Liverpool suffer record collapse in 'shambolic' Champions League drubbing

Liverpool were absolutely battered at home in the Champions League.

Vinicius Jnr. (pictured left) celebrating a goal at Anfield and (pictured right) Liverpool's Andy Robertson reacting after a goal.
Vinicius Jnr. helped Real Madrid batter Liverpool at Anfield 5-2 in the round of 16 Champions League first leg. (Getty Images)

European champions Real Madrid have put on a second-half masterclass to silence Anfield and leave Liverpool seeking answers after the first leg of their Champions League encounter. On a famous Anfield night, 14-time champions Real Madrid visited Liverpool in the blockbuster round of 16 tie.

And Liverpool used the pre-game atmosphere to fuel their opening efforts as Darwin Nunez scored a cheeky back heel in the first attack for the home side to put them ahead after four minutes. Real Madrid attempted to steady the flow of the match, but a horror mistake from Thibaut Courtois had Les Merengues reeling.

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Liverpool were pressing high when Real Madrid fumbled possession when two players slipped over on the slippery surface. The ball ended up back with Courtois, but the goalkeeper took an extra touch straight into the on-rushing Mohamed Salah who doubled the lead 10 minutes later.

However, Real Madrid showed why the white shirt carries with it so much weight as they roared back in a fashion never seen before in the Champions League. Moments later, Brazilian winger Vinicius Jnr. picked the ball up in the box after some swift passing from the Real Madrid team.

The winger swivelled and rocketed a curling shot pass Alisson Becker to grab one back in the 21st minute. And he then evened the score in the 36th.

Just like his counterpart, Alisson was caught being too tricky on the ball and hit a pass straight into Vinicius Jnr., which ricocheted into the back of the net. And things only got worse for Liverpool.

Moments after halftime, a Luka Modric free kick found Eder Militao unmarked as the centre back powered the ball into the net. Real Madrid controlled proceedings after this with the away fans chants echoing around the stunned stadium.

Benzema's double in the 55th and 67th left the score at 5-2 and means the quarter-finals are in sight for Madrid, while Liverpool is left hoping for a near miracle at the Santiago Bernabeu. Real Madrid's comeback at 2-0 down is the first time in history a team has won by three plus goals after trailing by multiple goals.

Real Madrid are also the first team ever to score five goals at Anfield in the Champions League. Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson appeared despondent after the match and said the defeat was hard to fathom.

"Very difficult, it is hard to sum it up after the game" he said. "We were unlucky to go in at half time level. But we made too many mistakes around the goals especially, and when you make mistakes a team like Real Madrid punish you."

Football world reacts to Real Madrid masterclass

After the match, Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti tried to emphasise the experience of the team. The Italian said the team was 'used to this' when facing the early pressure. "The quality of this team is that we never lose control," he said. "Slowly, we got more control of the game. That was the key. We improved defensively in the second half."

Karim Benzema (pictured) celebrates a double at Anfield.
Karim Benzema (pictured) scored a double at Anfield against Liverpool. (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)

After the game, Liverpool great Jamie Carragher labelled the performance from his team as 'shambolic'. The defender called for a rebuild after a poor season so far.

Football fans around the world reacted to the astonishing scenes at Anfield. Many couldn't believe the turnaround from the European Champions. While others piled the pressure on Liverpool who are suffering a poor season.

Liverpool fans at Anfield showed their class during the match as they stood and applauded both Karim Benzema and Luka Modric off the field. Both players are in the twilight of their career and were shown appreciation from the home fans.

After the match, the travelling Real Madrid fans chanted 'Liverpool' as a show of respect.

In the other game of the match day, Napoli defeated Eintracht Frankfurt. The Serie A leaders Napoli missed a penalty from Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, before in-form striker Victor Osimhen and Giovanni di Lorenzo secured a 2-0 victory against the Europa League champions.

with AAP

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