Liverpool will have to produce another Champions League knockout stage comeback against Spanish giants after the English Premier League side lost 3-1 to Real Madrid in Tuesday’s Champions League quarter-final clash at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium in Madrid.
Jurgen Klopp’s team famously came from 3-0 down to beat Barcelona in the semi-final on their way to winning a sixth European Cup two years ago and the task in the last-eight second leg at home is likely to be just as difficult.
With no fans inside Anfield to produce that special European atmosphere and a team performing at a significantly lower level than in 2019, even an away goal given to them by Egyptian star, Mohamed Salah may not be of much help in the fortnight.
Talk of revenge for their 2018 final defeat to Real had been banished pre-match but in truth, they hardly came close to laying a glove on the 13-time champions, for whom Vinicius Junior scored twice either side of one from Marco Asensio.
Liverpool’s side had five survivors from that meeting in Kyiv three years ago – Andy Robertson, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Georginio Wijnaldum, Sadio Mane, and Mohamed Salah – while Madrid had four.
The 2014 second-string line-up Brendan Rodgers fielded in a group-stage match in Madrid against Real, when he famously dropped Steven Gerrard in what turned out to be his final season at the club, seemed a distant memory.
The hosts were missing both first-choice centre-backs in Sergio Ramos, out injured, and Raphael Varane, who returned a positive COVID-19 test on the day of the game, but that barely mattered as Liverpool were so poor they were not tested.