TOPSHOT – Actual Madrid’s Brazilian ahead Vinicius Junior celebrates after scoring a aim throughout the UEFA Champions League first leg quarter-final soccer match between Actual Madrid and Liverpool on the Alfredo di Stefano stadium in Valdebebas within the outskirts of Madrid on April 6, 2021. (Picture by GABRIEL BOUYS / AFP)
Vinicius Junior scored twice as Actual Madrid made Liverpool pay for extra defensive errors on Tuesday, a 3-1 victory placing them in sight of the Champions League semi-finals.
Vinicius and Marco Asensio each profited within the first half after darting behind Liverpool’s makeshift back-line earlier than a easy transfer from a throw-in gave Vinicius a easy end within the second.
Mohamed Salah’s strike shortly after the interval briefly made it a contest at Valdebebas, with an away aim actually a major comfort for Liverpool to take into the second leg at Anfield subsequent week.
However with out followers and with a depressing latest document at dwelling, Jurgen Klopp will know his aspect have all of it to do to keep away from his staff’s season changing into solely about scraping into the Premier League’s high 4.
“We didn’t play effectively sufficient, that’s my first concern,” mentioned Klopp. “We didn’t should win tonight, however the excellent news is that there’s one other match.
“We’re going to combat, 3-1 shouldn’t be good, however we’ve an opportunity.”
Besides for 2 spells after half-time and on the end, when their opponents had been holding on to what they’d, Liverpool was overpowered by Actual Madrid, whose solely disappointment may be lacking out on a clearer margin forward of the return in eight days’ time.
Earlier than then, they go up in opposition to Barcelona on Saturday and this end result, their fifth consecutive victory, needs to be one other large enhance to morale going into what can be a vital fixture in La Liga’s title race.
“Nothing is shut, nothing is received,” Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane mentioned. “We’re alive in two competitions and we are going to hold preventing. We’ll begin the second leg prefer it’s 0-0 as a result of it will likely be one other very troublesome sport.”
Madrid was with out Sergio Ramos, who all through was bellowing at his staff from the stands, whereas Raphael Varane testing constructive for Covid-19 on Tuesday morning meant each side had been fielding patched-up again fours.
The final time these two golf equipment met, Ramos dislocated Salah’s shoulder and Madrid went on to win their thirteenth European Cup however Klopp insisted there was no want for revenge within the minds of his gamers.
They might have executed with some further fireplace as a result of Madrid was superior within the first half, extra managed in possession and extra aggressive out of it. Liverpool appeared caught between making an attempt to match Madrid’s depth and slowing the sport down to realize a foothold.
Kroos runs the present
Ultimately, they did neither, because the openings got here early. Luka Modric needed a penalty after being clipped simply outdoors the field and Trent Alexander-Arnold was overwhelmed too simply by Ferland Mendy, whose cross was headed simply extensive by Vinicius.
The wonderful Toni Kroos was given area on the base of midfield to dictate the tempo and it was a pair of arrowed balls ahead from the German that put Madrid in cost.
The primary he fired between Alexander-Arnold and Nat Phillips for the scampering Vinicius, who did brilliantly to chest the ball past his opponents and shoot low into the Liverpool web.
Seven minutes later, Kroos did it once more, this time with assistance from a badly misguided Alexander-Arnold header, finding Asensio, who lifted over Alisson Becker to go away himself with an open web.
A full stadium would have despatched a surge of momentum via Madrid however there was nonetheless a simmering buzz, as their substitutes had been cheering louder and the gamers pressed faster and handed tougher.
Liverpool was holding on for half-time however the raging Klopp couldn’t wait, hauling off Naby Keita with three minutes left and sending on Thiago Alcantara in his place.
The break briefly had an impact, Liverpool pulling a aim again 5 minutes after as Georginio Wijnaldum tore ahead and Diogo Jota’s shot deflected kindly into the trail of Salah, who poked in off the crossbar.
For some time, the sport was within the stability. Kroos shot over and Sadio Mane virtually completed off a break down the left. Asensio ought to have completed for Madrid however opted to cross and it was blocked.
One more Madrid probability was not distant, as Liverpool didn’t react to a throw-in down the best and Modric was allowed to float inside, teeing up Vinicius to sidefoot in a second.
Liverpool pushed for an additional away aim within the last minutes however Madrid was not troubled. It was Spanish cheers that may very well be heard when the whistle blew.
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