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Liverpool 0, Real Madrid 3: First Thoughts

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Liverpool tried in vain against superior opponents.

Alex Livesey

liverpool blog fc sbn

Liverpool 0
Real Madrid 3 Ronaldo 23', Benzema 30', 41'

  • Anfield was rocking with the visit of the competition's glamorous holders where Joe Allen, Philippe Coutinho, and Alberto Moreno returned to the starting eleven. The early tempo in the game was impressive as the home side displayed an intensity in the opening fifteen minutes that was missing elsewhere.

  • The first twenty minutes is what Liverpool fans have wanted to see since the convincing away victory at Tottenham Hotspur. Cristiano Ronaldo had other ideas as he gave the Spanish side the lead on 23 minutes after a sumptuous one-two with Rodriguez. The finish was delicious, Real Madrid increased the pressure on Liverpool, and it was two nil seven minutes later. Karim Benzema put a trajectory on his header that was too much for Mignolet to handle. Three nil after a mess in defence after another set-piece with Benzema gratefully collecting his second goal.

  • Liverpool could have gone into half-time 2 goals down instead of three after Philippe Coutinho hit the bar with a rasping long-range drive. Mario Balotelli didn't come out for the second half after being substituted for Adam Lallana and questions surrounded the Italian's decision to swap shirt's with Pepe. Not Cristiano Ronaldo but Pepe. Mario Balotelli didn't do too badly but was working down Liverpool's right flank an awful lot jwith some appearances centrally just like a forward would who would probably need a strike partner.

  • Liverpool started the second half with some promise but Carlo Ancelotti's side were in situations to increase an already comfortable lead on the counter attack. Combined with Real's next opponents and sizeable lead, it was natural to see that sharpness from the visitors blunted somewhat. Liverpool continued to try to find a goal, leaving spaces in midfield and defence for opposing players to exploit but lacked the necessary decision making, movement, and combination play when approaching or entering Real Madrid's area.

  • Joe Allen nearly scored. Raheem Sterling continued to take the game somewhat to Real Madrid. Philippe Coutinho turned in another promising showing. Jordan Henderson continues to run for Steven Gerrard. Isco was a joy. Ronaldo was always dangerous. Marcelo displayed what a senior attacking, dynamic fullback looks like. Liverpool's defence continues to make silly errors but the effort was there. The players didn't hide and in the second half, as Real relaxed a lot more, Liverpool didn't use that as an excuse to wilt with the passing minutes.

  • The Champions League visited Anfield and as witnessed this week, good sides can get hammered at home.

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We'll be back shortly to take an in-depth look at everything that happened in today's game with the full recap. Until then, let us know your take on the ups and downs of the match in the comments, and if you haven't already, join the community on the Liverpool Offside, where we'll have full coverage and lively in-game discussion for every match this season.