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Atleti president hits out at the state of Anfield

Atletico Madrid president hits out at the state of Anfield ahead of UCL second-leg tie

February 19, 2020 By Emmanuel K. Budu-Annor
The Rojiblancos chief has taken a swipe at the quality of Liverpool's home grounds.

President of Atletico Madrid Enrique Cerezo has aimed a jibe at Anfield ahead of his side's crucial UEFA Champions League Round of 16 second-leg showdown with Liverpool. The Rojiblancos chief has questioned the structural integrity of the Reds' stomping grounds having seen his side secure a 1-0 first-leg win over Klopp's men at the Wanda Metropolitano.

A lone goal by Saul Niguez was enough to hand Diego Simeone's men the needed advantage over the current European champions going into the second-leg clash. However, the belief that the tide could be turned at Anfield remains stong considering how much of a fortress the venue has been for the Reds in recent years. To further help their case, the Premier League leaders have never lost a two-legged European cup tie to a Spanish club and neither have they lost a two-legged European knockout game under Jurgen Klopp.

While the Liverpool players and manager have maintained optimism of putting up a good show at Anfield, Atletico president Cerezo has insisted that his men are also poised to sail through as the Reds' home venue is no match for the Wanda Metropolitano. Speaking to AS, he said: "According to the media, a week ago we were dead and buried and now we are very much alive. They had gone 30 games unbeaten and people were saying they are the best team in the world.

"We are happy with the result but we still have another game to go. But we have rediscovered ourselves and that is the best news. Anfield is a great stadium but it's old. It probably wouldn't pass the UEFA inspection if it had to do it."

In retrospect, Atletico will aim to avoid a deja vu as much as possible heading into the second-leg clash with Liverpool considering that the memory of last season's defeat to Juventus still lingers. Despite taking a 2-0 lead at Wanda Metropolitano in the first leg, a Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick for the Bianconeri in the second-leg sent Simeone's army parking out at the same stage of the competition.

Nevertheless, fortune could potentially favor the Madrid club this time considering that their Argentine manager has never lost a Champions League knockout game against a team that does not have Cristiano Ronaldo in its lineup.


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