Reality is the dross of illusion. And Liverpool took a scourge of objectivity in Madrid. Real complied point by point with the script that required the match with a 2-5 starting point. He played with firmness and poise. Applied from start to finish, even with more energy than his pale rival, who never rebelled after the destruction of the first leg. Today is not enough. At times, as if the one who had to come back was Madrid. Maybe it was out of habit. The truth is that Real, never disturbed, prevailed through football, through vibrations, through wisdom. The seal was put by Benzema with a goal in the last stretch. Before, the local team had already recorded a battery of occasions. Liverpool, fired with Never Walk Alone for his gesture in the first leg with the late Amancio, didn’t even ruffle his hair.
Courtois, Rüdiger, Eder Militao, Nacho, Dani Carvajal (Lucas Vázquez, min. 86), Modric (Dani Ceballos, min. 81), Kroos (Aurelien Tchouameni, min. 83), Camavinga, Benzema (Rodrygo, min. 82) , Federico Valverde and Vinicius Junior (Marco Asensio, min. 83)
Alisson, Virgil Van Dijk, A. Robertson (Konstantinos Tsimikas, min. 91), Trent Alexander-Arnold, Ibrahima Konate, Gakpo (Fabio Carvalho, min. 91), Fabinho, Milner (Oxlade-Chamberlain, min. 73), Darwin Núñez (Roberto Firmino, min. 56), Salah and Diogo Jota (Harvey Elliot, min. 56)
goals 1-0 min. 78: Benzema.
Referee Felix Zwayer
Yellow cards Klopp (min. 73) and Konstantinos Tsimikas (min. 94)
A Liverpool that is difficult to infer appeared through Chamartín. Bizarre from the lineup, quiet and without movement with the ball live. Nothing to do with Jürgen Klopp’s bet with four attackers with the candor of his boys. The planned approach from the blackboard only hid a Liverpool without volume, barely willing to get by and avoid another beating. A bargain for Real Madrid, never in a hurry.
Where a team was expected grid atomic, vertical, at full speed with and without the ball, there was only a contemplative group, only activated with a few pecks from Salah, their only argument until Nacho arrested him. The visiting team gave up the ball without blush. A pleasure for the patricio Kroos, field marshal. An ideal match for the German, without much hindrance and without going back and forth.
To the violin of Kroos, Real surrounded the team beatles. No surprises, except for a blunder by Rüdiger that Darwin Núñez missed with a nursery shot for Courtois. There were several immediate responses. Alisson, in the style of David Barrufet or Lorenzo Rico, made a handball save to Vinicius. The Brazilian finished off his compatriot in the eyelashes, but the goalkeeper put out an arm like a pinwheel and deflected the ball. He also had spotlights after a tremendous shot by Camavinga – which Carlo Ancelotti anticipated Tchouameni. Alisson scratched the ball so that it hit the crossbar. Modric was added to the attacking cataract, who suffered a whiplash from a phalanx.
El Real, with the spiciness of Vinicius, the erudition of Kroos, the agitation of Modric and the offensive expertise of Benzema, screwed a boneless adversary. Nothing to do with the rocker team that Klopp had outlined until this course.
The departure of Mané and the parking of Firmino on the bench have faded a worn-out team, which has not found the right replacements, especially after the injury to Colombian Luis Díaz. Darwin Núñez does not work out and Gakpo has some goals and little play. Madrid, that Madrid of Kroos, Modric and Benzema that seems infinite, still has the rope to show off in the first leg and handle the return at will.
From the Anfield barrage, the English team metabolized its inferiority to the bone. He manifested in the first pulse and when he had to face a Himalayan duel. Ready for the bugle call, Liverpool was left in nothingness. Lacking flyers due to the losses of Thiago, Henderson and Bajcetic, in Madrid he articulated with the worn-out Milner and Fabinho as the only line in the axis. Insufficient to control the game, to prime the offensive squad. Liverpool, neither short nor long. With just a few more footprints in the final stretch of the first period. But without major alerts for whites. A team, Ancelotti’s, as close to scoring in the first act as in the second.
For any dream comeback, Liverpool required Salah, but the one who took the cover was Alisson, their goalkeeper. Firm to win the fencer duel against Valverde, who shortly after missed a header by a finger. He like a shot at Benzema after being summoned by Vinicius.
Alisson no longer had a choice in the goal from Benzema. Van Dijk swept a geometric inside pass from Camavinga, wild boar all day, to Benzema. The ball reached Vinicius, who kicked into the air before assisting the captain, who blew the ball into the net with the door wide open. Ancelotti intervened to withdraw the sore Benzema, the incombustible Modric, the eternal Kroos —player of the night— and the stinging Vinicius. Barça in sight.
Liverpool, who only had support in the first half hour of Anfield, was already history. They play the rooms for the whites, pay attention to the draw this Friday.
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