Liverpool are beaten 3-1 away from home against Real Madrid in the first leg of the Champions League Quarter-final
A Lot To Learn
There was a lot of hype surrounding this fixture in the weeks building up to it and rightly so considering the history of these two teams in the Champions League and it was bound to be a good game of football but I wasn’t expecting that.
The Arsenal game at the weekend felt like major step forward in our form and maybe yet another turning point for our season in the fight for top four and ahead of a big European night but we looked like a different team this evening. Sloppy in our passes, not making the right decisions, and just looking very nervous in possession overall. I’m all for showing your opposition some respect but you can’t allow players like Luka Modric and Toni Kroos time in midfield.
Vinicius Junior had a great game and got two goals to show for it, quick and clinical in his finishing and he could have had more as could a few players. Casemiro played very well in the number six tonight also which topped off a great midfield display for Madrid.
Nat Phillips and Ozan Kabak went into this game probably on a high with four clean sheets in four starts together but up against the world’s best in Karim Benzema, Vinicius Junior, and Marco Asensio proved that they still have a lot to learn. They’re young, inexperienced center-backs who are doing the absolute best they can and I praised them before the game because of their consistency lately. it was bound to break at some point and they showed positive moments this evening of good defensive work, let’s hope Kabak’s change was a tactical one rather than any type of injury for him.
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The Front Three
Sadio Mane was the big one for me tonight in our forward line, his form lately has seriously dipped and he doesn’t look half of the player he has been in previous seasons and tonight was no different. Everything about him just seems off, his passing, his decision making and sometimes he doesn’t even look like he wants to run at a defender. He should have been giving Lucas Vasquez a torrid time this evening but that wasn’t the case.
Diogo Jota didn’t really get a sniff all game, his best chance was shortly after our goal when he couldn’t quite it out of his feet to shoot in the box but managed to nick it towards Mane in the area. Madrid definitely saw him as a threat before this game and marked him very well.
Mo Salah added another goal to his season’s tally but again the Madrid defence stuck tight to him and didn’t allow him enough time to create many opportunities for himself.
Aston Villa Up Next
Back to Premier League action on Saturday with a 3 pm kick-off against Aston Villa at Anfield. I expect a few changes of personnel with the second leg against Madrid next Wednesday and he’ll want fresh legs for that match with a lot of work to do to get ourselves into the semi-finals.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!
Lauren – @Lauren_Black9