Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool put on a subpar performance on Tuesday night, netting Real Madrid an easy 3:1 victory in the first leg. Vinícius Júnior scored a double, with Marco Asensio being the second scorer for Real Madrid. Mohamed Salah’s goal is the string of hope Liverpool hangs on for the return game.
Yesterday’s match brought memories of the Championship League final from 2018. This is something Klopp and his team surely wanted to avoid, as Liverpool infamously lost that match 3 to 1 as a result of a bad defence. After Liverpool’s convincing Premier League victory against Arsenal, their fans bet on and hoped for a similar performance against the Spaniards. Unfortunately for the Reds, history repeated itself, and the match ended with the same score as three years ago. The difference is that Liverpool will have another chance in the second leg, even though it’s a bit of a long shot.
Real Madrid’s dominance was most noticeable in the first half. After a pinpoint long pass from Toni Kroos, Vinícius Júnior put the ball in the lower-left corner for 1:0 in the 27th minute. Marco Asensio doubled the lead when Trent Alexander-Arnold’s bad call left the goal wide open for the Spanish player.
The second half started off promising for Liverpool, with Salah scoring just 6 minutes in. Although Klopp’s team’s game improved after half-time, the hopes were dashed when Júnior scored again less than 15 minutes later. While the final score points to a one-sided game, the match was engaging throughout, with 23 shots taken in total. Liverpool only had one shot on target, though, from which they scored.
The VAR team was also busy, with several borderline situations that couldn’t be determined with certainty by the human referees.
Jürgen Klopp is understandably unhappy with Liverpool’s showing, stating they made it ‘too easy’ for Real Madrid. In a statement to BT Sport, he said: “First and foremost I don’t think we deserved to win tonight, we didn’t play good enough, and that is my first concern. We just didn’t play good enough football to cause Real Madrid more problems. We made it too easy for them”. What’s left for the English team is to bet on a strong performance in the second leg, when they’ll be the home team.