Real Madrid, the defending champions, reached the quarter-finals of the European Football Champions League by renewing its victory over its guest Liverpool 1-0 with a late goal by Frenchman Karim Benzema in the second leg of the final price on Wednesday, March 15, 2023, after sweeping it 5-2 in England in the first leg.
The English club’s knot continued against its Spanish counterpart, and it failed to take revenge on the team that dropped it in last season’s final in Paris.
Liverpool entered the match at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium, realizing that the task was very difficult after its humiliating loss at home in the first leg, despite its two-goal lead, before conceding for the first time in its history five goals at home in European competitions.
Liverpool also fell to the Royal Club in the final of the 2018 tournament, leaving the English team without any victory against Real Madrid in the last eight matches (7 defeats and a draw).
The last victory of the Reds against Real goes back to the two final price matches in the 2008-2009 season, with a total of 5-0 (4-0 and 1-0).
And while Real’s task is getting more difficult to defend his title in the Spanish League, due to his nine-point distance from his rival Barcelona, knowing that they meet Sunday in El Clasico at the Camp Nou, he is looking to continue his career in his beloved tournament, which won its title a record 14 times.
As for Liverpool, after recovering from its shocking loss at home against Real Madrid, it achieved a resounding victory after that in the league over rivals Manchester United 7-0, before returning to the cycle of shaky results by losing to humble Bournemouth 0-1, to drop to sixth place.
He will end his season without a title after leaving the England Cup and now the Champions League, and he will wage an intense struggle in the league to qualify for the continental competition next season.
And in light of his need to score three goals, the German coach, Jurgen Klopp, ventured into an offensive line-up, bringing in the Portuguese Diogo Jota, along with the Egyptian trio, Mohamed Salah, the Dutchman Cody Khakpo, and the Uruguayan Darwin Nunes.
The Spanish midfielders Stefan Bakhcetic and Jordan Henderson were absent from injury and illness in succession, knowing that they started from the back and pushed James Milner alongside the Brazilian Fabinho in the middle.
Benzema returned to the ranks of Real after missing the victory against Espanyol in the league on Saturday due to an ankle injury, and he played alongside the Uruguayan Federico Valverde and the Brazilian Vinicius Junior, while the latter’s citizen, Rodrigo, remained on the bench.
The two goalkeepers shine
The first threat came from Liverpool, the defending champion six times, the last of which was 2019, after Salah took advantage of a ball that German defender Antonio Rudiger could not handle, and passed it to Nunes, who fired it from inside the area with a force that was blocked by Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois with his foot (7).
And Brazilian goalkeeper Alisson Becker assumed the task of keeping Liverpool in the confrontation after he first saved with his arm in an amazing way a shot very close to Vinicius a meter from the goal and reached him to the second post from Rudiger (14), before he pushed away a left-footed missile shot by Frenchman Eduardo Camavinga from 25 meters to hit the crossbar (20).
At the other end, Courtois, in turn, contributed to denying the English team the possibility of returning the result, and brilliantly blocked a curled shot from Nunes on the left side of the area, turning the ball into a corner (34), before deflecting a powerful shot from the right side of Khakpo (36).
And Alisson shone with the start of the second half again, after he deflected a shot by Valverde with his foot, so that the resulting ball returned to Benzema, and he saved it easily this time (53).
After that, Klopp pushed the Brazilian Firmino, who will leave Liverpool at the end of the season, and Harvey Elliott instead of Nunes and Jota (57).
But the rhythm of the match calmed down on both sides before Benzema scored the only goal after the ball reached him from Camavinga in the depths on the outskirts of the area, he tried to shoot it, it hit Dutch defender Virgil van Dyck to reach Vinicius inside the area, he tried to follow it “on the fly” low, but he slipped and managed to She passed purely, despite harassment from Van Dyck, to the Frenchman at the goal, who easily followed her into the net (78).