Real Madrid are already in the quarter-finals of the Champions League after a game played with great skill against a Liverpool team that did not enter the knockout stage, held back by the 2-5 first leg at Anfield. The Reds needed little less than a sporting miracle, a feat never seen before, but Madrid did not give many concessions last night. He brought out his strongest version, that of the Champions League. He was solid in defense and defended most of the time with the ball. In fact, it was almost always Madrid who came closest to the goal. They won with a goal from Benzema in the final minutes, a deserved victory.
Jürgen Klopp played it as expected by putting four strikers in the eleven: Salah, Darwin Núñez, Jota and Gakpo. With a center of the field supported by Milner and Fabinho, he wanted a game to break and tear, with almost no transitions, looking to start Madrid with balls on the backs of the sides, supposedly the weakest in the defense. But the goal is not always a matter of strikers, and even less if there is no game to provide them.
The eleventh was as expected, with Camavinga as the fourth midfielder to the detriment of Tchouaméni, who did not finish curdling. Camavinga's dynamism now makes him always play; on this occasion, accompanying the veterans Kroos and Modric. The game of the German, who was in charge of driving the tempo of the game, was of great merit.
Liverpool went on the attack from the opening whistle, but Madrid contained it without breaking down. He advanced the line in midfield and thanks to his superiority in this area he played very comfortably in the first half hour, in which he found spaces to attack.
Ancelotti's were close to the goal. Benzema did not get there on a couple of occasions by very little. Camavinga sent a ball over the crossbar from afar when a goal was already being sung.
Liverpool reacted especially after the first half hour. Before that he had only had a shot from Jota taken by Courtois after a back pass from Carvajal and a slip from Rüdiger. But the desperation of seeing the minutes go by and not scoring took him to the Madrid area. He had several shots to get ahead: a couple from Gakpo and especially one from Darwin Núñez, to which Courtois responded with one of those trademark stops that have given Madrid so many triumphs.
The whites arrived at the break with zero to zero and the feeling of having already done the most important part of the job. The second half began without a change of players and with a similar tonic, a very warrior Liverpool and a Madrid looking for long possessions to cool the game.
Madrid was able to score in the 53rd in Valverde's hand to hand with Alisson in which the Brazilian goalkeeper prevailed. He then changed Klopp to two of his forwards. He took off Darwin and Jota and brought on Firmino, who has played much less this year, and youngster Elliott.
Benzema missed the goal with a very high shot after a great play by Vinícius, focused on playing and not getting angry with the referee or his markers.
The match entered the last quarter of an hour with Liverpool completely evicted, already unable to create a scoring opportunity, without faith or resources. And when Madrid sees blood in its favorite competition, it is not one to waste the opportunity. In the 78th minute he finally found his goal with an assist from Vinícius from the floor and a shot from Benzema. The match ended amid shouts of "Barcelona, corruption".