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Real Madrid 1-0 Liverpool: Match report, player ratings, expert analysis, fan reaction and more

All the action and reaction from the Spanish capital


Real Madrid vs Liverpool

Real Madrid booked their place in the Champions League last 8 with a comfortable victory over a toothless Liverpool at the Santiago Bernabeu thanks to a strike from Karim Benzema.

Holding a massive three-goal advantage from the first leg, the home side began the game the stronger, with both Vinicius Junior and Eduardo Camavinga forcing Alisson into excellent saves early on.

Jurgen Klopp’s side grew into the game, creating chances for both Diogo Jota and Cody Gakpo, who forced Thibaut Courtois into a pair of good saves.

Needing to turn round a massive deficit in the second 45 minutes, it was assumed that the Reds would come out flying, but they continued to be sloppy in midfield and unable to generate any sort of momentum.

The bizarre removal of their most threatening attacking outlet, Darwin Nunez, didn’t help either, and Klopp’s side struggled to break down an organised and competent Real Madrid side.

As their hopes continued to fade, they were dealt a killer blow as Karim Benzema tapped in to take Real Madrid four goals clear, and left the game petering out.

With the Reds out of the Champions League, Real Madrid remain well on course to defend their title come the end of the season, and will learn their fate in Friday’s draw.

Player ratings

Real Madrid

  • GK: Thibaut Courtois (7) - Made a couple of good saves in the first half to prevent Liverpool being handed any hope. Had little to do in the second.
  • RB: Dani Carvajal (6) - Struggled to deal with Nunez in the first half. Far more comfortable when the Uruguayan was taken off.
  • CB: Antonio Rudiger (7) - Marshalled the Liverpool attackers well throughout the game.
  • CB: Eder Militao (7) - Hardly put a foot wrong in the heart of the Real Madrid defence.
  • LB: Nacho Fernandez (6) - Looked like he was going to struggle against Salah but was never really tested enough to expose that weakness in the Los Blancos side.
  • CM: Eduardo Camavinga (8) - Didn’t put a foot wrong in the Real Madrid midfield and struck the bar with a vicious effort early on.
  • CM: Toni Kroos (7) - Rolled back the years with the slower tempo of the game, and was excellent in midfield.
  • CM: Luka Modric (7) - Continues to defy his years and was excellent in midfield, albeit against little opposition.
  • RW: Federico Valverde (6) - Quiet but solid.
  • ST: Karim Benzema (6) - Uncharacteristically poor in front of goal but tapped home 10 minutes from time. His injury immediately after will be a concern though.
  • LW: Vinicius Junior (7) - Had the beating of Alexander-Arnold and knew it. Couldn’t find any end product though and even only managed to grab an assist after fluffing his lines first time.

Substitutes

  • Dani Ceballos (N/A) - Only on for the last 10 minutes.
  • Rodrygo (N/A) - Only on for the last 10 minutes.
  • Marco Asensio (N/A) - Only on for the last 10 minutes.
  • Aurelien Tchouameni (N/A) - Only on for the last 10 minutes.

Liverpool

  • GK: Alisson (8) - Made several excellent saves to prevent Real Madrid from putting the tie totally to bed in the second half. Could have done no more for his side.
  • RB: Trent Alexander-Arnold (4) - Never got near to Vinicius Junior, but did make some vital blocks in more central areas. Awful in an attacking sense.
  • CB: Ibrahima Konate (5) - Didn’t do too much wrong and helped cover against the dangerous Vinicius Junior.
  • CB: Virgil Van Dijk (5) - Dealt with Benzema well for the most part, and held the offside trap to good effect.
  • LB: Andy Robertson (6) - Quietly solid amid a side that was anything but.
  • CDM: Fabinho (4) - His fall from grace has been astonishing and the Brazilian once again looked well off the pace in midfield.
  • CDM: James Milner (4) - His introduction to the starting XI is a damning indictment of Liverpool’s position at the moment, and the veteran couldn’t get near either of his fellow veterans in the Real Madrid engine room.
  • RM: Mo Salah (5) - Did his best to create something for his side but had no real joy against Nacho all night.
  • CAM: Diogo Jota (5) - Looked lost in his new midfield role and fluffed his lines when well placed in the first half. Taken off before the hour.
  • LM: Darwin Nunez (6) - Was bright in the first half, and forced a great save from Courtois with a curling effort. Oddly taken off around the hour mark despite this.
  • ST: Cody Gakpo (4) - Virtually anonymous up front.

Substitutes

  • Roberto Firmino (5) - Was a bizarre change for Nunez and made Liverpool even more one dimensional.
  • Harvey Elliot (6) - Looked bright when he came on but the cause was well lost.
  • Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (5) - Didn’t have an effect when introduced.
  • Kostas Tsimikas (N/A) - Came on in stoppage time.
  • Fabio Carvalho (N/A) - Came on in stoppage time.

Expert analysis

Fan Reaction

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Ben Browning

Ben Browning

Football writer and analyst. Long-time writer of all things Arsenal and avid watcher of European football. Happy to discuss all things football over on Twitter.


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