Atletico back into the game with a brilliant left-foot strike from 15 yards on 20 minutes, after Liverpool had raced into a 2-0 lead through Salah and Keita after just 13 minutes. Griezmann then went on to lead his team’s offensive efforts, only to be denied a second goal as Alisson stopped his shot after a 28th-minute move.
On 34 minutes, Griezmann scored again with a superb finish after receiving a ball from Joao Felix and taking a touch before sending a left-footed effort past Alisson from just inside the penalty area. He acted as though the Atleti supporters, who had felt betrayed by his transfer to Camp Nou in 2019, had finally welcomed him back into the fold. This was his watershed moment.
Dan Thomas is joined by Craig Burley, Shaka Hislop, and others to discuss the most recent news and debate the most important stories. ESPN+ has a live stream available (U.S. only).
Salah, on the other hand, seems unconcerned. On 75 minutes, when defender Mario Hermoso surrendered a penalty for a poor tackle on Diogo Jota, it seemed clear that Salah would take it and score, and he did. It turned out to be the game-winner, with Atletico having a penalty judgment reversed six minutes later thanks to VAR intervention.
Simeone, enraged by the rulings against his side, stormed out without shaking Klopp’s hand at the conclusion, leading Klopp to wave cynically and with a wide smile as his opposing number walked down the tunnel.
“We don’t like it,” Klopp added, “but the situation is obvious.” “I’d want to shake his hand,” I said. His response, like mine, was definitely not cool.
“We will certainly shake hands the next time we see each other. It’s insignificant. He was clearly enraged, not at me, but at the game. Nothing else exists.”
Salah and Liverpool were able to smile all the way back to the airport. It was another night to forget for Atletico Madrid and Griezmann.
- mohamed salah
- griezmann age
- griezmann stats