Real Madrid has beaten Liverpool 1-0 in the second leg of their UEFA Champions League Round of 16 ties, securing a 6-2 aggregate victory to eliminate the Reds from the competition for a third consecutive season.
Liverpool arrived at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium facing a three-goal deficit and chose to deploy four attackers in an attempt to mount a comeback.
The decision led to an action-packed start to the match, with Thibaut Courtois denying Darwin Núñez and Alisson Becker miraculously stopping Vinícius Júnior and Eduardo Camavinga in the opening 20 minutes. Luka Modrić’s ambitious shot just missed the target.
Courtois was called into action again as he tipped venomous efforts from Núñez and Cody Gakpo wide. However, Liverpool failed to maintain the sustained aggression they had promised, and Real Madrid masterfully established periods of control to take the sting out of the game.
As the second half began, Los Blancos looked comfortable, and Alisson stopped Federico Valverde after he was played through by Karim Benzema, who then saw a shot of his own blocked by Trent Alexander-Arnold. Modrić flicked the ball over Alexander-Arnold and delivered a cross to Valverde, who could not apply the finishing touch, as his header flicked off the roof of the net. Benzema was also unable to find the target after equally incisive play from Vinícius.
Liverpool’s energy levels slowly faded as they failed to mount a comeback, and Madrid went ahead on the night as Vinícius recovered from making a mess of his own shot to tee up Benzema for a simple goal.
With this win, Real Madrid marked their milestone of becoming the first club to play 300 UCL games with a victory on their way to the quarter-finals. Meanwhile, Liverpool suffered back-to-back losses and must now aim for a top-four finish in the Premier League to play on the biggest stage next season.