Real Madrid defeats Liverpool 5-2 in the first leg of the Champions League last 16.

Real Madrid defeats Liverpool 5-2 in the first leg of the Champions League last 16.

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Real Madrid defeats Liverpool 5-2

Inflicting additional Champions League anguish on Liverpool, Vinicius Junior and Karim Benzema rallied Real Madrid to a surprising 5-2 victory at Anfield.

After 14 minutes into Tuesday’s thrilling first leg of the round of-16 match, the Reds had a two-goal lead thanks to Darwin Nunez’s exquisite flick and Mohamed Salah’s goal after a mistake by Thibaut Courtois.

That turned out to be a false dawn as the champions came roaring back in the replay of last year’s final. Vinicius pulled one back with a beautiful finish before Alisson made a costly error that led to him scoring again in an exciting first half.

Early in the second half, Eder Militao gave Real Madrid the lead, but Benzema’s two goals gave Carlo Ancelotti’s brutal team a commanding lead to carry back to the Spanish capital for the second leg on March 15.

When Nunez met Salah’s whipping ball with an incredible right-foot flick that flashed past Courtois in the fourth minute, the hosts took the lead.

A back pass was controlled by Courtois on his chest ten minutes later, and as the ball bounced off his leg, it gave Salah an easy opportunity to double Liverpool’s lead.

Vinicius scored in the 21st minute to cut Madrid’s deficit in half. He displayed wonderful close control in the area before bending a magnificent right-foot finish into the bottom corner. Madrid appeared as though they had no idea what had hit them.

Nine minutes before halftime, the winger was once more dancing in front of The Kop as Alisson’s awful ball to his Brazil teammate looped into the goal.

A thrilling first half in which Madrid lost David Alaba to injury could have seen them take the lead had Andy Robertson not displayed excellent awareness to stop Rodrygo from scoring with a tap-in.

Yet two minutes into the second half, an unmarked Militao took advantage of shoddy defending to head home the crucial Luka Modric free-kick, giving Los Blancos the lead.

A night that had been going well for Liverpool then took a turn for the worse when Benzema’s shot struck Joe Gomez and gave an unprepared Alisson little chance.


At 67 minutes, Modric and Vinicius combined before Benzema sat Alisson down and showed excellent calm to finish with his left foot. This allowed Liverpool to be exposed once more.


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