Two superbly-taken goals from Vinicius Jr on either side of one from Marco Asensio were enough for the Blancos to take away a two-goal cushion, with Mo Salah being the only one to score for Liverpool.
Real Madrid were dealt a crucial blow hours ahead of the game as Raphael Varane tested positive for COVID-19, leaving them without both their senior centre-backs as Sergio Ramos was also ruled due to injury, along with Dani Carvajal.
Jurgen Klopp made one of the most interesting selection choices ahead of the game with Naby Keita partnering Fabinho and Gini Wijnaldum in the middle over summer acquisition Thiago Alcantara.
The Blancos were utterly dominant with and without the ball in the first half and found the back of the net twice. The first came from one of the passes of the season from Toni Kroos as the German bypassed the Liverpool defence with a brilliant ball to find Vinicius Jr. The Brazilian's first touch took both Ozan Kabak and Trent Alexander-Arnold out of the picture and calmly slotted the ball past Alisson Becker.
The second was, unfortunately, also a result of a poor decision from Alexander-Arnold. The under-fire English defender headed the ball towards Alisson from a dangerous area and inadvertently ended up gifting Marco Asensio with a golden opportunity. The Spaniard needed two attempts to get past Alisson, put the ball into the net and double Real Madrid's tally on the night.
Liverpool failed to attempt even a single shot on target in the first 45 minutes, while Zinedine Zidane's side managed nine in total and five on target.
Liverpool began the second 45 minutes in great fashion and clawed their way back into the game with a goal within six minutes of the restart. Jota tried to wriggle his way through the hosts' defence and lost the ball which then fell kindly for Mo Salah in the box. The Egyptian was as ruthless as ever in front of goal as his powerful strike — his 27th of the season in all competitions — found the back of the net after rattling the crossbar.
The game opened up further and Liverpool looked a different outfit altogether. After a nightmare first 45 minutes, Alexander-Arnold provided a couple of noteworthy deliveries for Jota and Mane in the first few minutes of the half.
Real Madrid then tried to carve Liverpool open with a stunning counter-attack with Benzema releasing Asensio but the Spaniard was thwarted excellently by Alexander-Arnold with a measured tackle to disposess him. However, the subsequent throw that Real Madrid won led to their third goal of the game.
Benzema kept the ball alive with a great piece of skill and found Modric near the 18-yard-box. The Croat calmly slid the ball to Vinicius Jr, whose precise finish past Alisson helped Real Madrid double their lead. The goalkeeper could have definitely done more to prevent the goal, but Vinicius — one of the best players on the pitch on the night — deserves praise for his finish.
Liverpool then attempted to salvage the game with another away goal but failed to do so, now leaving themselves with a two-goal deficit to overturn if they hope to get past Real Madrid in the second leg.
The scoreline ultimately ended the same way it did three years ago with Liverpool losing by a scoreline of 3-1 to Real Madrid. Their solitary away goal, however, sets up the return leg in a week's time nicely. Here are some of the best tweets from the game!