Star striker Karim Benzema credits team’s attacking strategy as Madrid beat Liverpool 1-0 to progress to the quarter-finals with a 6-2 aggregate
Real’s Karim Benzema celebrates after scoring against Liverpool at Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid on Wednesday. Pic/Getty Images
There was no historic comeback for Liverpool. as Real Madrid’s title defense in the Champions League rolled into the quarter-finals. Liverpool never really came close to overcoming its three-goal deficit from the first leg against the titleholders at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium on Wednesday, losing 1-0 to end its hopes of another run to the final.
Karim Benzema scored late and Madrid advanced to the quarters for the third straight season with a 6-2 aggregate score following a 5-2 win from the first leg in England, when it rallied from two goals down early in the first half. “It was a complicated match, against a good opponent,” Benzema said. “We showed from the start that we wanted to attack, so it was a good match for the fans and we are into the quarter-finals.”
Real were in control: Klopp
Liverpool was trying to pull off something never done before in the Champions League, erase a three-goal loss as a visitor. Only five times the team that lost at home rallied in the second leg in Europe’s top club competition. “You needed a special performance and we didn’t show a special performance,” Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said. “In moments, it was a good performance, but Real Madrid was the team in control the whole game. Madrid was the better team and deserved to advance.”
Also read: Napoli book historic Champions League quarter-final berth
The only time Madrid failed to advance in the Champions League after winning the first leg on the road was in 2019, when it was eliminated by Ajax in the round of 16. It had won six of its last seven matches against Liverpool in the tournament, drawing another.
“It was the type of match we wanted,” Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti said. “It was difficult for them to press up front. The team played well, it was focused from the start.”
Osimhen scores for Napoli
Meanwhile, Victor Osimhen made sure Napoli reached the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time in their history with a brace in Wednesday’s 3-0 stroll past Eintracht Frankfurt.
Nigeria striker Osimhen struck either side of half-time to ensure no slip-ups in Naples and help Napoli secure a traightforward, and deserved, 5-0 aggregate win.
Piotr Zielinski added Napoli’s third from the penalty spot on a perfect night for southern Italy’s biggest club.
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