Real Madrid finished the job they started at Anfield last month with a 1-0 win at the Bernabéu on Wednesday night to advance to the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
Los Blancos were the better team that night, and Karim Benzema’s 19th goal of the season in the dying minutes added to their 5-2 aggregate lead from the first leg.
Needing a quick start to get any chance of the impossible, Liverpool had their first clear chance just six minutes later when Mohamed Salah took advantage of a slip from Antonio Rudiger and sent the ball to Darwin Nunez – his low shot was parried by Thibaut. Courtois introduced.
But a stark reminder of Real’s danger came moments later, when, after a fine move, a better squared pass from Toni Kroos would give Benzema the chance to enter. Kroos himself also came close in the early stage, smashing a left-footed car for which Liverpool were grateful straight into Alisson.
Los Blancos remained the closest to breaking the deadlock when Alisson somehow blocked Vinicius from close range. Another great save followed, a perfect touch that sent Eduardo Camavinga’s long-range shot crashing onto the crossbar. The Brazilian didn’t come close to a later missile from Luka Modric and was grateful to see him miss the target.
Liverpool’s decent start had long been squandered when Nunez and Cody Jacopo tested Courtois in fairly quick succession just after the half-hour mark. The Belgian turned the first goal from the far post, before avoiding the near goal to deny the second powerful ball.
It became more apparent once the second half started that Liverpool were being held by their own goalkeeper. One by one, Alisson saved from Federico Valverde and Benzema. Just an hour later, Valverde wasn’t far again when he headed towards him.
Real Madrid were very good, although chances kept begging. Benzema knew he should have been better after Vinicius Jr found him.
Having created so many enticing chances throughout the night, it might have been assumed that when the stalemate finally came to an end, it was tough to say the least. Benzema initially punched his lines under pressure from Virgil van Dijk, but the ball broke to Vinicius, who then slipped but had the brains to tip it over to Benzema for the score.
The end of the match was delayed due to the video assistant referee taking a long time for a possible penalty kick for Real when the ball hit the arm of substitute Kostas Tsimikas. It bounced off his thigh, and despite referee Felix Zuer being advised to look at the pitch screen, the correct call was made.
GK: Thibaut Courtois – 7/10 – The response was tackled when called, especially one early on that would have changed the tie had it gone in. But you don’t have much to do in general.
Right-back: Dani Carvajal – 8/10 – Liverpool didn’t snub their side.
Central defender: Eder Militao – 7/10 – Defensive voice.
Center back: Antonio Rudiger – 6/10 – He didn’t always look the most confident, especially when Salah was on the move, but he got the job done in the end.
Left back: Nacho – 7/10 – You can depend on her.
Midfielder: Luka Modric – 8/10 – Flawless in spelling the game.
CM: Eduardo Camavinga – 8/10 – He played with confidence and maturity beyond his years at the heart of the team. He hit the crossbar when Alisson tipped his deflected shot onto the wood.
CM: Toni Kroos – 8/10 – I worked well with Vinicius in the left channel.
Right winger: Federico Valverde – 7/10 – He wasn’t afraid to try his luck and made sure that Robertson was pretty much hooked.
Attacker: Karim Benzema (midfield) – 7/10 – He had a number of chances and should have taken at least one before he actually scored. They faltered soon after, which will be a concern ahead of Sunday’s Clasico.
Left wing: Vinicius Jr – 8/10 – Make a bright and confident start. Alisson made a great save in the first half, gave Alexander-Arnold a hard time and finished with an assist.
SUB: Dani Ceballos (82 min for Modric) – N/A
SUB: Rodrygo (82 minutes with Benzema) – N/A
Sub: Marco Asensio (84 min for Vinicius) – N/A
Affiliate: Aurelien Choameni (84 min to Cross) – N/A
Sub: Lucas Vazquez (86 minutes with Carvajal) – N/A
Carlo Ancelotti – 8/10 – No worries his team didn’t take risks as they were always in control. He made his changes when the job was good and true.
GK: Alisson – 9/10 – Liverpool could have conceded five more without him.
Right-back: Trent Alexander-Arnold – 10/4 – Not surprisingly, he struggled defensively, but this wasn’t a good night for him on the ball either. dirty.
Central defense: Ibrahima Konate – 5/10 – He gave the ball away very easily.
Center back: Virgil van Dijk – 5/10 – You should have done better when Real Madrid scored at the end.
Left-back: Andrew Robertson – 6/10 – Better than the Liverpool full-backs but still a difficult night.
CM: Fabinho – 7/10 – In fact he performed well but Liverpool lacked bodies in the middle.
CM: James Milner (c) – 5/10 – I worked hard but it wasn’t at the same level as Real.
Right midfielder: Mohamed Salah – 6/10 – Pace made him a threat and was more involved than his teammates.
AM: Cody Gakbo – 6/10 – He tracked all the way to set up a potentially goal-saving tackle on Benzema early on. Courtois forced a first half save.
Left midfielder: Diogo Jota – 4/10 – Maybe it wasn’t like that on the field.
Forward: Darwin Nunez – 5/10 – He had chances, but he couldn’t take them. He hardly touched the ball in general.
Sub: Roberto Firmino (57 minutes for Nunez) – 5/10
SUB: Harvey Elliott (57 min for Jota) – 6/10
Sub: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (73 min to Milner) – 5/10
SUB: Fabio Carvalho (90+2′ for Gakpo) – N/A
SUB: Kostas Tsimikas (90+2′ for Robertson) – N/A
Jurgen Klopp – 5/10 – He had no response to Real Madrid’s very strong performance. He allowed his emotions to boil over in the second half and was cautioned by the referee.