Karim Benzema

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

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

But that rarely looked on the cards and legendary Real striker Karim Benzema put the tie beyond doubt when he tucked in from Vinicius Jr’s cutback late on.

Jurgen Klopp’s side would have lost this game by more if not for Alisson.

The Reds goalkeeper denied Vinicius and Eduardo Camavinga with magnificent first-half stops.

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

Liverpool players walked off to ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ on the Bernabeu speakers as they reflected on their biggest ever aggregate Champions League defeat.

The Reds were beaten finalists against Real last summer but now face a battle to even be in the tournament next season, sitting six points behind the Champions League places.

One downside for Carlo Ancelotti’s Real was Benzema hurting himself while scoring and having to be replaced. However afterwards the striker said he will be fine for Sunday’s must-win El Clasico with Barcelona.

  • Klopp admits to ‘massive task’ – has he been too loyal?
  • How Real’s second-leg victory unfolded

No miracle of Madrid

This was the 92nd time a team have lost by three or more goals in the first leg at home in a European Cup tie. All 92 have been eliminated.

Data analysts Gracenote gave Liverpool a 3.92% probability of progression and Jurgen Klopp talked about a “1% chance” beforehand.

That was the challenge they faced after Madrid put on an exhibition of taking their chances at Anfield.

But still, this is Liverpool and this is 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 crucially that was at home.

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

Had Nunez scored after six minutes instead of shooting at Thibaut Courtois, who knows what might have happened. The Uruguayan forced another two saves from the goalkeeper, most notably with a fine curling effort after cutting in from the left wing.

But really they were lucky to only lose this leg 1-0. There was no gung-ho, ‘heavy metal’, blockbuster attempt to go and win it.

They did not even have a shot between James Milner’s blocked effort in the 37th minute and Harvey Elliott’s attempt on target after 82 minutes.

It could have got 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 no penalty to Real.

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

The Reds will undoubtedly finish this season trophy-less and it will be a huge blow to their future plans if they cannot overtake Newcastle and Tottenham to finish fourth in the Premier League come the end of the season.

Champions League kings march on

Ancelotti said beforehand that psychologically “it’s tougher for us than Liverpool” because the Reds knew they had to go “all out from the first minute”.

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

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

Luka Modric drilled a shot just over from outside the box. After the break Alisson denied Federico Valverde and Benzema in quick succession.

Valverde was unmarked when he headed another chance over.

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

Benzema said he took a kick to the shin but will be fit for Sunday’s trip to the Nou Camp. Real need 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 deservedly celebrate reaching a 19th Champions League quarter-final.

Player of the match

ModricLuka Modric

with an average of 7.19
  • Real MadridReal MadridReal Madrid
  • LiverpoolLiverpoolLiverpool

