AAP Soccer

Liverpool lose, Haaland double sinks PSG

By AAP Newswire

Defending champions Liverpool made an unhappy return to the Wanda Metropolitana on Tuesday when they lost 1-0 against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League last 16.

In Germany, a brace from striker Erling Haaland saw hosts Borussia Dortmund beat Paris Saint-Germain 2-1.

Atletico scored a fourth-minute winner from Saul Niguez and then stood firm in defence against the runaway English league leaders who had lifted the trophy in the stadium last June but didn't manage a shot on target on the night.

Haaland meanwhile struck in the 70th and 78th for Dortmund, with PSG getting a temporary equaliser from Neymar, to draw level with Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski on a competition-leading 10 goals.

The Norwegian teenager netted eight times for RB Salzburg in the group stage before a January move to Dortmund where he has now scored 10 more goals in all competitions.

Asked where these his most important career goals, Haaland told Sky TV "you could say so."

"It will be a hard game in Paris but we have a good team," he added.

PSG must now avoid a fourth straight last-16 exit on March 11 at the Parc des Princes while Liverpool aim to reverse their tie against Atletico on the same day at Anfield if they want to stay alive.

Atletico got the dream start when Koke's corner bounced off Fabinho to Saul for an easy tap-in four minutes into the game.

That allowed Diego Simeone's side to sit back with their disciplined back line but they also continued to threaten, with Andy Robertson making a last-gasp clearance ahead of the lurking Alvaro Morata before Morata was denied by goalkeeper Alisson Becker from close range.

Liverpool controlled the ball but tried their luck in vain from long range before Mohamed Salah headed wide in the 53rd and captain Jordan Henderson volleyed wide 20 minutes later.

Neymar had the first chance for PSG when he fired a soft free-kick inches right in the 13th while on the other end Achraf Hakimi was blocked in a promising position in the 26th as Dortmund slowly started to impose their game.

"We conceded the goal from the corner, first chance for them, not even a chance. Bit of luck," Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk told BT Sport.

"We had the ball most of the game but unfortunately could not create massive opportunities. We still have another 90 minutes to set it right."

Haaland hit the side-netting from a left angle in the 34th and seconds later could not properly connect with Jadon Sancho's chipped cross.

Kylian Mbappe finally came to life for PSG but was denied twice by goalkeeper Roman Buerki before the game burst to life.

Raphael Guerreiro's shot was blocked by Marquinhos but the ball fell to Haaland who smashed into the roof of the net for Dortmund's lead with 20 minutes left.

Neymar levelled six minutes later into an empty net after Mbappe had run into the area past two defenders, only for Haaland to smash home Dortmund's second another two minutes on from the edge of the area for the winner.

The first-leg matches continue Wednesday with Tottenham hosting RB Leipzig and Atalanta taking on Valencia.

The other four games are next week, including the crunch tie between Real Madrid and Manchester City.