Liverpool dominates Real Madrid

10 Mar

5fbf3bd47c9fb6a4d7cd9ddc78374c6c-1Where in the world did that ridiculous Liverpool squad come from?  They put on a jaw-dropping performance against Real Madrid in a 4-0 drubbing to advance to the quarterfinals of the Champions League (5-0 on aggregate).  They could’ve scored a couple more too.   I really don’t think I’ve ever seen them play as well as they did today.  It was amazing – they pushed the pace and put pressure on Madrid’s defense from the get-go.  Fernando Torres almost put one past Madrid keeper Iker Casillas after an other-worldly turn that made Fabio Cannavaro look like a complete idiot.   Casillas had to make another save on a long shot from Javier Mascherano moments later.  With the way things were going, it was only a matter of time before Liverpool put one in the back of the net.

After a botched clear by Pepe, Dirk Kuyt squared to Torres in front of the goal, who easily scored to give Liverpool a 1-0 lead in the 16th minute.  The Liverpool pressure continued as the Reds were the first to every loose ball and seemed one step ahead of Madrid.  The Reds got a little bit of a lucky break on their second goal – the ref awarded a penalty after the ball appeared to hit Gabriel Heinze in the arm – but replays showed it actually hit his shoulder.  Tough break for Madrid, but Steven Gerrard didn’t waste the chance and buried the penalty for a 2-0 Liverpool lead.

FBL-EUR-C1-LIVERPOOL-REAL MADRIDGerrard got the second half off to a wonderful start  when he put a rocket shot past Casillas off a cross from Ryan Babel.  The Reds didn’t dominate the second half quite as much as they did the first, but the defense did a fantastic job of keeping Madrid off the board.  The center back duo of Martin Skrtel and Jamie Carragher completely shut down the Madrid attack.  With the game well in hand, Liverpool was able to take off Xabi Alonso, Gerrard and Torres to rest them for Saturday’s huge clash with Manchester United.  Liverpool completed the embarrassment of Madrid as substitute Andrea Dossena scored on the counter attack in the 88th minute.

An incredible overall performance from Liverpool – notice is now served to the rest of Europe that they are a team to be reckoned with.  Hopefully, they will be able to take some momentum from this game into the Premier League match against Manchester United.  If the Reds play like they did today, they can beat anyone.  

Liverpool is joined in the quarterfinals of the Champions League by Chelsea (3-2 aggregate over Juventus), Villarreal (3-2 aggregate over Panathinaikos) and Bayern Munich (12-1 [!!!] aggregate over Sporting – talk about a beating).  The other four quarterfinalists will be decided tomorrow.

Today’s Results

Liverpool 4 (Torres 16, Gerrard 28 pen, 47, Dossena 88)
Real Madrid 0

Juventus 2 (Iaquinta 19, Del Piero 74 – pen)
Chelsea 2 (Essien 45+1, Drogba 83)

Panathinaikos 1 (Mantzios 55)
Villarreal 2 (Ariel Ibagaza 49, Joseba Llorente 70)

Bayern 7 (Poldoski 7, 34, Polga-o.g. 39, Schweinsteiger 43, Van Bommel 74, Klose 82 – pen, Muller 90)
Sporting 1 (João Moutinho 42)

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