Football: Liverpool suffer Champions League last-16, first-leg loss at Atletico Madrid

Defending champions Liverpool made an unhappy return to the Wanda Metropolitana, losing 1-0 against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League last 16.

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 in 94 minutes on Wednesday (NZ time).

Madrid players celebrate the winning goal
Madrid players celebrate the winning goal Photo credit: Getty

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.

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

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

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.

PSG must now avoid a fourth straight last-16 exit on at the Parc des Princes next month, while Liverpool aim to reverse their tie against Atletico on the same day at Anfield.