Chelsea flop Alvaro Morata limped out of Atletico Madrid’s 1-0 win over Liverpool in the Champions League on Tuesday – after injuring himself missing an absolute sitter.
Diego Simeone’s men kept the European champions at bay in the first leg of their last-16 clash, with Saul Niguez’s fourth-minute strike proving the only goal of the game.
Nevertheless, Atletico could have edged themselves even closer to the quarter-finals had Morata not fluffed his lines in calamitous fashion with 20 minutes remaining.
Renan Lodi picked out the unmarked striker in the box, only to watch him make a complete mess of the chance.
Instead of converting past Alisson to double Atletico’s lead, Morata slips over and kicks his own leg – injuring himself in the process.
The Spaniard hobbled around the pitch before being taken off by Simeone, and was then left to ice his ankle on the bench.
Liverpool hero and BT Sport commentator Steve McManaman said: “I think that’s where he kicked himself when he slipped.
“When he gets up from the slip he’s grimacing and holding his ankle. Sore point when you injure yourself as well!”
Morata’s misfortune will not come as a great surprise to Chelsea fans, who watched him squander a number of golden opportunities in his time at Stamford Bridge.
Having sealed a then club-record £60m move, he was offloaded to Atletico just 18 months later after scoring just 24 goals in 72 appearances for the Blues.
He is not faring much better in Spain, nevertheless, scoring 16 goals in 45 appearances so far for Atletico.
Simeone had his defence to thank for Tuesday night’s victory over Liverpool, preventing the reigning champions from registering a single shot on target.
Jurgen Klopp’s men couldn’t get into their usual rhythm at the Wanda Metropolitano and will need to produce an improved display in the second leg at Anfield.
Yet Simeone believes his side were winning the first leg before a ball was even kicked because of the incredible atmosphere generated by their supporters.
“I think we started winning the game when our bus turned at the roundabout and we saw the reaction of the people,” he said.
“It enthused us. Something beautiful woke up in us. The feeling that came out of the people, the reply of the people, I’ve rarely seen from our fans at this level.
“They were there the whole game. It made me want to put my boots on and go on the pitch.
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“It was the whole match and the truth is it was exciting… I think the word that comes to me is calm. Calm of knowing when you work as a team as group you can do it, the team responded with a great effort.
“It’s not the best night because we’ve not won anything but it was exciting. It was unusual.
“It was a match people won’t forget – to beat the best team in the world, who’ve won a lot of games. We’ve not got past them but we’ve beaten them because in a match everyone has a chance.”
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