Notebook: Eduardo Camavinga proves he is truly ‘untouchable’ for Real Madrid as Thibaut Courtois shines against Liverpool again… while Jurgen Klopp must use that pain to ensure they can meet again next season
Liverpool failed to stage one of their famous comebacks in the Champions League as a late strike from Karim Benzema sealed a 6-2 aggregate defeat by Real Madrid.
Real already had one foot in the quarter-finals after their resounding 5-2 win at Anfield last month, and despite the huff and puff in the majority of Wednesday’s second leg, the Reds cruised to the point of no return when Benzema scored his only goal. The goal of the match 12 minutes before time.
The Frenchman’s goal capped off a crushing aggregate victory for Los Blancos, who kept their defense of the European crown going.
Here, Sportsmail’s Dominic King takes a look at some of the things you might have missed from Wednesday’s game.
Karim Benzema topped Real Madrid’s 6-2 aggregate win over Liverpool
Klopp must use that pain to fuel the recovery
When will they meet again? Liverpool will be desperate to take on Real Madrid again soon, to see if they can finally put a gauntlet on them, but after four collisions in five years, there is no guarantee these sides will be in the same European competition next season.
Real Madrid’s place is practically guaranteed every year, but Liverpool’s position among the elite is increasingly tenuous. If they play with the control they did for 75 minutes here, maybe they will overhaul the teams in front of them and snatch fourth place.
If Jurgen Klopp oversaw the end of the campaign’s revival, it would rank as one of his most important achievements at Anfield. The problem is that no one knows what to expect. Klopp must hope that the pain he suffered against Real Madrid came from their persistence.
Jurgen Klopp should use the pain of this defeat to fuel a recovery and ensure both sides participate in the same European competition next season
Courtois Real Madrid deal
The summer of 2018 was memorable for a world-record transfer fee for a goalkeeper that was broken twice: Liverpool’s £64.6m signing of Alisson Becker and Chelsea’s £71m move to Kepa Arrizabalaga. It was the same window in which Real Madrid also bought themselves a new number.
Thibaut Courtois cost £31m five years ago: what a deal that was. As in the final last May when he was man of the match, the Belgian has been faultless here again. Allison, for the record, was similarly excellent.
Camavinga proves untouchable
One word is all it takes for a manager like Carlo Ancelotti to let you know what’s special.
In the pre-match press conference, Ancelotti described Eduardo Camavinga as “untouchable” and not as descriptive as confetti. Being ‘untouchable’ at Real Madrid meant a player’s talent was out of the ordinary and watching the France international in his warm-up was revealing.
He hit four shots past Thibalt Courtois that hit as cleanly as a flush drive through the covers, and the technique was absolutely flawless. The drill almost went perfect when he missed a 20-minute drive causing a crack in the woodwork.
Thibaut Courtois put in another fine performance in the Champions League against Liverpool
Eduardo Camavinga has endorsed Carlo Ancelotti’s claim that he is “untouchable” for Real Madrid
Nunez diamond rough
An idea of how Liverpool were still in progress came in the 27th minute when Jurgen Klopp went ballistic at Darwin Nunez for not returning to the site quickly enough to make the team look solid.
The Uruguay has talent to burn but it is a diamond that will require some major polishing. He had Liverpool’s best shot in the first half but was eventually substituted.
Is this a library?
The Santiago Bernabeu still looks like a construction site from the outside but inside it looked like a library in much of the competition. The advantage of going three goals might have left locals relieved but the atmosphere was surreal, with long innings played out in relative silence.
There were times, really, when it felt like a testimonial. Liverpool fans were so high on the gods that they needed binoculars to see them properly.
The Santiago Bernabéu stadium was like a library for many of Wednesday night’s return matches
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