Benzema bags at the Bernabeu to send Liverpool out

Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool faced a trip to the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday night, as they sought to recover from the devastating loss that they suffered in the first leg. Despite going 2-0 up within the first fifteen minutes at Anfield, Liverpool then conceded five unanswered goals – giving them a mountain to climb in Madrid.

RMA: Courtois; Nacho, Rudiger, Militao, Carvajal; Kroos, Camavinga, Modric; Vinicius Jr, Benzema, Valverde

LIV: Alisson; Robertson, Van Dijk, Konate, Alexander-Arnold; Fabinho, Milner; Jota, Gakpo, Salah; Nuñez

Liverpool’s desperation to win in Madrid should have lead to an almost relentless wave of attacks – but despite an early wasted chance for Darwin Nuñez, it was Real Madrid that began to dominate. Toni Kroos’ long-range effort was saved well by Alisson shortly before Karim Benzema broke free following a Liverpool corner, but the Frenchman’s poor touch allowed the visitors to regain possession and recover.

Los Blancos should have taken the lead following a corner that was headed back across the face of goal by Antonio Rudiger, but a great save from Alisson denied Vinicius Jr the opener.

Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images

A brilliant chance for Liverpool was wasted by Diogo Jota, as the Portuguese winger sliced his volley wide after Salah’s ball into the box – and the Reds found themselves under pressure soon after, as Eduardo Camavinga’s long-range effort ricocheted off the crossbar. Madrid’s midfield certainly looked to be the biggest threat, and Luka Modric wanted in on the action – but his strike sailed an inch or two over the bar.

Cutting in from the left flank, Darwin Nuñez sent a curling effort towards the far post – Thibaut Courtois was able to parry it behind for a corner, though that came to nothing for Jurgen Klopp’s side. They’d have another chance soon after though, as Cody Gakpo forced another save from Courtois with a strike from a tight angle, but the Belgian was able to deny the youngster – and the sides headed into half-time level. That was far from good enough for the visitors though, who would need three goals in the second half if they were to stand any chance of progressing.

Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images

Real Madrid still seemed the dominant side after the interval, with chances falling to Camavinga and Vinicius early on – with both players attempting to find Benzema, though Liverpool’s defence were able to clear the danger in both cases.

Luka Modric attempted to set up Federico Valverde at the far post, working his way past Trent Alexander-Arnold before firing a cross towards the Uruguayan – but his header was sent over the bar, much to the relief of Alisson.

Karim Benzema should have done better after receiving the ball from Vinicius Jr inside the box, but his strike blazed over the crossbar. The Frenchman redeemed himself soon after though, as he pounced on a scuffed shot from Vinicius, firing home into an empty net to send los Blancos 6-2 up on aggregate with just over ten minutes left to play.

Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images

A late penalty shout came to nothing for the hosts, but that wouldn’t matter all too much. They cruise through to the quarterfinals, and there’s plenty to consider for Jurgen Klopp’s side who never really looked like recovering from that first-leg loss.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *