Real Madrid vs Liverpool: Final result, re-scoring and Champions League match highlights

A different way, the same result, and at least enough to leave Jurgen Klopp wondering what is going on here. Real Madrid ended Liverpool’s chances of winning the Champions League for the third season in a row. On this occasion, however, the admiration was not how you beat them but how you scored against them. Liverpool couldn’t come close to coming back as they struggled to get going, leaving Karim Benzema to pick them off 1-0 making it 6-2 on aggregate.

Much of that was down to an injury crisis in midfield, which made it a bad – or perhaps inevitable – night for Real Madrid to show just how strong they are in that area. Far from being a team that may be aging, in transition or just in danger, the European champions appear to be a more complete team than last season. A lot of that may have to do with the fact that they can call themselves European Champions. It is as if he gave young stars like Vinicius Jr. and Eduardo Camavinga the conviction to go to another level, while Luka Modric and Benzema remained at the level of last season.

That makes them a pretty formidable side, and one that can’t be taken as a snooty find in all those twists and turns of history on the way to Paris. They may be the best in the competition, if it is not so strange for the team that holds the trophy.

Liverpool, by contrast, don’t quite come apart at the seams, but a season of injuries, issues, chaos and unbridled unpredictability eventually came to a draw on this kind of level. It was asking too much to beat it all against an opponent like this, and means Klopp is now left to focus solely on trying to get back to that level next season. All they have left in the campaign is to race for the top four spots.

This could work in their favour, as this is an aspect that currently does not seem to lead to twice-weekly highs. They never go here, though that’s not really due to any failure of planning or quality.

If the key to this comeback was an early storm, Liverpool left it closed, but that was partly because their midfield was necessarily so open. Klopp only had two regular starters in the area, one of whom was a 37-year-old who had recently been used as an assistant right-back. Real Madrid didn’t win the midfield battle so much as they were just a team with a real midfield – and a solid one at that.

Liverpool were overtaken in midfield and eventually paid the price with a Benzema goal


It all mattered more, because these two clubs are currently seen as Judd Bellingham’s favorites. There was a more obvious vacancy. As it was, all of Madrid’s midfield stars marched through it to pick up passes and take penalties from wherever they wished. Amidst Toni Kroos putting several attacking moves on the move, Camavinga hit the crossbar and Modric volleyed a half-volley completely over it.

Vinicius constantly looked at the breaking edge, while Benzema was on the lookout for every opportunity. It was an impressive gamble given Madrid were in the lead, but that was kind of the point. They were so comfortable in this progression that they could go out and play and assert themselves.

It was up to Liverpool to make them uncomfortable. They pulled it off in moments, but it was always a stretch, always like it was going to take too much. Hence their best chances are long shots or half chances, like when Andy Robertson cut in from the left or Cody Gakbo tried to shoot from distance.

The other party emphasized the difference. Alisson was forced into a number of great saves, particularly from Benzema and Vinicius, while almost every defender had to put up at least one big block. Trent Alexander-Arnold saved what appeared to be a goal set for Benzema.

It was the kind of desperate challenge that would have made you think there was a sense of destiny about the game, that something big was going to happen… except there were still three goals in it.

Something really big happened in the first leg.

There was one suggestion, a moment in hindsight, of a quick Liverpool shot in the penalty area… only for no one to shoot. At the other end, Benzema showed them how it was done.

In other words, the usual ending.

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