Real Madrid 1 - 0 Liverpool FC
Liverpool once again find themselves entering the second leg of a Champions League knockout tie three goals down against a Spanish Giant. This time we do not have the safe confines of Anfield to rely on.
The Reds proved that they could get at this Real Madrid defense last time out. However, they also proved that they were very vulnerable to their attack. Regardless, Liverpool can absolutely give Real Madrid a bloody nose in their gaff tonight, even if winning the tie is a tall order.
Jurgen is going with an attack minded lineup, starting Salah, Núñez, Jota, and Gakpo in attack. Milner and Fabinho start in the middle of the park, and the back five is as you’d expect. Let’s do this.
Salah and Núñez nearly get in early, but Darwin’s shot was saved by Courtois. Real Madrid waste no time getting back on the attack, and are perhaps lucky that their final pass misses the target. A few minutes later Alisson makes a point-blank save. And a few minutes after that, Madrid rattle the crossbar with an effort from range. This is not going to plan, so far.
Real Madrid, predictably, are doing their best to break up play and momentum with a variety of fake injuries. I’m sure the ref will add ample time to make up for it.
Liverpool slowly build their way into it as the half wears on, but other than a couple of shots from tight angles and/or from distance, Liverpool have yet to create a big chance. However, the Reds have also stopped giving away huge chances to the hosts, so that’s at least something!
It’s scoreless at the break, and it’s difficult to see how the Reds come up with 3 goals in the second half at this rate.
Liverpool continue keeping Madrid at bay (if only) while also not taking advantage with any chances that come their way. Klopp makes a change just before the hour mark, bringing Núñez and Jota off for Elliott and Bobby Firmino.
As unlucky as Liverpool were in the first leg, the Reds are living dangerously in the second and should probably already be down a goal or two. This reminds me a bit of the drab 0-0 at Anfield after we beat Porto 5-0 in their gaff. At a certain point both teams knew the tie was all but dead and buried, and they were just playing for full time.
And the hosts finally break the deadlock. Liverpool are a little unlucky with the bounce, but well...dark magic and whatnot (and it was probably deserved but also dark magic).
And then they bring on Tchouameni to rub our noses in it. Fascists really are the worst.
Deep into stoppage time there’s a penalty check for handball against Tsimikas and like. Come on. The ref actually goes to the screen and keeps the call on the field, which only seems fair.
Well, that’s over. Let’s hope we never see these fascists for a long, long time.