Two goals from Vinicius Jr. put Real Madrid in the driving seat in their Champions League quarter-final against Liverpool.
The 20-year-old Brazilian came of age against the 2019 European champions. In the 27th minute, he controlled a superb long pass from Toni Kroos brilliantly with his upper chest and slotted home with aplomb past Liverpool keeper Alisson.
Marco Asensio made it 2-0 in the 35th minute after a Kroos pass again caused havoc among the Reds’ defence.
Liverpool improved after the interval, partly because Thiago came on for the ineffectual Naby Keita (Klopp got his team selection wrong here), and a Mo Salah goal put them back into contention early in the second half.
But Vinicius struck again in the 63rd minute, blasting home after clever play between Karim Benzema and Luka Modric, and Liverpool could not find a way back into the game in the closing stages. Real were simply too good for them, Kroos and Modric too classy. Zinedine Zidane has done it again in Europe when it matters. I can’t see a path back for this Liverpool side, not without their best defenders.
4 – Across all European competitions, no side have beaten Liverpool more often than Real Madrid (4, level with Benfica), with the Reds suffering defeat in each of their last four encounters with los Blancos. Overawed. pic.twitter.com/Y2dfIYHGJh
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 6, 2021
“We didn’t let them create anything,” Vinicius said after the game.
“The tie isn’t over, Liverpool still have a great team and will do everything to win over there so we have to go out on to the pitch just as we did tonight,” he added.
Man of the match: Toni Kroos (Real Madrid)