Though there will always be a natural tendency for fans to hope their club can overcome the odds and win the match even when most see them as heavy underdogs, realistically, a positive result against the best side in Europe was always a stretch. Realistically, then, a heavy loss to Real Madrid was hardly a surprising result.
What was disappointing was the manner of the result, encapsulating so many of Liverpool's struggles this season, an inability to create quality chances in the final third and a defence that if anything is worst than last year's oft maligned unit undermining any positives. New personnel, a new focus on defensive security, and the same old results.
"It needs to be better, that's for sure," said Brendan Rodgers when asked about his side's continuing defensive struggled. "Not just the defence and the goalkeeper. As a team we need to be better, more competitive. We were disappointed last night, but also over the season. Some of the goals we've conceded have been soft, so we have to work on that."
All the focus in the media—and amongst large swaths of the fanbase—has been on £16M signing Mario Balotelli's struggles leading the line. Yet after spending £20M to bring in Brendan Rodgers' top centre half target in order to fix Liverpool's leaky, creaky backline, this year's edition is on pace to concede even more.
However one comes at it, it adds up to £36M of players who were expected to contribute straight away and instead have left Liverpool looking broken at either end of the pitch. And however one comes at it, the buck stops with the manager. Rodgers, though, insists that despite failing to live up to the expectations set by last season, Liverpool are on the right track.
"We've been a victim, perhaps, of how well we've done," he said. "Last night was disappointing for us, and we've still got a long way to go, but we've come a long way from where we were.