Real Madrid eased to a 3-1 victory against Liverpool in the Champions League quarter-final first leg in the Spanish capital on Tuesday night, heading to Anfield with a significant two-goal lead.
The game started in cagey fashion, but Real always looked comfortable and found an opening after 27 minutes when Vinicius Junior fired home from a Toni Kroos long ball. A calamitous mistake from Trent Alexander-Arnold doubled Liverpool’s problems as Marco Asensio made it 2-0, as the Reds stumbled into half-time completely shellshocked.
As expected, Liverpool were instantly much improved after the break and clawed one back through Mohamed Salah after 51 minutes, blowing the game wide open. For all of Liverpool‘s advances, however, Zinedine Zidane’s side were supremely well drilled and picked their visitors apart on the counter, adding a third against the run of play after 65 minutes.
Los Blancos managed the game well all night and their third goal killed all of Liverpool’s momentum, as they sat back in shape and soaked up the away side’s attacks, before cutting their way through the field with a passing clinic as the game dwindled out. Liverpool were largely outclassed and must use their away goal as inspiration for a second-leg comeback.
Right then, here’s how both sides’ players fared.
1. Goalkeeper & defenders
LIVERPOOL PLAYER RATINGS
Mohamed Salah (RW) – 6/10 – Barely asserted himself in the first half, but much sharper after the break with his pressing and bagged a vital deflected goal.
Diogo Jota (ST) – 5/10 – Caused Real’s centre-backs problems whenever he held possession in the box, but it just wasn’t often enough.
Sadio Mane (LW) – 4/10 – Dropped deep to at least try and influence play, although to no avail. Far too quiet