Liverpool fought valiantly to overturn the deficit, but the inability to finish their chances ensured Real Madrid progressed to the semi-final after the 0-0 draw at Anfield.
Liverpool 0-0 Real Madrid
Champions League Quarter-Final, Second Leg, Anfield
April 14, 2021
Alisson – 7 (out of 10)
It was a relatively quiet night for the Brazilian, but when asked to intervene he did so with quick feet and safe hands.
Brilliant off his line against Vinicius Jr and the subsequent follow up from Benzema and ensured Liverpool at least remained with a chance late on.
Trent Alexander-Arnold – 9 (Man of the Match)
Energy and pressure in abundance, a key attacking outlet who made Real think twice on their left-side as he readily linked up with Mo Salah and played excellent probing passes into the box.
A constant thorn in their side, Trent showed the way forward for Liverpool and ought to have had a number of assists to his name on a more ruthless evening in the final third. And defensively he was sound.
Nat Phillips – 8
You sense Phillips is continuing to grow into his own, showing confidence in stepping forward for headed clearances and laying off incisive forward passes.
Rarely phased and aside from one slipup with Benzema, he was largely untroubled having kept it clean and simple – still areas for improvement, of course.
Ozan Kabak – 7
Good at getting his body in the way, Kabak proved efficient in working the problem at the first time of asking and when initially outfoxed.
A beautiful ball over the top to Mane was worthy of setting up the opener and while hardly putting a foot wrong, he was again pulled instead of his defensive partner.
A continued surprise move when in the eyes of many he would be the first-choice centre-back.
Andy Robertson – 8
Had a clear intent to attack Valverde at right-back in link with Mane, which saw the Scot make strong runs forward and supply a number of key passes into the final third.
Like his full-back partner, a tireless operator who provided width and driving runs through the middle on occasion, forcing Real to come at him and creating space for others.
Fabinho – 7
The No. 6 was as composed as you would like, protecting his defence from Real’s rare ventures forward while also sending his team forward.
A class act who continued to show his selflessness and versatility with his shift to centre-back, with this now the fourth game in succession he has been asked to do so.
Gini Wijnaldum – 6
The Dutchman started the matchup as the quieter of midfield three, but soon found himself at the heart of key first-half chances.
First with brilliant chest control and a turn to help set up a Salah shot before firing one over the bar himself, with his composure and technique in that instance letting him down.
It was the story of his game, with tidy moments met by frustratingly poor ones and fatigue will be a key factor for that.
James Milner – 7
A crunching tackle made his intentions known from the start, Milner threw his body around and a handful of overhit crosses were matched by a strong long-range strike which had to be tipped over.
Offered good protective cover at the left when Robertson and Kabak moved out of position and was perfectly placed to intercept Real in the six-yard box.
After three starts in four games, experience was rightly traded for experience with his withdrawal at the hour-mark.
Mohamed Salah – 7
It was a night where the Egyptian needed to be at his clinical best and his efforts were anything but – and he wasn’t the only one.
Ultimately, his work ethic and movement would be let down by wayward finishing – with it hard to overlook his chance to open the scoring inside two minutes from right in front.
Sadio Mane – 5
Was a key instigator in the Reds’ bright start, looking to capitalise on one chink in Real’s armour but far too clumsy at times in regards to offside positions and giving away cheap fouls.
You can’t question his intent, but his feet don’t seem to be able to keep up with a mind no doubt muddled by exhaustion having already hit the 40-game appearance mark this season.
Roberto Firmino – 6
An important job in screening their key ball carriers was apparent after the obvious lack of pressure in the reverse fixture, with Bobby’s key work once again coming off the ball.
Like his teammates, the final ball proved problematic to halt attacking momentum but he was in all the right places at the right time, it just wasn’t his night in front of goal like so many others.
Thiago (on for Milner, 60′) – 6
Had all the right intentions but the desire to thread the needle didn’t quite pay off in the end.
Diogo Jota (on for Kabak, 60′) – 5
Had little influence and continued aimless crosses saw attacks fizzle out.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (on for Mane, 82′) – N/A
A late roll of the dice and aside from a late driving run, there wasn’t enough time to work into the game but can’t fault his desire.
Xherdan Shaqiri (on for Firmino, 82′) – N/A
Some good incisive passes and was eager to get into the action.
Subs not used: Adrian, H.Davies, Keita, Tsimikas, B.Davies, R.Williams, Cain, Clarkson
Jurgen Klopp – 8
Everything would be laid out for Liverpool to take advantage, but Klopp, unfortunately, cannot control the composure of his players in the heat of the moment.
The tie was there for the taking and it comes down to a poor showing at Madrid and the inability to seize the moment at Anfield, with Real Madrid deserving credit for their defensive showing.
In some ways, it was a performance to admire in regards to intent and the pressure on show, which has been largely lacking this season but the damage was already done.
It is now all guns blazing for the Premier League to ensure this was not the last Champions League night at Anfield for more than a year.
A big six weeks lay ahead.