Real Madrid v Liverpool: Match in pictures
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Real Madrid were on top form again to keep their La Liga title hopes alive on Saturday with a convincing El Clasico win over Barcelona and Liverpool will have a few concerns heading into their crunch Champions League tie on Wednesday. Jurgen Klopp’s side face a mountain to climb after losing 3-1 to Real in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final.
They responded in fine fashion on Saturday though, coming back from a goal down to beat Aston Villa 2-1 courtesy of a spectacular goal from Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Attention would have then swiftly turned to the El Clasico to see Real in action against Barcelona.
Zinedine Zidane made just one change from the side which beat Liverpool earlier in the week, with Federico Valverde coming in for Marco Asensio.
The prize on offer for both sides was to take top spot in the table with Atletico Madrid not playing until Sunday.
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And Real got off to the perfect start with Karim Benzema scoring his 25th goal of the season.
Los Blancos soon doubled their lead in somewhat fortunate circumstance when Toni Kroos’ free-kick deflected in past Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
Oscar Mingueza did cut the deficit to just one midway through the second half with a smart finish from inside the box.
But Real held on for a crucial win to clinch top spot in the table heading into their Champions League quarter-final second-leg against Liverpool.
For Klopp, Real’s win over Barcelona highlighted a few issues the Liverpool boss must be wary of on Wednesday.
Facing a 3-1 deficit, Liverpool will need to go into the match at Anfield with the bit between their teeth.
It’s certainly not out of the realm of possibility for Liverpool to score enough goals to get back in the tie.
Over the past few years, Liverpool have thrown caution to the wind in playing attacking football to break down their opponents.
Real’s win over Barcelona though may well have to act as a cautious warning to Liverpool in how they approach the tie.
Lucas Vazquez has been utilised at right-back this season and his attacking prowess caught out Jordi Alba on Saturday with the Real star setting up Benzema’s opener.
Andy Robertson will have to be wary of pushing too far forward with Vazquez always looking to get forward.
Liverpool also found out the hard way what kind of threat Vinicius Junior is earlier this week.
And the Brazilian was at his silky best against Barcelona as well as his tricky footwork fooled Barcelona defenders before winning the free-kick which resulted in Kroo’s free-kick effort.
Liverpool will know that they can’t afford to offer Real too many goalscoring opportunities from in and around the box, and keeping Vinicius at bay will be crucial.
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