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Real Madrid beat Liverpool 3-1 in Champions League quarters

By IANS Updated: Apr 07, 2021 11:19 pm

Madrid, April 7 (IANS): Real Madrid produced one of their best performances of the season to beat Liverpool 3-1 in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-finals.

Madrid’s preparations the game were disrupted by a positive Covid-19 test for central defender Raphael Varane before the game, but it didn’t affect their performance on Tuesday night, Xinhua news reports.

The first half saw Zinedine Zidane’s side take a 2-0 lead as they controlled the play and made a mockery of Liverpool’s high pressing.

Vinicius Jr had arguably his best game for the club and gave the isolated Trent Alexander-Arnold a difficult night on the Liverpool right.

The Madrid winger opened the scoring after Toni Kroos’ long pass made a mockery of Liverpool’s pressure and he took full advantage of the space behind the defense in the 27th minute.

A pass from Kroos also led to Madrid’s second goal nine minutes later as Alexander-Arnold headed his long pass across his own area directly to Marco Asensio who was able to lift the rebound into the net.

Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp replaced Nabi Keita with Thiago Alcantara before the break as a clear sign of how unhappy he was. It looked to have had some effect when Mohamed Salah pulled a goal back for the visitors after prodding home from close range following a shot from Georginio Wijnaldum.

Liverpool’s defense was breached again in the 65th minute when Vinicius’s shot went through Phillips’ legs and Alisson was unable to keep it out despite getting both hands on the ball.

Liverpool had most of the ball in the closing minutes but was unable to find a second goal.

City edge Dortmund out 2-1

A late Phil Foden goal for Manchester City secured a 2-1 win over Borussia Dortmund in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final fixture.

Foden on Tuesday guided an angled shot home from close-range after Ilkay Guendogan turned Kevin De Bruyne’s pass back to him in the 89th minute, dpa news agency reported.

De Bruyne had struck the first-half opener for City, after a mistake from Emre Can, but Marco Reus levelled six minutes from time on a neat pass from Erling Haaland.

A superb pass from Toni Kroos set up Vinicius to break the deadlock for Real against Liverpool in a repeat of the 2018 final. Marco Asensio doubled the lead before half-time and though Mohamed Salah cut the deficit, Vinicius’ second put Real in control.

City’s hopes of quadruple title success this season are under threat but they will be confident of progressing in the German return on April 14.

Dortmund’s 20-year-old striking star Haaland had the chance to impress one of his many suitors but fluffed his lines with his only sight of goal, struck straight at Ederson after the restart.

That would have levelled De Bruyne’s 19th minute opener, turned in from Riyad Mahrez’s cut-back, in a move which started with a poor giveaway from Can.

But Haaland did play a pivotal role in the equaliser, guiding a pass from Jude Bellingham through the defence for the recently criticised Reus to score his first goal since December.

“We’re annoyed,” captain Reus told DAZN. “Conceding a second right before the end was unnecessary.” But he also added “we produced a great performance,” having lost a crucial domestic game at home to Eintracht Frankfurt on April 3 when Reus reacted angrily to being substituted.

Germany’s Can was let off when a penalty conceded for a foul on Rodri was overturned by video review (VAR).

Dortmund were also left cursing the referee blowing a foul too early when Bellingham robbed Ederson outside the box meaning VAR could not award the goal.

Dortmund, fifth in the Bundesliga and in danger of missing the elite tournament next season, stayed alive but Foden gave City the Premier League leaders the advantage.

“The season in September started this way and never stopped,” De Bruyne told BT Sport. “It has been an incredible run of games, the team has responded well to the challenge this year. We are in a good situation and a little bit privileged because we are able to compete for every trophy.”

By IANS Updated: Apr 07, 2021 11:19:42 pm