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Real Madrid defeated Liverpool in the Champions League quarterfinals (1st leg).

Real Madrid 3-1 Liverpool: Match analysis

Real Madrid emerged victorious against Liverpool in the first leg of the Champions League quarterfinals. Both the sides faced each other with injury-ridden squads, but Zinedine Zidane’s side were on top of their game and managed to get the better of the current English champions.

The deadlock was broken by Real Madrid in the 27th minute as Toni Kroos delivered an exquisite long pass to Vinicius Jr. and he put the ball inside the net. The Spanish champions continued to dominate Liverpool in the first half. Things turned from bad to worse for Jurgen Klopp’s side as Trent Alexander-Arnold made a defensive blunder and Marco Asensio managed to capitalise on it in the 36th minute. Liverpool ended the first half with zero shots.

Klopp’s side improved to a certain extent in the second half. In-form Mohamed Salah pulled one back for Liverpool in the 51st minute. However, Liverpool still failed to outplay the men in white despite improving their game. Real Madrid increased their lead back to 2 goals as Vinicius Jr. scored his second goal with a great one-touch finish.


Real Madrid fielded the 4-3-3 formation with Eder Militao and Nacho starting as centre-backs, filling the gaps caused by an injured Sergio Ramos and a COVID-19 positive Raphael Varane. Casemiro, Toni Kroos and Luka Modric continued to feature in a midfield trio. The front 3 comprised Marco Asensio, Vinicius Jr. and Karim Benzema.

Liverpool also played their usual 4-3-3 formation with the centre-back pairing of Nathaniel Phillips and Ozan Kabak.Thiago was replaced by Naby Keita, and the in-form Mohamed Salah and Diogo Jota featured in a front 3 alongside Sadio Mane.

Madrid’s midfield pulling the strings

Real Madrid’s midfield was extremely dominant yesterday and played Liverpool off the park, especially in the first half. Toni Kroos played like a true midfield maestro, assisting the first goal scored by Vinicius Jr. The German international had a passing accuracy of 91% and created 4 chances, more than any other player on the pitch.

Luka Modric contributed as well, assisting Vinicius Jr’s second goal having a passing accuracy of 84%. Casemiro made some decent defensive contributions including 4 tackles and 9 recoveries.

Liverpool’s defence costing them

Liverpool have already been struggling defensively this season, notably because of Virgil van Dijk’s long-term injury. Last night summed up their defensive problems. Trent Alexander-Arnold made a horrible mistake which led to Real Madrid’s second goal. The English right-back made a very risky move by trying to head the ball back to Alisson, but he ended up giving it away to Marco Asensio who managed capitalise on the gifted opportunity.

Alisson was partly responsible for the third goal. The Brazilian goalkeeper should have done much better to save the first-time finish by Vinicius Jr. He managed to get his hand to the ball, but he only palmed it into the net.

An impressive display from Real Madrid against all odds

Before the game, not many football fans were expecting Real Madrid to grab a victory, especially considering their injury crisis. But Zinedine Zidane’s side proved everyone wrong and pulled off a great performance.

Eder Militao and Nacho deserve a lot of credit for turning up under pressure in the absence of Varane and Sergio Ramos. Both of them defended very well yesterday and gave Liverpool attackers a tough time. The midfielders were there for the team when needed the most, and delivered a perfect performance. The offence did what was expected from them and were clinical in front of goal.

It was a great all-round performance by Los Blancos and if they approach the upcoming El Clasico and the second leg with the similar mentality, they can definitely do themselves the world of good.