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Real Madrid vs Liverpool, Toni Kroos, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Jurgen Klopp

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Liverpool have fell to a 3-1 defeat to Real Madrid in the quarter-final first leg of the UEFA Champions League.

Real Madrid opened the scoring in the 27th minute, with Toni Kroos the key after he received the ball inside his own half.

He then put a lovely pass over the Liverpool defence and to Vinicius Junior, who used his left shoulder to gain possession and drive the ball into the net on the second touch.

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The next goal saw Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold exposed.

The Reds right-back missed out on selection in the last England squad, prompting debate over whether Gareth Southgate made the right call as Jurgen Klopp declared Alexander-Arnold has the potential to be “world-class.”

Unfortunately he did little to prove Southgate wrong in the first half, heading a pass from Kroos towards the penalty area and straight to Marco Asensio, who capitalised on the howler.

“If Alexander-Arnold’s performance against Arsenal put the spotlight on Gareth Southgate’s decision to omit him from the England squad, this half in Madrid has put the focus firmly back on the Liverpool right-back,” Sky Sports football journalist Adam Bates wrote.

“That was an unforced error in what has been an opening 45 minutes riddled with mistakes by Alexander-Arnold, but he is not alone.

“Liverpool need to get a grip of this game and fast.”

There was almost one more for Real Madrid off a Liverpool error but Asensio’s strike went just wide of the far post in the 43rd minute.

Eventually Liverpool scored their first goal of the game as Mohamed Salah pounced on a blocked shot by Diogo Jota.

Both Liverpool and Real Madrid were presented with big chances in the space of two minutes with Ferland Mendy denying Sadio Mane a tap-in goal in the 63rd minute.

Only a minute later Alexander-Arnold redeemed himself with a desperate effort and brilliant defending to cut off a through ball from Asensio to put Vinicius Junior on goal.

It meant little unfortunately as Liverpool conceded a soft goal shortly after, with Vinicius Junior nabbing his second.

Lucas Vazquez had the throw-in and linked with Karim Benzema, who passed to Luka Modric.

Liverpool were guilty of simply letting him run towards the box before finding Vinicius Junior who took a first-off shot which got past Alisson, sealing a 3-1 victory.

“The passiveness in Liverpool’s defending is astounding,” football correspondent Melissa Reddy tweeted.

“Real Madrid can almost pause, slow down the move, pick the right pass and finish. Visitors are finally showing attacking bite, but are getting sliced so effortlessly.”

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