Jurgen Klopp will have relished the opportunity to watch two European heavyweights go toe-to-toe at the Bernabeu, but he will know in just under two weeks’ time his team will need to pull off something special to topple Atletico Madrid at Anfield as they trail 1-0 from the first leg.
The German is a football man and his brain refuses to switch off, even when watching a match that does not impact him in the slightest.
City will not catch Liverpool but the Reds are fully focused on clinching their first ever Premier League title, something they could potentially do before the return leg against the Spaniards.
One thing that would stand out to anybody watching tonight’s contest though was the star quality on show.
Pep Guardiola opted to leave Sergio Aguero, Raheem Sterling and Fernandinho on the bench as he fielded another bold starting eleven.
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Meanwhile Zinedine Zidane was forced to leave the likes of Toni Kroos, Gareth Bale and Luka Jovic out of his side.
There was also another high-profile player on the bench for Los Blancos though, one who has been a huge part of the club’s history over the past decade.
That man is Marcelo, who is now out of favour in the Spanish capital despite winning four Champions League with three of those coming under Zidane.
Mendy has made the left-back role his own since arriving from Lyon in the summer after a slightly slow start.
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But now he has successfully dethroned Marcelo and doesn’t look out of place marauding up the left flank.
In the first half he suppressed Riyad Mahrez who endured a mixed evening on arguably the biggest night of his City career.
Zidane has two top-class left-backs and perhaps the best selection in Europe.
Last night Barcelona struggled when their backup Junior Firpo help gift Napoli the opener in the absence of Jordi Alba.
Going back to Klopp, he will be more than satisfied with his first-choice left-back in Andrew Robertson, arguably the best on the planet.
Say he was to get injured though, Liverpool have a problem on their hands.
It’s a problem the club are yet to encounter but with James Milner also sidelined, you have to ask the question who would take to the field if disaster were to strike.
Liverpool fans have been of the opinion that the club can make-do with their current options after Alberto Moreno left for Villarreal on a free transfer.
It’s a difficult task to persuade a player to come and play a deputy role but if Liverpool want to carry out dominance over a prolonged period, it’s the minor flaws in their squad that need patching up.
Real Madrid have proved that it’s indeed possible to have two left-backs of high quality competing for one spot.
Zidane has made a habit of rotating the duo while Robertson is yet to miss a match in the Premier League or Champions League this season.
While that’s an admirable feat, the matches in those legs will catch up on him eventually and that could be damaging in the final stages of the season particularly if they go further in Europe.
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