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Benzema already eyeing sixth Champions League crown as Real Madrid demolish Liverpool at Anfield

Real Madrid produced a quite astonishing comeback as they ran out 5-2 winners on a memorable Champions League night at Anfield.

Real Madrid had got the better of Liverpool last May when the two met in the Champions League final, though this meeting couldn’t have been much more different than that close encounter in Paris.

 

Liverpool have been struggling for form and consistency all season, though got off to the most perfect start. After a lively opening few minutes, a Mohamed Salah delivery from the right picked out the run of Darwin Núñez, who produced a sensational improvised finish to steer the ball past Thibaut Courtois.

Having bagged the man of the match award in the final in Paris last May, Thibaut Courtois went from hero to villain after making an absolute howler as he gifted Liverpool a second, the Belgian controlling a backpass with his chest, before slipping and allowing Mohamed Salah to nip in and have a tap home from six yards.

Both sides looked shaky at the back, and in the 21st minute, Real Madrid started their comeback. Vinicius Jr had netted the only goal of the game to hand Real Madrid their 14th crown in the Paris finale, and the Brazilian showed some tidy interplay around the edge of the Liverpool box, before whipping a fine effort past Alisson to bring the visitors back into the tie.

There would however be another goalkeeping howler as Real Madrid leveled the scores. Federico Valverde tried to release Vinicius down the left, only for Joe Gomez to deal with the ball and play it back towards Alisson. The Liverpool number one tried to play it back to Gomez, only for the Brazilian to play his pass against his compatriot Vinicius before the ball looped up and dropped into an empty net.

After what was a pretty mental first-half, Liverpool then conceded a cheap free-kick in the opening 60 seconds of the second half as Joe Gomez brought down the lively Vinicius. Veteran midfielder Luka Modric absolutely fizzed in the resulting delivery, with Eder Militao being given the freedom of the penalty area before dispatching an absolute bullet header into the back of the net.

Having been two up after 15 minutes, Liverpool all of a sudden found themselves trailing 4-2 before the hour mark. Karim Benzema played a give-and-go with Rodrygo on the edge of the Reds’ penalty area to get past Fabinho, before the Frenchman’s effort took a wicked deflection off Joe Gomez to leave Alisson with no chance.

Defensively, Liverpool were all over the place at times, and having bullied Fabinho off the ball in midfield, Luka Modric drove his side up field, before the ball eventually came to Benzema who coolly sat Alisson down and slotted home his second of the evening with 23 minutes still to play.

It was the first time that Liverpool have ever conceded five in a Champions League clash, leaving the Premier League side with the daunting task of needing to score four in the Bernabeu in three weeks time.

Speaking after the game, two-goal hero Karim Benzema praised Real Madrid’s personality to come from two goals down, before stating that Los Blancos are eyeing a 15th title, which would be Benzema’s sixth.

“We played with personality, we produced goals – we want this Champions League again,” said the Frenchman. “And that produced a match which was lovely to play in and for those who were watching.

“We started a little poorly. We knew that the Anfield fans were going to put us under pressure, but after those first 15 minutes, we saw the true Real Madrid.

“Football at this level is hard. They started better than us but this was a big game and we were ready.

“When you know it’s a vital game and you’re 2-0 down you want more. A goal can change any game and that’s what happened from Vinicius Junior today.

“I want to thank our fans here, they were our 12th man all night. We’ll need them again in the second leg and we’ll need to produce a great match in the Bernabeu.”

Read – Five of the best players to play for Liverpool and Real Madrid

Read Also – Premier League awards: Brilliant Bruno, Sumptuous Salah, Nick’s nightmare,

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