Our 3️⃣ points as Liverpool are taught a lesson by Real Madrid

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Alex Mott

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Real Madrid put one foot in the Champions League semi-final as they beat Liverpool 3-1 on a relatively easy evening in the Spanish capital.

Real Madrid 3
Liverpool 1
Full time

Two goals from Vinicius Jnr and one from Marco Asensio saw Los Blancos get one over on Jürgen Klopp’s disappointing men.

The old master

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Vinicius Jnr and Marco Asensio may have grabbed the goals, but it wasn’t the kids that impressed most here in Madrid.

No, that was left to Luka Modric who, at 35, bossed a Champions League quarter-final unlike many players could.

The Croatia international was sensational tonight, pulling every string, gliding past Liverpool players with ease and showing a level of composure you really cannot teach.

It was in vast contrast to those in a red shirt, who looked overawed by the occasion early on and were rarely in control throughout the 90 minutes.

Modric has been consistently linked with a move away from Real Madrid this summer, with reports that the veteran could be told to find pastures new.

That would be a huge mistake, as tonight’s more than proved.

Tough night at the office

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What an atrocious opening 45 minutes Liverpool put in here, perhaps best personified by Trent Alexander-Arnold.

The young defender has been creating column inches recently after Gareth Southgate dropped him from the England squad.

And on this evidence, it’s clear to see why.

Alexander-Arnold was truly abysmal here – wasteful in possession, ponderous on the ball, slow to support attacks and out of position at almost every turn.

It was his poor concentration which played a huge part in Vinicius Jnr’s opening goal, unable to react as the Brazilian raced through on goal.

And then it was his awful header which saw Marco Asensio grab an easy second just before half-time.

Things improved slightly in the second period but not nearly enough for a player many were calling Gerrard’s heir just 12 months ago.

Hang your head Trent, you’re not going to the Euros like this.

A midfield of two halves

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This match was perhaps best summed up in the 42nd minute.

Naby Keita, who had surprisingly started the game ahead of Thiago, was brought off by Jürgen Klopp and replaced by his Spanish team mate.

It was a damning indictment of the Guinea international’s performance and showed just how badly the Reds boss thought his side were struggling in midfield.

And he was right.

The Premier League champions were totally outplayed in every are of the pitch but especially in the middle third of the pitch.

The trident of Gini Wijnaldum, Fabinho and Keita were one-paced, out of ideas and struggling to counteract the Real Madrid press.

Things changed dramatically in the second period as Thiago’s presence gave everyone a lift, while his laser-like precision passing was key to their assault on the Real Madrid goal a number of times.

It really was a midfield of two halves.