Tag: Real Madrid

Champions League: Real Madrid 1-0 Liverpool

A much-changed Liverpool fought hard but came up short against Real Madrid as Karim Benzema scored the only goal in their Champions League match.

The Frenchman turned in Marcelo’s low cross after Simon Mignolet had done well to keep out efforts from Cristiano Ronaldo and James Rodriguez.

Liverpool threatened briefly after the break as Adam Lallana fired just wide.

But Real remained in control and Steven Gerrard and Raheem Sterling’s arrival off the bench could not turn the tide.

Despite the slimmer margin of victory, the game petered out in a similarly low-key style to when Real enjoyed a 3-0 win in the reverse fixture at Anfield a fortnight ago.

In possibly the biggest gamble of his managerial career, Brendan Rodgers made seven changes to the starting XI that lost to Newcastle at the weekend, with Mario Balotelli and Jordan Henderson joining Gerrard and Sterling on the bench.

Instead, Kolo Toure, who has seen less than a minute of Premier League action this season, started in defence, behind a midfield trio of Emre Can, Lucas and Joe Allen, with the willing Fabio Borini in attack.

Liverpool’s line-up seemed to suggest damage limitation, rather than a revenge mission, at the Bernabeu.

If minimising their losses was Rodgers’s aim, he succeeded, but some will struggle to understand his approach to such a big game.

The result, and team selection, will be thrown into even starker light should Liverpool fail to get a result at home to Chelsea on Saturday, when some of their rested first-choice players are likely to return.

And promising performances from several of Rodgers’s second string will not alter the maths of Group B, in which Liverpool find themselves three points behind second-placed Basel with two games to play.

Their line-up may have seemed more in keeping with the Capital One Cup than the Champions League, but the changes initially appeared to unsettle in-form Real.

Liverpool made a similarly promising start at Anfield, though, and Mignolet was still required to make sharp stops from Rodriguez and Ronaldo.

Read more on BBC Sport

Champions League: Liverpool 0-3 Real Madrid

Liverpool were given a painful lesson in how far the Champions League has moved on in their absence as they were completely outclassed by holders Real Madrid at Anfield.

Television screens inside Anfield’s lounges relived Liverpool’s 4-0 win against Real in the last 16 in 2009 in an attempt to set the mood before kick-off – but there was never any hope of a repeat.

Cristiano Ronaldo led Real’s charge with a superb opener after 23 minutes and Karim Benzema added two before the interval to leave the hosts facing a desperate exercise in damage limitation.

Out of media player. Press enter to return or tab to continue.

Rodgers bemoans ‘sloppy’ Liverpool

It was the first time Liverpool had been three down at half-time at Anfield in their long and glorious European history – a fact no doubt noted by Real coach Carlo Ancelotti, who was in charge of AC Milan in Istanbul in 2005 when the Reds claimed the Champions League after facing a similar heavy deficit at the interval.

Here, in contrast, the Italian was able to enjoy a comfortable second half as Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers’s brave pre-match words about not being underdogs were put into context.

With just three points from their opening three games, Liverpool’s ambitions of reaching the knockout stage of a competition they cherish so much are in real peril.

And the performance of Mario Balotelli meant it was another night that left question marks over Liverpool’s decision to pay £16m for a striker who simply does not deliver when it matters.

Read more on BBC Sport

 

Super Cup: Cristiano Ronaldo scores twice in Real Madrid win

Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice as Real Madrid claimed the first European silverware of the season with a 2-0 Super Cup win over Sevilla in Cardiff.

Ronaldo, starting alongside new recruits James Rodriguez and Toni Kroos, tapped in a cross from Cardiff-born Gareth Bale to give Real the lead.

The Portuguese doubled his side’s advantage with a drilled shot from the left when played in by Karim Benzema.

It is the first of six trophies Real are hoping to win this season.

The Champions League winners will look to defend the title they claimed by beating Atletico Madrid in May, while Bale said this week the team are also confident of winning La Liga, the Copa del Rey, the Fifa Club World Cup and the Supercopa de Espana in 2014-15.

This match against fellow Spanish side Sevilla, who won the Europa League by beating Benfica on penalties, was a first chance for manager Carlo Ancelotti to see the most expensively-assembled squad in football history in action in a competitive match.

Read More on BBC Sport