Real Madrid have progressed to the semi-finals of the Champions League 2021 courtesy of a 3-1 aggregate win over Liverpool in the quarter finals. The second leg finished scoreless between the two sides in Anfield.
Real Madrid endured Liverpool’s attacks not only on the pitch but also off it as Liverpool supporters attacked their team bus before the start of the match. Real will now face Chelsea in the semi-finals of the European competition.
Liverpool had a brilliant start to the game and could have scored as early as in the 2nd minute. Mane received a ball played over the top and squared it for Salah who found himself one on one with the keeper. The Egyptian failed to score and his effort was smothered away by Courtois.
Liverpool dominated proceedings but failed to provide the final pass for their attacking trio of Mane, Salah and Firmino. Milner was his usual self as he looked to stifle Kroos and Modric’s time on the ball whenever the Spanish side held possession.
Milner found himself in a bit of space outside the area and curled in a shot at the top corner and Courtois was equal to the task of keeping it out. Wjnaldum missed another chance to score from inside the penalty box and he skied his shot as Militao and Nacho failed to clear the ball in the D-box.
Casemiro earned himself a reckless yellow card after having been fouled himself a few minutes back. The Brazilian lunged into Milner as he whisked the ball past him near the Liverpool bench. Robertson also received a yellow for his immediate protest following Casemiro’s foul on the Englishman.
Salah skied another opportunity for Liverpool as Real Madrid sat back and defended in numbers looking to protect their 2 goal advantage. Real defended resolutely and stuck to their game-plan, where even Vinicius and Asensio tracked back to help in defence.
Liverpool despite having 4-5 chances in the first half failed to capitalise on them and came out in a similar fashion in the second half. They attacked the Madrid backline from the wings to exploit the inexperience of Mendy and Valverde, who played as a make shift right-back for the match.
Jurgen Klopp introduced Jota and Thiago at the hour mark as ‘The Reds’ looked to get the all important opening goal. However, Militao and Nacho were defended heroically as Casemiro sat just in front of the 2 centre-backs protecting them from any danger.
Salah was once again in the thick of action when a ball fell onto him inside the penalty box but the forward dwelled on the ball too much and his shot was blocked off by Eder Militao. Although he was involved in Liverpool’s attacks, his finishing let him down and Jurgen Klopp’s side could have been ahead if not for those misses.
Zidane brought off Kroos and Vinicius who looked tired and replaced them with Odriozola and Rodrygo. Odriozola shifted into right-back as Valverde took Kroos’ role in midfield. Real defended with almost 9 men behind the ball at times and Liverpool failed to find a way through them.
Liverpool’s last chance to worry Real was denied by Courtois, who smothered Salah’s attempt to chip him from the corner of the six-yard box. Salah was through cleverly by Thiago, who otherwise had done very little since coming on for Milner.
Real Madrid’s inexperienced back four was impeccable throughout the match and were up to the task at hand and kept Liverpool’s dangerous attacking trio at bay. Courtois was excellent when called upon and remained very calm while playing out from the back as well.
Madrid will now take on Chelsea in the semi-finals of the Champions League. The first leg is scheduled to take place on 27th April. For Liverpool their focus would solely turn to the Premier league where they look to win a place in the Top-4 to qualify for the Champions League next season.