Vinicius Jr Real Madrid humiliate Liverpool in Champions Lea
เวลา:2023-03-13  ผู้เขียน:

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Vinicius Jr., Real Madrid humiliate Liverpool in Champions League, expose weak right-side defence

LIVERPOOL, England --Real MadridleftLiverpoolon the brink of Champions League elimination after fighting back from a two-goal deficitto win 5-2in a classic game at Anfield.

Reigning European champions Real Madrid had fallen 2-0 down inside 14 minutes after goals from LiverpoolsDarwin NunezandMohamed Salah. But twoVinicius Juniorgoals hauled the Spanish side level before half-time and Real Madrid pulled clear in the second-half with aEder Militaoheader and two strikes fromKarim Benzema.

This is a result that will sit high even in Real Madrids illustrious hall of fame -- but it will also be unforgettable for all the wrong reasons for Liverpool, who suffered their biggest-ever Champions League defeat, conceding five goals for their first time in the competitions history.

Liverpoolmanager Jurgen Klopp was right to speak in tones of reverence aboutReal Madridprior to this Champions League tie. He had said that no other team could win quite like Real when the odds are stacked against them, and he was proved right as the reigning European champions stunned his team at Anfield on Tuesday.

It had looked like being another historic Champions League night for Liverpool when they raced into a 2-0 lead inside 14 minutes. Having made Anfield such a fortress in Europe over the years, Liverpool seemed odds-on for a decisive first-leg win.

But Real are unlike any other team. The vast majority of teams would have crumbled at 2-0 down, but unlikeBarcelonain 2019 -- who saw a 3-0 semifinal first-leg lead blown away in a 4-0 defeat here -- Real turned a lost cause into a winning one to inflict Liverpools biggest-ever Champions League loss.

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At 2-0 down, Real didnt let panic set in. They just calmly held their nerve, knowing that chances would come to claw their way back into the game. Just like last season, when they overturned similarly bleak situations againstParis Saint-GermainChelseaandManchester City, Real backed their quality and experience, and it paid off in spectacular fashion.

Vinicius Juniors two goals in the 21st and 26th minutes, hauled them level beforeEder Militaoheaded Real into the lead on 47 minutes. And from that point on, there was no looking back. Two more goals fromKarim Benzemasealed a 5-2 win to put Real in command ahead of the second-leg in Madrid next month.

In years to come, this win will still sting for Liverpool as much as it will be remembered in Madrid. So many teams have seen their European hopes crushed at a raucous Anfield over the years, but this Real Madrid team is made of sterner stuff and they showed that Anfield isnt quite so scary after all.

Manchester UnitedforwardMarcus Rashfordmight just have some competition for the title of the hottest player in Europe right now from Vinicius Junior.

TheReal Madridwinger is certainly the biggest thorn inLiverpools side having taken his tally against them to five goals in five games. No player has scored more goals against Liverpool in the Champions League than Vinicius Junior, who also scored the winner in Reals 1-0 victory against Liverpool team in last seasons Champions League final in Paris.

Rashfords hot streak at Manchester United -- with 16 goals in 17 games since the World Cup -- has quite rightly led to him being acclaimed as the best forward in the game at this moment in time. But Vini Jr.s performance at Anfield was sensational and, with it being on the Champions League stage, it was arguably more impressive than anything Rashford has managed during his recent run.

Vini Jr. now has 18 goals in 35 games for Real Madrid this season after becoming the youngest player to score twice against Liverpool in a European game at Anfield since Johan Cruyff for Ajax in 1966.

Vinicius Junior celebrates after scoring Real Madrids second goal in the first leg of UEFA Champions League round of 16 leg against Liverpool at Anfield on February 21, 2023 in Liverpool, England.

In this game, he was devastating down Real left, scoring twice in the first-half to cancel out Liverpools early 2-0 lead. He then continued his destructive performance by playing a key role in subsequent goals for Eder Militao and Karim Benzema.

Considering all of the off-field challenges that Vini Jr. continues to face in Spain following a series of racist incidents against him, his ability to produce such high quality performance is a testament to the 22-year-olds courage and resolve.

But he is also a world-class footballer, and nobody is playing better than he is.

WhenLiverpoolwere torn apart in a 4-1 defeat againstNapoliin the group stage, the Serie A leaders won by targetingTrent Alexander-ArnoldandJoe Gomezon the right side of Liverpools defence.

Having done the same to win the Champions League final in Paris last year, it was no surprise thatReal Madridcoach Carlo Ancelotti used the same tactic at Anfield, withVinicius Juniorrepeatedly tormenting both Liverpool defenders. The result on Tuesday was another loss by three goals, equaling Liverpools largest losing margin in the Champions League, albeit by conceding a club-record five goals in the competition.

Quite simply, Europes best coaches know exactly where Liverpools biggest weakness lies: the right side of their defence.

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Reals first three goals at Anfield came directly from that side of the pitch, with Alexander-Arnold constantly abandoning his defensive duties to leave Gomez isolated against the pace and strength of Vini Jr.

Gomez is a confidence player. He only seems to have highs or lows, with nothing in between, and this was a low night. His back-pass to goalkeeper Alisson Becker, when under pressure from Vini Jr., led toAlissonkicking the ball against the Vini Jr. and into the net. With the Real Madrid forward on his shoulder, Gomez should have gone safety first and cleared for a throw-in.

And early in the second-half, a Gomez foul on the Real forward -- after Alexander-Arnold had stood and watched like a statue -- led to the free-kick from which Eder Militao headed Real in front for the first time in the game.

It was one of those nightmare games for Liverpools defenders and by the timeKarim Benzemascored Reals fourth with a shot which deflected in off Gomez, you could only feel sorry for the embattled centre-half.

Outstanding match-winning performance from the Real forward. Five goals in five games against Liverpool now.

Is he really 37-years-old? The Real midfielder controlled the game and gave a masterclass of calm composure when his team fell 2-0 down early in the game.

A rock at the back for Real and scored a big goal early in the second-half to put his team ahead.

Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson cant make the save as Vinicius Junior scores Real Madrids first goal on Tuesday in the UEFA Champions League.

Michael Zemanek/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Just couldnt cope with Vinicius Junior. The Liverpool defender should have been taken off at half-time to take him out of the firing line.

No longer the attacking outlet that struck fear into opponents, so his defensive shortcomings are now a problem for Liverpool.

Outrun and outclassed by Real Madrids majestic midfielders. A great servant, but past his best at this level.

This match got off to a rip-roaring start and never let go.

Liverpools Darwin Nunez scored in just the fourth minute to set the powder keg of this round-of-16 Champions league match alight, and he did it in style.


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