Shot-shy Real Madrid suffer 1st home defeat in 11 months

With two weeks until Liverpool travel to the Bernabeu, Real Madrid suffered their first home defeat in 11 months on Thursday.

Carlo Ancelotti’s experienced side hit five past the Reds in the first leg of their Champions League last 16 encounter, with Liverpool three goals behind going into the return leg on Wednesday, March 15.

After the defeat at Anfield, Jurgen Klopp himself said he thinks the tie is over, but Real’s preparations for Liverpool’s visit aren’t all going to plan.

Barcelona inflicted Real to their first defeat at the Bernabeu in 11 months in the first leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final on Thursday, with the home side failing to register a single shot on target.

A 26th minute own goal from Eder Militao, who scored at the right end against Liverpool, was enough to secure the victory for Barca.

It’s the first time the reigning European champions have failed to hit the target in a game since February 2022, more than one year ago.

Their failure to hit the target is even more remarkable when you consider they had 65 per cent possession on the night.

Chelsea were the last team to beat Real on their home turf, in their 3-2 Champions League quarter-final second leg victory last April, but it was the Spaniard’s who progressed to the semi-finals on the night.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Monday, February 20, 2023: Real Madrid's head coach Carlo Ancelotti during a training session at Anfield ahead of the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 1st Leg game between Liverpool FC and Real Madrid CF. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Xavi’s Barcelona side, who are seven points clear of their rivals at the top of La Liga, deserve credit for keeping Real at bay, but despite their emphatic result at Anfield, many believe the Blaugrana are lacking a spark this season.

In the other game they have played since their win on Merseyside, they were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Atletico Madrid.

Real Betis and Espanyol are their next two La Liga opponents before Liverpool travel to Madrid for the second leg.

David Alaba, who came off injured at Anfield, remains sidelined for the time being, as does fellow left-back Ferland Mendy.