Real Madrid

  1. Squad number10Player nameModric
    Average rating


  2. Squad number20Player nameVinícius Júnior
    Average rating


  3. Squad number9Player nameBenzema
    Average rating


  4. Squad number12Player nameCamavinga
    Average rating


  5. Squad number8Player nameKroos
    Average rating


  6. Squad number15Player nameValverde
    Average rating


  7. Squad number18Player nameTchouaméni
    Average rating


  8. Squad number19Player nameDani Ceballos
    Average rating


  9. Squad number22Player nameRüdiger
    Average rating


  10. Squad number17Player nameLucas Vázquez
    Average rating


  11. Squad number11Player nameAsensio
    Average rating


  12. Squad number3Player nameÉder Militão
    Average rating


  13. Squad number6Player nameNacho
    Average rating


  14. Squad number21Player nameRodrygo
    Average rating


  15. Squad number1Player nameCourtois
    Average rating


  16. Squad number2Player nameCarvajal
    Average rating



  1. Squad number1Player nameAlisson
    Average rating


  2. Squad number5Player nameKonaté
    Average rating


  3. Squad number7Player nameMilner
    Average rating


  4. Squad number18Player nameGakpo
    Average rating


  5. Squad number4Player namevan Dijk
    Average rating


  6. Squad number27Player nameNúñez
    Average rating


  7. Squad number26Player nameRobertson
    Average rating


  8. Squad number11Player nameMohamed Salah
    Average rating


  9. Squad number9Player nameRoberto Firmino
    Average rating


  10. Squad number3Player nameFabinho
    Average rating


  11. Squad number19Player nameElliott
    Average rating


  12. Squad number20Player nameDiogo Jota
    Average rating


  13. Squad number66Player nameAlexander-Arnold
    Average rating


  14. Squad number21Player nameTsimikas
    Average rating


  15. Squad number28Player nameFábio Carvalho
    Average rating


  16. Squad number15Player nameOxlade-Chamberlain
    Average rating


  • Line-ups
  • Match Stats
  • Live Text


Real Madrid

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Courtois
  • 2CarvajalSubstituted forVázquezat 86′minutes
  • 3Militão
  • 22Rüdiger
  • 6Nacho
  • 10ModricSubstituted forCeballosat 82′minutes
  • 12Camavinga
  • 8KroosSubstituted forTchouaméniat 84′minutes
  • 15Valverde
  • 9BenzemaSubstituted forRodrygoat 82′minutes
  • 20Vinícius JúniorSubstituted forAsensioat 84′minutes


  • 5Vallejo
  • 7E Hazard
  • 11Asensio
  • 13Lunin
  • 16Odriozola
  • 17Vázquez
  • 18Tchouaméni
  • 19Ceballos
  • 21Rodrygo
  • 23Mendy
  • 24Mariano
  • 39Rodríguez


Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Alisson
  • 66Alexander-Arnold
  • 5Konaté
  • 4van Dijk
  • 26RobertsonSubstituted forTsimikasat 90+1′minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 18GakpoSubstituted forCarvalhoat 90+1′minutes
  • 3Fabinho
  • 7MilnerSubstituted forOxlade-Chamberlainat 73′minutes
  • 11Salah
  • 20JotaSubstituted forElliottat 57′minutes
  • 27NúñezSubstituted forFirminoat 57′minutes


  • 2Gomez
  • 8Keïta
  • 9Firmino
  • 13Adrián
  • 15Oxlade-Chamberlain
  • 17Jones
  • 19Elliott
  • 21Tsimikas
  • 28Carvalho
  • 32Matip
  • 46R Williams
  • 62Kelleher
Felix Zwayer

Match Stats

Home TeamReal MadridAway TeamLiverpool
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Booking

    Konstantinos Tsimikas (Liverpool) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  2. Post update

    Dani Ceballos (Real Madrid) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  3. Post update

    Foul by Konstantinos Tsimikas (Liverpool).

  4. Post update

    VAR Decision: No Penalty Real Madrid.

  5. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Rodrygo (Real Madrid) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Lucas Vázquez.

  6. Substitution

    Substitution, Liverpool. Fábio Carvalho replaces Cody Gakpo.

  7. Substitution

    Substitution, Liverpool. Konstantinos Tsimikas replaces Andrew Robertson.

  8. Post update

    Nacho (Real Madrid) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Harvey Elliott (Liverpool).

  10. Substitution

    Substitution, Real Madrid. Lucas Vázquez replaces Daniel Carvajal.

  11. Post update

    Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Antonio Rüdiger.

  12. Post update

    Foul by Éder Militão (Real Madrid).

  13. Post update

    Cody Gakpo (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  14. Substitution

    Substitution, Real Madrid. Aurélien Tchouaméni replaces Toni Kroos.

  15. Substitution

    Substitution, Real Madrid. Marco Asensio replaces Vinícius Júnior.

  16. Post update

    Foul by Nacho (Real Madrid).

  17. Post update

    Harvey Elliott (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  18. Post update

    Attempt saved. Harvey Elliott (Liverpool) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top left corner. Assisted by Fabinho.

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