Real Madrid 1-0 Liverpool (6-2 ag): the Reds eliminated from the Champions League

Karim Benzema has scored more Champions League goals against Liverpool (seven) than against any other team

Liverpool’s Champions League hopes ended at the hands of Real Madrid for a third consecutive season as they failed to overcome their demolition at Anfield in the first leg.

The Reds, who lost the first leg 5-2, fielded four forwards at the Bernabeu as they looked to add another famous comeback to their storied European history.

But that rarely looked on the cards and legendary Real striker Karim Benzema put the tie beyond doubt when he pulled out of Vinicius Jr’s cut late.

Jurgen Klopp’s side would have lost this game more without Alisson.

The Reds goalkeeper denied Vinicius and Eduardo Camavinga magnificent saves in the first half.

If Darwin Nunez had taken a chance in the sixth minute, it might have been a different story.

Liverpool were beaten in the final against Real last summer but now have to fight to even be in the tournament next season, six points clear of the Champions League places.

One downside for Carlo Ancelotti’s Real was Benzema picking up an injury while scoring and had to be substituted, four days before their unmissable El Clasico with Barcelona.

No miracle from Madrid

It was the 92nd time a side had lost by three or more goals in the first leg at home to a European Cup draw. All 92 were eliminated.

Data analysts Gracenote gave Liverpool a 3.92 per cent chance of progress and Jurgen Klopp spoke of a “1 per cent chance” beforehand.

That was the challenge they faced after Madrid staged a display to try their luck at Anfield.

But still, it’s Liverpool and it’s the Champions League.

In 2005, they came from 3-0 down to beat Ancelotti’s Milan in the Champions League final. Three years ago they lost 3-0 to Barcelona and won the second leg 4-0, although it was mostly at home.

Liverpool gave it a shot – they had to – with strikers Diogo Jota, Nunez, Mohamed Salah and Cody Gakpo in their line-up.

If Nunez had scored after six minutes instead of shooting Thibaut Courtois, who knows what might have happened. The Uruguayan forced two more saves from the goalkeeper, including with a fine curling effort after cutting in from the left wing.

But really, they were lucky to only lose this round 1-0. There was no gung-ho, “heavy metal” blockbuster attempt to go earn it.

They didn’t even have a single shot between James Milner’s blocked shot in the 37th minute and Harvey Elliott’s shot on target after 82 minutes.

It could have gotten slightly worse in injury time when referee Felix Zwayer went to the monitor to see if Konstantinos Tsimikas had handled the ball, but the decision was not a penalty for Real.

So, just like in last year’s final in Paris and the previous season’s quarter-final, Real were the winners over Liverpool.

The Reds will no doubt end this season without a trophy and it will be a blow to their future plans if they cannot overtake Newcastle and Tottenham to finish fourth in the Premier League at the end of the season.

Champions League kings walk

Ancelotti previously said that psychologically ‘it’s harder for us than Liverpool’ as the Reds know they have to ‘give their all from the first minute’.

But it was Real who had most of the chances. They’ve managed 17 shots here, compared to the nine efforts that yielded five goals on Merseyside.

Alisson somehow saved Vinicius’ point-blank volley with an outstretched arm. Then he tipped Camavinga’s deflected, looping long-range strike to the crossbar.

Luka Modric drilled a shot just above the outside of the box. After the break, Alisson quickly turned down Federico Valverde and Benzema.

Valverde was unmarked when he headed another chance.

Eventually the pressure came on when Benzema slotted in the ball from Vinicius as they came in behind the Reds defence. It was his seventh Champions League goal against the Reds, a record for any player.

Both Ancelotti and Real hope the issue that saw him leave isn’t too serious. They travel to the Nou Camp on Sunday needing a win to keep their La Liga title hopes alive, as they trail leaders Barcelona by nine points.

But for now, the 14-time European champions can rightfully celebrate their 19th Champions League quarter-final.

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real Madrid

  1. squad number1player nameCourteous

  2. squad number2player nameCarvajal

  3. squad number3player nameEder Militao

  4. squad number22player nameRudiger

  5. squad number6player nameNacho

  6. squad numbertenplayer namemodric

  7. squad number12player nameCamavinga

  8. squad number8player nameKroos

  9. squad number15player nameValverde

  10. squad number9player nameBenzema

  11. squad number20player nameVinicius Junior

  1. squad number11player nameAsensio

  2. squad number17player namelucas vazquez

  3. squad number18player nameChouameni

  4. squad number19player nameDani Ceballos

  5. squad number21player nameRodrygo


real Madrid

Training 4-3-3

  • 1Courteous
  • 2CarvajalReplaced byVazquezTo 86′minutes
  • 3Militao
  • 22Rudiger
  • 6Nacho
  • tenmodricReplaced byCeballosTo 82′minutes
  • 12Camavinga
  • 8KroosReplaced byChouameniTo 84′minutes
  • 15Valverde
  • 9BenzemaReplaced byRodrygoTo 82′minutes
  • 20Vinicius JuniorReplaced byAsensioTo 84′minutes


  • 5Vallejo
  • 7Danger E
  • 11Asensio
  • 13Moon
  • 16Odriozola
  • 17Vazquez
  • 18Chouameni
  • 19Ceballos
  • 21Rodrygo
  • 23Mendy
  • 24Mariano
  • 39Rodriguez


Training 4-3-3

  • 1Alisson
  • 66Alexandre-Arnold
  • 5Konate
  • 4van Dijk
  • 26RobertsonReplaced byTsimikaTo 90+1′minutesBooked at 90 minutes
  • 18GakpoReplaced byCarvalhoTo 90+1′minutes
  • 3Fabinho
  • 7milnerReplaced byOxlade-ChamberlainTo 73′minutes
  • 11salah
  • 20JotaReplaced byElliotTo 57′minutes
  • 27NunezReplaced byFirminTo 57′minutes


  • 2Gomez
  • 8Keita
  • 9Firmin
  • 13Adrian
  • 15Oxlade-Chamberlain
  • 17Jones
  • 19Elliot
  • 21Tsimika
  • 28Carvalho
  • 32Matip
  • 46R Williams
  • 62Keller

Felix Zwayer

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