Real Madrid defeated Liverpool 3-1 at the Alfredo Di Stefano stadium in the first leg of their Uefa Champions League encounter thanks to a goal in each half from Brazilian youngster Vinicius Junior.
Marco Asensio also scored from a Liverpool mistake while Mohamed Salah momentarily reduced the deficit for the Reds in a repeat scoreline and outcome of the 2018 UCL final.
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Liverpool have lost each of their last three UCL games against Real Madrid and the Santiago Bernabeu outfit made it a fourth successive defeat on Zinedine Zidane’s 50th UCL game as manager, handing the French coach a 31st win in the competition.
Real Madrid was expected to be wobbly and overpowered by Liverpool’s fearsome attack due to the absence of captain Sergio Ramos and partner Raphael Varane but it was the visitors who looked jittery and were ruthlessly punished.
Toni Kroos split Liverpool’s backline with a raking deep ball that Brazilian youngster Vinicius Jr, ran onto before finding the back of the net with a bubbly shot to give the home side the lead.
A proper mistake, this time from Trent Alexander-Arnold, allowed Asensio through on goal and the Spain international chipped goalkeeper Alisson Becker before tapping into an empty net with his fourth goal in four matches and 2-0 to Real Madrid at halftime.
Liverpool halved the deficit with their first shot of the game on 51 minutes, a lackadaisical Real allowed Diogo Jota too much space and the Portuguese set up Salah to slot under Thibaut Cortouis for 2-1.
Vinicius Jr. however restored the two-goal advantage with his fourth UCL goal for Real Madrid, slotting home Luka Modric’s inch-perfect pass that rolled into his path in the penalty area.
Real Madrid closed out the match to make it four consecutive UCL wins in a row for the first time in three years, taking a two-goal lead to the second leg at Anfield next week.
Manchester City also won at the Etihad, the Cityzens will take a narrow 2-1 victory over Borussia Dortmund secured via a 90th minute Phil Foden curled shot ito the second leg in Germany.
The young England international restored Pep Guardiola side’s lead after Marco Reus had cancelled Kevin De Bruyne’s early lead in the 84th minute.