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Real Madrid 3-1 Liverpool: 5 hits and flops as Vinicius Junior stars for Los Blancos | UEFA Champions League 2020-21

Real Madrid take a commanding lead in their quarter-final tie against Liverpool.
Real Madrid take a commanding lead in their quarter-final tie against Liverpool.
Sachin Bhat
ANALYST
Modified 07 Apr 2021
Top 5 / Top 10

Real Madrid have taken a giant stride towards the semi-finals of the 2020-21 Champions League after comprehensively beating Liverpool 3-1 at the Alfredo Di Stéfano Stadium in the first leg of their quarter-final clash.

Vinicius Junior struck twice either side of a goal from Marco Asensio as Mohamed Salah's effort was completely eclipsed by a limp display from Liverpool.

The reigning Premier League champions produced a shoddy defensive display in Madrid. With Real Madrid in cruise control for most of the match, Jurgen Klopp's side struggled to create many clear-cut chances. But Salah's second-half goal gives them a small lifeline ahead of the return leg in Anfield.

Meanwhile, Real Madrid rolled back the years with a vintage European performance and will feel confident of reaching the last four for the first time in three years.

On that note, let's take a look at five hits and flops from the match:


Hit: Vinicius Junior (Real Madrid)

Vinicius Jr. scored his first brace for Real Madrid.
Vinicius Jr. scored his first brace for Real Madrid.

Where was this version of Vinicius Junior before?

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The Brazilian, who seemed more like a liability to Real Madrid, played a talismanic role against Liverpool. He starred with a brace, which might as well have secured Real Madrid's place in the semi-finals.

Vinicius Junior broke the deadlock with a sumptuous finish beyond Alisson in the first half after sprinting in behind the Liverpool defence. He then scored Real Madrid's third goal like a pure poacher.

He stationed himself inside the box as Real Madrid worked a corner. Luka Modric set up the Brazilian with a simple pass, which the 22-year old tapped home with power and panache.

This was arguably his most important brace since his El Clasico strike more than a year ago and his finest display for Real Madrid in Europe.


Flop: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool)

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It was a night to forget for Trent Alexander-Arnold...
It was a night to forget for Trent Alexander-Arnold...

Just when it seemed as if everything was starting to look up, Trent Alexander-Arnold dropped a stinker against Real Madrid.

The Liverpool full-back, who has endured a terrible club season, had a torrid outing against the Spanish champions.

In attacking, Alexander-Arnold was barely seen making any runs. Whenever he did manage to drive up front, he couldn't produce anything of note for Liverpool.

His defensive game was even less convincing on the night.

Trent Alexander-Arnold was directly responsible for conceding the second goal, as he headed Kroos' pass straight at Asensio, who pounced on the opportunity to double Real Madrid advantage.

As if that wasn't enough, Trent Alexander-Arnold went into the referee's books for a dissent late on.

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Published 07 Apr 2021, 04:19 IST
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