Champions League – Liverpool Vs Real Madrid 0 – 3
Cristiano Ronaldo equalled Raul’s record of 71 Champions League goals as Real Madrid blew Liverpool away in a blistering first half. Before kick-off Anfield was building for a historic European night, the bigscreens relieved Liverpool’s last encounter with Real Madrid which they won 4-0.
After a good start it seemed as though the red’s might be able to get something out of the game. Brendan Rodger’s high pressing and high tempo game was working well. But the B’allon D’or winner opened the scoring after23 minutes with a fantastic opener. Ronaldo played a quick one-two before World Cup golden boot winner James Rodriguez chipped the ball over the Liverpool defence which Ronaldo superbly hit on the half volley from 15 yards to beat Mignolet.
Karim Benzema scored a brace soon afterwards as Madrid piled on the pressure but it was Liverpool’s sloppy defending which allowed the Frenchman to score. The first was a wonderfully looped header from Toni Kroos’ cross and his second was a close range finish after Liverpool failed to clear from a corner.
It was the first time Liverpool had been 3-0 down at home on a Champions League night. Memories of Istanbul came flooding back especially considering it was Carlo Ancelotti in the dugout once more.
The idea of a comeback seemed somewhat short lived, however, as Balotelli was seen exchanging shirts at half time with Pepe. Rodger’s had described the 16 million pound Italian as a big game changer, but once again he seemed to flounder around the pitch and seemed disinterested.
In contrast to the performance of Mario Balotelli was that of Ronaldo who showed flashes of brilliance and was applauded by the Liverpool fans when substituted, who appreciated seeing a real world star in a competition they haven’t featured in for five years.
As Balotelli was substituted at half time and booed off, Adam Lallana came on and played much better. Rodger’s in his post match interview said they were playing for pride. Though there was much optimism prior to the game, in truth, Liverpool could not get anywhere near the fluidity of Madrid’s attacking players.
This performance showed without the injured Daniel Sturridge and with Luis Suarez gone to Barcelona the red’s look a shadow of the team that came so close to winning the Premier League. This defeat now leaves Liverpool third in Group B, with the same amount of points as both Ludogorets and Basel. Madrid look favourites to win the group, but Liverpool will have to play a lot better if they are to reach the knock out rounds.