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Real Madrid 3–1 Liverpool

A disastrous first half from Liverpool saw them come away from their Champions League quarter final first leg 3-1 behind against Real Madrid.

Trent Alexander-Arnold, in the spotlight after his England omission, made the most glaring of a series of errors when his 36th minute attempt to cushion a header back to his keeper only succeeded in finding Marco Asensio, who lifted the ball over Alisson and tapped in for 2-0.

A badly needed improvement in the second half, and a potentially crucial away goal from Mohamed Salah, will be leaving Liverpool thankful they are still in the tie at all.

Real, in control from the start, went ahead in the 27th minute when Toni Kroos sent a perfect ball from deep high between Nat Phillips and Alexander-Arnold.

Vinicius controlled superbly on his chest and finished past the mustachioed Alisson.

After Alexander-Arnold’s error Liverpool were in danger of completely imploding for the remainder of the half, with Kabak making an error of his own that went unpunished.

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The belated second-half response arrived, and the away-goal came in the 51st minute when a driving run from captain Gini Wijnaldum found Diogo Jota.

His shot was deflected through to Mohamed Salah who finished via Thibaut Courtois and the bar.

The old Liverpool briefly materialised, pressing and threatening, before Vinicius scored his second from nowhere in the 65th minute.

Luka Modric was given too much space to feed the Brazilian whose quick finish between the legs of Phillips found the net despite a strong contact from Alisson.

Liverpool are still alive but require massive improvement at Anfield.

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July 2024