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Helpless Liverpool picked apart by five-star Real Madrid at Anfield

Liverpool crumbled against Real Madrid in Champions League action and the lads at PST discuss whether it will signal the end of Jurgen Klopp's time with the Reds.

Liverpool suffered an astonishing 5-2 defeat to Real Madrid at Anfield on Tuesday, as the world witnessed perhaps the beginning of the end of the Jurgen Klopp era as the Reds were all but officially eliminated in the Champions League round of 16.

[ LIVE: Champions League scores ]

From 2-0 up after 15 minutes, to 5-2 down just 52 minutes later, Liverpool were helpless to stop slow down the same Real Madrid side that beat them 1-0 in last season’s UCL final.

Klopp and Co., couldn’t have begun faster or brighter, with Darwin Nunez getting on the end of Mohamed Salah’s cross and flicked a brilliant backheel past Thibaut Courtois in the 4th minute. 10 minutes later, a sleepy backpass turned into a nightmare as the ball bounced off Courtois’s knee and fell to Salah atop the six-yard and the Anfield faithful roared to life once again.

The good times came to an abrupt end, though, as Vinicius Junior cut in from the left wing and placed an inch-perfect strike inside the far post for 2-1 after 21 minutes. 15 minutes later, it was Alisson’s turn to gift a goal as Joe Gomez played him the ball and, rather than booting it clear, played it off Vinicius’s leg and watched helplessly as it looped and spun high in the Merseyside sky and bounced into an empty goal.

[ MORE: Champions League score predictions ]

Goal no. 3 came just two minutes into the second half with Eder Militao running across the six-yard box unmarked and heading home Luka Modric’s free kick to take the lead. Karim Benzema got involved with his first goal in the 55th minute, playing a quick one-two with Rodrygo before his shot ricocheted off Joe Gomez and bounced past a distraught, wrong-footed Alisson for 4-2.

Benzema’s second goal was far more brilliant with Luka Modric starting the counter-attack by finding Vinicius, who slipped the ball to Benzema as Alisson raced off his line. Benzema sat the Brazilian on his backside as he rounded the goalkeeper and hammered a left-footed finish past two defenders at the near post. Demolition complete.

What’s next?

Liverpool will head to the Spanish capital for the second leg in three weeks’ time, on March 15, where they might try to overturn the three-goal deficit, or Klopp, assuming he is still in charge, could opt to field a weakened side as they chase a top-four finish in the Premier League.

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How to watch Liverpool vs Real Madrid live, stream link, kick off time

Date/Time: Tuesday, February 21 at 3pm ET
Stats: Via scoreboard on
Online: Live Watchalong and updates from ProSoccerTalk on NBCSports’ YouTube
How to watch: TUDN, Paramount+

This is brutal from Real Madrid. Liverpool are all over the place. Anfield is stunned.

GOALLL! Real Madrid 5-2 Liverpool. Modric leads the counter and finds Vinicius who finds Benzema and he does brilliantly to cut inside Alisson and curl home. Liverpool were 2-0 up. Jurgen Klopp can’t believe it.

GOALLL! Real Madrid 4-2 Liverpool. Benzema’s tame shot deflects off Gomez and goes in. So cruel on Liverpool. Everything is going wrong for them right now. Jurgen Klopp can’t believe it.

GOALLL! Real Madrid 3-2 Liverpool. What. A. Turnaround. Modric’s free kick is straight to Militao and he heads home with a free header from six yards out. Terrible marking from Liverpool. Zonal marking has gone wrong.

CLOSE! Wow. Real Madrid almost make it 3-2 right on half time. What a clearance from Andy Robertson as Rodrygo was ready to tap home at the back post. Brilliant ball from Vinicius Jr and what a counter from Real. 10 seconds after Liverpool had a free kick at one end, they almost took the lead at the other.

GOALLLL! What an error from Alisson. The ball is played back to him by Gomez and Vinicius shuts him down and Alisson smacks the ball against him and it loops up and goes in. Liverpool 2-2 Real Madrid. 26 minutes on the clock. What a turnaround! Wow.

SAVEEE! So close to an almost identical goal for Vini Jr. His low curler to the far post is saved by Alisson this time. How did he even see that gap!?

CHANCEEE! Salah and Nunez almost bundle it home but somehow Carvajal and Militao clear. Great response from the hosts.

GOALLL! Real Madrid are back in it. 2-1. Vinicius Jr with a beautiful finish into the bottom far corner. What a goal. 20 minutes in. The Real fans in the Anfield Road end are going bonkers. And rightly so. We all are!

GOALLL! Huge mistake from Thibaut Courtois. He can’t control the ball and Salah is on hand to smash it home. Awful moment for Real Madrid’s goalkeeper. 2-0 to Liverpool against Real Madrid. 15 minutes in! Wow.

SO CLOSE! Almost 2-0 to Liverpool. Brilliant from Nunez and Gakpo to set up Salah but his shot inside the box is weak. Nunez was wide open. Great counter from Liverpool.

GOALLL! Darwin Nunez with an amazing finish. Lovely ball from Salah and a brilliant run from Nunez. 1-0 to Liverpool. Anfield is going bonkers!

KICK OFF! What an atmosphere at Anfield. We are underway.

Liverpool vs Real Madrid head-to-head record

Real Madrid have five wins to Liverpool’s three and they have drawn once. Real Madrid have also beaten Liverpool in two UEFA Champions League finals, in 2021-22 and 2017-18. This is the 10th meeting between the two European giants.

Key storylines

Liverpool have struggled this season and a lack of energy and intensity has been the main problem as Klopp’s high-pressing tactics have been almost non-existent. They now have key players like Virgil van Dijk back from injury and Mohamed Salah, Darwin Nunez and Cody Gakpo have all been among the goals recently as they’re finally clicking as a trio.

Real Madrid have some key absentees in midfield with Toni Kroos and Aurelien Tchouameni both out but Karim Benzema is back from injury and that is a huge boost for Ancelotti. Real’s squad is still stacked and they will be happy to take Liverpool back to the Santiago Bernabeu with a draw or a narrow defeat to overturn.

Liverpool team news, lineup

OUT: Luis Diaz (knee), Arthur (thigh), Ibrahima Konate (muscle), Thiago (hip), Calvin Ramsey (knee)

Real Madrid team news, lineup

OUT: Aurelien Tchouameni

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