In pictures: Liverpool v Real Madrid
We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info
Rio Ferdinand and his fellow BT Sport pundits were left in awe of Karim Benzema after his brilliant second goal against Liverpool wrapped up a famous win for Real Madrid at Anfield in the Champions League on Wednesday evening. The Reds took an early two-goal lead but were ultimately made to pay for several lapses at the back as their Spanish opponents ran riot to score five and take a healthy advantage into next month’s decisive second-leg clash at the Bernabeu.
Benzema scored his side’s fourth goal of the evening before saving the best until last when he sat Alisson Becker down on the edge of the area before firing coolly into the back of the net in a remarkable show of skill under pressure. Ferdinand was left stunned by the audacity of Benzema’s finish and hailed the Frenchman’s impressive level of composure, which allowed him to pick his spot and put the icing on the cake on a historic night for Real Madrid.
“I was screaming when he laid down Alisson,” Ferdinand told BT Sport. “I mean the other two [Steven Gerrard and Michael Owen] were silent for obvious reasons, but the class of this guy, on his weaker side. There’s two lads on the goal-line there, it’s not an easy finish.”
Michael Owen went on to echo Ferdinand’s assessment by highlighting Benzema’s proven ability to strut his stuff on the biggest stages of all, adding: “I thought Liverpool could have stopped the attack. Fabinho giving the ball away badly, they could have taken a yellow card and stopped it, but that’s nitpicking. Let’s just admire what Benzema did, it was total class.”
JUST IN: Arteta granted wish as Arsenal get fixture news for City and Chelsea
Last year’s Ballon d’Or winner was also hailed after his first goal of the night by fellow pundit Steven Gerrard, who gave credit to Real Madrid’s build-up play in taking Liverpool’s midfield out of the game with their slick passing before Benzema found the back of the net with the help of a slight deflection.
“I love the timing of the one-two,” said Gerrard. “He absolutely kills Fabinho because he’s there and then he’s out of the game. That allows him to get the shot off, because before that it’s probably a one in 10 chance, but he makes the goal into a high percentage of scoring.”
It remains to be seen whether Liverpool will be able to pull off a remarkable comeback in the second leg in Spain, with the Reds needing to score at least three goals to stand any chance of reaching the Champions League quarter-finals. It will undoubtedly be a hugely difficult task for Jurgen Klopp’s side to claw themselves back into the tie away from home, but stranger things have happened and they will be determined to avoid giving up the chase until the final whistle blows at the Bernabeu.
Wednesday’s defeat provided some unwanted statistics for Liverpool, who became the first team in Champions League history to take a 2-0 lead before losing by a margin of three goals, while they also conceded five in a single game at Anfield for the very first time. They have now gone seven games without a win against Real Madrid, who have beaten them in two finals over the last few years and look firmly set to cause the Merseyside giants even more pain by knocking them out of this year’s competition.
Want the latest Premier League news as we publish it on Express Sport? Join our Facebook group by clicking here.
Source: Read Full Article