Atlético Madrid: Moyá, Vrsaljko, Giménez, Lucas, Sergi, Thomas, Kranevitter, Augusto, Bare, Correa, Vietto
Liverpool: Ward, Flanagan, Gomez, Klavan, Milner, Can, Wijnaldum, Woodburn, Lallana, Mane, Solanke
Liverpool came into the match on great form following a 3-0 win over Bayern Munich the day before. Sadio Mané, who hit the back of the net against the German champs, was once again in the starting XI. Atlético Madrid were also victorious on Tuesday, but needed a comeback and Jan Oblak heroics to defeat Napoli 2-1. Diego Godín did not play following his red card on Tuesday.
The first half was relatively even. Neither side dominated the game by any means. Luciano Vietto and Ángel Correa were quiet and did not create many chances for themselves.
It was not until the 33rd minute that 19-year-old Keidi Bare put Atlético ahead with a rebound goal after a great save by Danny Ward. The ball was put out wide to Šime Vrsaljko who crossed the ball in. Correa’s shot led to the save by Ward, and some lackluster defending by Liverpool’s Ragnar Klavan left Bare wide open to slot the ball into the back of the net. The canterano is the first Albanian to score for Atleti.
As the first half ended, Diego Simeone’s side maintained a 1-0 lead, but Liverpool came out with some desperation in the second half and packed on the pressure. Roberto Firmino came on at halftime and made a big impact for the reds. After a light challenge by Gabi on Divock Origi in the eighty-second minute, referee Felix Brych called a penalty for Liverpool. Firmino stepped up and converted the penalty, sending Miguel Ángel Moyá the wrong way and making it 1-1.
Ward continued to impress following the equalizer, as he denied a Lucas Hernández attempt in the 88th minute. Two minutes later, the whistle blew and the penalty shootout began.
Now, normally, Atlético fans look away in fear during penalties, but this shootout was different. Jordan Henderson had his penalty saved by Moyá, the only blemish in an otherwise perfect shootout. Firmino, Origi, Ryan Kent and Marko Gruijić made theirs either side of Henderson’s miss.
But Atlético converted on five out of five penalties. Antoine Griezmann, Fernando Torres, Gabi, Nico Gaitán and finally Filipe Luís put their spot kicks away, and Atleti were crowned Audi Cup winners for the first time.
Lifting the trophy brings a great end to Atlético’s preseason festivities in Munich. It was a close, hotly-contested game, but Atleti had just enough to come out on top in the shootout. Simeone’s men are gearing up for the start of the season, and this will help the team grow in confidence.