Liverpool 2 vs 5 Real Madrid: Liverpool outclassed by Real Madrid in the Champions League

vinicius junior celebrates scoring against liverpool

Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool were well and truly beaten by European specialists Real Madrid, after making what was such a promising start.

Having raced into a two-goal advantage courtesy of goals from Darwin Núñez and Mohamed Salah in the first 14 minutes, the hosts were sensationally pegged back.

Two goals from Vinícius Junior levelled the match, and it was downhill from there for Reds fans as Éder Militão and a quickfire Karim Benzema double has left the 2019 champions with a serious mountain to climb.

There may no longer be the away goals rule but surely a three-goal advantage, and at the Bernabéu, is not something Carlo Ancelotti will throw away easily.

Obviously the ‘Miracle of Istanbul’ comes to mind as the obvious three goal deficit, that was overturned.

Whilst, there was also the same scoreline against Barcelona the year Liverpool last lifted the trophy, but this is looking insurmountable.

First-half

The home side made an unbelievable start after just four minutes played, as youngster Stefan Bajčetić began the move, passing to captain Jordan Henderson who slipped the ball to Salah.

And the Egyptian slipped a cracking pass through to Darwin Núñez, and the Uruguayan opening the scoring with a fantastic flicked finish, to leave keeper Thibaut Courtois with no chance.


Anfield was rocking.

A surprise lead for the six-time winners.

Then, it got even better, just 10 minutes later, as Eduardo Camavinga slipped in the middle of the park, Henderson picked up the ball and passed to Cody Gakpo, but his touch was too strong, and Dani Carvajal sent the ball back to Courtois.

The Belgian took two horrible touches, and gifted Salah with a goal on a plate as the Egyptian king prodded home for his 42nd European goal for Liverpool, a club record surpassing legendary captain Steven Gerrard.

Klopp and the Reds supporters were in dreamland.

But that’s when the script turned on its head, as Vinícius, the club’s bogeyman, having scored the winner in last year’s Champions League final, was at it again.

The 22-year-old single handedly dragged his side back in the contest with a wonderful curling strike that nestled into the bottom corner and past Alisson.

A world class goal from a striker perhaps destined to be a future Ballon d’Or winner.


In the 24th minute, Liverpool should have taken what could have been a decisive 3-1 lead, but blew a golden opportunity.

Trent Alexander-Arnold played in Henderson, who slipped the ball to Salah, but he got his feet in a tangle, and was unable to apply the finish with a wall of Madrid defenders blocking Núñez as well, as they kept a certain goal out.

In the 30th minute, Vinícius almost grabbed the equaliser, as he found Luka Modric’s corner, and sent a fizzing effort at goal only to be denied by an outstanding Alisson save.

A passage of terrible play, saw Bajčetić easily dispossessed by Federico Valverde who played the ball forward to Vinícius, and Joe Gomez reached the ball first and passed back to Alisson.

But an awful clearance from the often so reliable shot-stopper cannoned off Vinícius and into the back of the net.

 

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Comeback complete for Real.

The match would then turn on it’s head from there, and the Liverpool players’ heads dropped quite literally as Ancelotti’s men took all the confidence to go forth and seize the match.

As the half-time whistle blew, both sets of supporters, and indeed the football world was still in awe of the first 45 minutes they had been treated too.

And not to mention, two howlers from two of the best goalkeepers in the sport.

Second-half

Joe Gomez continued to be the weak link in the Liverpool defence, just a minute after half-time, as he gave away a needless fowl on Vinícius on the edge of the penalty area.

Modric, the midfield magician, whipped in a delightful ball and Éder Militão slammed in a bullet of a header to put the reigning European champions 3-2 up and in the ascendency.

His first goal in four years for Real in the Champions League.

And they didn’t have to wait long to make it 4-2, as Benzema angled a rather tame shot at the Liverpool goal, but the ball deflected off Gomez and past a hapless Alisson.

It was turning into a horrible evening for both Gomez and Liverpool.

And 12 minutes later the 2022 winner of the Ballon d’Or, Benzema cashed in on more sloppy Reds defending as he slammed in a fifth goal for his side, after fine work in the middle of the park again by Modric.


Game, Set and Match to Real and assumingly no way back for the Reds.

Having conquered Liverpool in the 2018 final as well, Liverpool must be sick of the sight of facing Real now.

Simply too good.

Klopp – ‘The tie is over’

After the match, the boss gave his thoughts to the press.

“The start of the game, besides the two goals we conceded, was the best we’ve played for probably the whole season.

“Their third goal was a horrible goal and was pretty much the game-changer.

“We lost momentum and never really got it back,” said Klopp.

When told by one reporter that Ancelotti believes the outcome is far from over, the German disagreed.

“I think Carlo believes the tie is over – and I think it as well.

“But in three weeks, the closer you get to the game the bigger our chances become and the less likely it is the tie is over,” he said.

“We have to score three goals there and take some risks, which could be a bit tricky.

“It’s not even in my mind.”

Virgil van Dijk – “They are mistakes we shouldn’t make”

The Liverpool defender appeared downbeat after the final whistle, and his thoughts appeared to reflect this.

“We’re very disappointed. Losing is never good, and the way we lost today almost not giving ourselves a chance in Madrid, is tough.

“We play against Real Madrid, the holders of the Champions League. Quality players all over the pitch, they can punish you, and the mistakes that you make.

“And that’s what they did, especially in the second-half,” said the Dutchman.

“It’s pretty clearly to see they are mistakes we shouldn’t make.

“But that happens in football. We are not robots.

“The only thing we can do is learn from it, and focus on the next one, and make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

James Spencer

My name is James and I have supported Liverpool since I was 6 years old. My favourite players growing up were Steven Gerrard and Sami Hyypia. My most memorable match would be the UEFA Cup Final win over Deportivo Alaves that finished 5-4 to Liverpool! I am studying journalism in Manchester although I am a Liverpool fan through and through.

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