Marco Asensio and Alisson
The first leg of the UEFA Champions League quarter-final tie at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano ended in defeat for Liverpool as Real Madrid repeated the 2018 UCL final scoreline. Los Blancos beat The Reds 3-1 thanks to a brace from Vinicius Jr and a goal from Marco Asensio. Meanwhile, Mohamed Salah scored a crucial away goal for the visitors.
Liverpool's performance against Real Madrid seemed to replicate their performance of the 2018 UCL final as errors in defence cost them the game again. Madrid were happy to give Liverpool a greater percentage of the possession and find opportunities on the counter-attack. The game plan worked to perfection as even though Liverpool had more of the ball, they could only manage one shot on target.
However, it was the Asensio goal vs Liverpool that was particularly worrisome for The Reds. The Liverpool defence made a series of errors before Asensio chipped the ball over Alisson, leaving the Liverpool goalkeeper embarrassed. One can see Alisson's helpless reaction in the tweet below after Asensio puts the ball in the back of the net.
Goal â½ï¸April 6, 2021
MADRID ðªð¸ 2-0 LIVERPOOL ð´ó §ó ¢ó ¥ó ®ó §ó ¿
ASENSIO (36 mins’) pic.twitter.com/Aw3Xt1rs7N
A few days after the Liverpool right-back received plaudits by Jurgen Klopp and several pundits, Trent Alexander-Arnold had another dismal performance in defence against Real Madrid. Trent's performances may in fact suggest that England manager Gareth Southgate made the right decision when he did not include the right-back in the England squad for the World Cup European qualifiers. In the same video above, Trent can be seen almost assisting Asensio for the second goal after he attempted a poor header back to Alisson.
As a result of the 3-1 defeat to Real Madrid, Liverpool have it all to do in the second leg at Anfield if they are to proceed to the UEFA Champions League semi-finals. The Reds have shown that they can turn seemingly impossible ties around at Anfield as they did against Barcelona in the UCL semi-finals of 2018-19. Liverpool lost the first leg to Barcelona 3-0 but made a comeback of dreams in the second leg as they defeated Barcelona 4-0 at Anfield.
However, a similar scenario taking place this season seems unlikely considering Liverpool's recent performances at Anfield. The Reds have had the worst home record since 1923 as they have lost six of their last seven games (1W) in all competitions at Anfield. If that is anything to go by it seems Real Madrid will qualify for the UCL semi-finals with ease.