It was a difficult day for goalkeepers on both sides of the highly anticipated Champions League clash between Liverpool and Real Madrid on Tuesday night at Anfield Stadium.
Real Madrid’s Thibaut Courtois was the first goalkeeper to make a terrible mistake in this one.
Liverpool got off to a fast start on their own ground, as Darwin Núñez scored in the fourth minute of the game to take the early lead.
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Barely 10 minutes later, Real Madrid returned the ball to Courtois, who used his chest to control it. However, there wasn’t much control over that.
Courtois had the ball bounce off his knee, and Liverpool’s star striker Mohamed Salah was there to kick it into the back of the net to make it 2-0.
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Courtois couldn’t believe what had just happened, and the Real Madrid fans in the stands shared his look of disbelief as the Liverpool fans celebrated.
But Real Madrid did not bow their heads after the faltering start. Vini Jr. cut the lead in half when he found the back of the net with a perfectly placed shot from his right boot in the 21st minute that found the right side of the net and past Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Becker.
Then, before the first half was over, Becker made a blunder that ultimately led to a Real Madrid run.
Like the Courtois mishap, Liverpool were looking to return it to Becker to kick down the field and clear any danger.
Instead, Becker was «too casual,» as one commentator put it, and tried to kick his teammate instead of a long pass down the field. Vini Jr. kept running for the ball, hitting it in just the right spot to find the net.
Becker was stunned, but Real Madrid were not complaining. They were heading to the locker room with the game tied when it could have been much worse.
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They used that momentum in the second half to crush Liverpool on their own ground, scoring three goals, two of which came from French star Karim Benzema. Eder Militao scored the first of the second half after two minutes thanks to a low cross from Luka Modric.
It was a historic 5-2 victory for Real Madrid, as Liverpool had never conceded four goals in a European game at Anfield in the team’s history, let alone five.
But that’s the Champions League: one mistake can be enough to end a team’s chances of glory. But multiple mishaps created one of the wildest matches to date.
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These two teams will meet again on March 15 for the second leg, where Real Madrid has a 5-2 aggregate advantage.