Real Madrid stunned Liverpool with a remarkable 5–2 victory in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie at Anfield on Tuesday. Despite Liverpool taking an early two-goal lead through Darwin Nunez and Mohamed Salah, two goals each from Vinicius Jr. and Karim Benzema flipped the tie on its head. The Reds’ heaviest ever home defeat in the Champions League was compounded by Eder Militao’s header and Benzema’s second goal.
Vinicius scored one sublime strike and one fluke goal after another goalkeeping mistake to level the match by halftime. Militao’s header completed the turnaround for Real early in the second half, sapping all the life out of Anfield in the process. The hosts’ misery was not done there, however, as Benzema’s double ensured Liverpool shipped five goals at home for only the third time this century in all competitions.
Benzema told Movistar Plus: “It’s an important night for us, we showed personality and scored the goals we needed. We want this Champions League title.” Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson said: “Mixed feelings. Frustration with the result. For large parts of the first half we performed well and were unlucky to be level at halftime. We made too many mistakes. Real Madrid punished us every time tonight.”