Real Madrid ease past Liverpool into Champions League quarters

Real Madrid ease past Liverpool into Champions League quarters

MADRID, 16th March, 2023 (WAM) -- Real Madrid cruised into the Champions League quarter-finals as Karim Benzema's second-half goal secured a comfortable 1-0 win over Liverpool in their last-16 second leg that wrapped up a 6-2 aggregate victory on Wednesday.

Bidding to win back-to-back Champions League titles and a record-extending 15th European crown, a disciplined Real seemed content to sit back against a tame Liverpool who carried little threat for most of the game.

Real spurned several opportunities to open the scoring as they looked to exploit Vinicius Jr’s speed on the counter-attack but could not break the deadlock until late in the second half.

They sealed victory in the 79th minute when Vinicius flicked a loose ball inside the area to Benzema who tapped it into the empty net.

"There is no easy wins in the Champions League, and it was a complicated match, but we showed from the beginning how serious we are in our desire to go far in the competition this season," Benzema told Movistar Plus.

In need of a three-goal win after losing 5-2 at home, Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp picked a very attacking team with forwards Mohamed Salah, Cody Gakpo, Diogo Jota and Darwin Nunez in the starting line-up.

Nunez almost scored in the sixth minute after Salah stole the ball from Eder Militao and set up the Uruguayan, but his low shot was blocked by goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.