66 min Dear me, it was almost 4-1 a moment ago. Vinicius Junior charged down the right and played an inviting ball into the area for Asensio, who tried to turn away from Alexander-Arnold and Alisson but slightly mistimed his touch.
It’s another soft goal I’m afraid. Modric moved infield from the right and played a square pass to Vinicius Junior, 15 yards out. His first-time shot went through the legs of Phillips and then through the hands of the diving Alisson. He probably saw it late, but having got hands on it Alisson will be pretty disappointed that he didn’t keep it out.
GOAL! Real Madrid 3-1 Liverpool (Vinicus Junior 65)
Real score from the throw-in!
64 min: Great defending by Alexander-Arnold! Real break two on one – two on one! – from the resuling corner. Asensio tries to put Vinicius Junior through on goal, but his pass is too close to Alexander-Arnold and he knocks it out for a throw-in.
63 min: Great defending from Mendy! Liverpool were so close to an equaliser. Jota, in the inside-left channel, played a smooth one-two with Robertson and surged into the area. He decided not to shoot and instead flicked the ball across the six-yard line towards Mane, who was about to shoot when Mendy appeared on his blind side to clear. That was vital.
61 min Kroos thrashes over from 18 yards. That was a fair chance for his player of his quality, even on his left foot. The opportunity came after a mistake from Thiago, who tried to chest a cross down in his own area. Instead he gave it to Asensio, who rolled it back towards Kroos on the edge of the area.
59 min Salah’s cross is taken off Mane’s head by Vazquez, a vital interception. The ball runs across the area to Robertson, whose cutback is blocked. There’s a desperation to Liverpool’s attacking play, which is making for great entertainment.
58 min Benzema slithers infield from the left, away from a couple of defenders, and rifles a shot that is well blocked by Phillips. This is really open now.
56 min Liverpool have been so much sharper since half-time. Thiago is a bit too lively: he gets a yellow card for a foul on Asensio.
53 min A booming cross from Alexander-Arnold is headed wide by the stretching Jota beyond the far post. It was a half chance at best but a spectacular ball in from Alexander-Arnold.
Wijnaldum charged through midfield and found Jota just outside the area.He ran at the heart of the defence and hit a shot that was blocked by Modric. The ball ricocheted towards Salah, who got it out of his feet and forced it past Courtois from close range. Courtois got a touch on the shot, which bounced up onto the underside of the bar and into the net. They are still checking for offside but I think he’s okay.
GOAL! Real Madrid 2-1 Liverpool (Salah 51)
Mo Salah gets a precious away goal!
49 min Real are sitting a lot deeper, happy for Liverpool to have the ball. Lucas Vazquez is booked for a lunge at Jota.
47 min “Rationally, I’m telling myself that there is an awful long way to go in this tie (along with other assorted tired clichés),” says Matt Dony. “Plenty of time to take stock, change the dynamic, turn it around. Nothing to worry about yet. As ever, though, the irrational part of me is much, much louder. Football is awful. I hate everything. Happiness is a myth. I’ll probably die alone.”
46 min Peep peep! Liverpool begin the second half. On BT Sport, Michael Owen makes the excellent point that Anfield won’t be as big a factor as usual in the absence of fans. They really need a goal tonight.
Books etc “For Colin Eldridge,” says Steve Tayler. “He could travel the Whitbread Sports Books of the Year. One that didn’t win was The Miracle of Castel di Sangro, about an Italian team on an amazing season. One of those books about sport that is about life, like Friday Night Lights, or Beyond a Boundary. What do they know of football who only football know?”
Apparently there were 27 seconds between the challenge on Mane – which looks a foul when you see it again – and Asensio’s second goal.
Half time: Real Madrid 2-0 Liverpool
Peep peep! That was a slow-burning horror movie for Liverpool. They were impotent in attack and, after a solid start, a bag of nerves in defence. Real Madrid were good without being exceptional, and unpicked Liverpool with a series of long passes from Toni Kroos. His quarterbackery led to both goals, scored by Vinicius Junior and Marco Asensio, and it would have been worse but for a very good save by Alisson just before the break.
Liverpool aren’t out of it – never give up and all that – but they need to play so much better for the rest of this tie.
43 min Asensio misses a great chance to make it 3-0. Kabak’s backpass was woefully short, putting Asensio through on goal on the right edge of the area. He slid a low shot with his right foot that was crucially saved with his legs by Alisson.
42 min Blimey, Jurgen Klopp has made a very early substitution: Thiago Alcantara is on for Naby Keita. It makes sense, because Liverpool’s passing has been hopeless, but the the timing is interesting to say the least.
41 min Real have had eight attempts at goal to Liverpool’s none. I’m slightly shocked by the poverty of this performance.
40 min Real Madrid have really targetted Alexander-Arnold, a tactic that has worked perfectly so far. Vinicius Junior got between him and Phillips for the first goal, and the second came from a bad mistake.
39 min Mane is booked for dissent, presumably over the free-kick that never was.
38 min Wijnaldum and Klopp are very unhappy that a foul wasn’t given at the other end just before the goal. I’m not sure it was a foul, in truth. Even if it was, that second goal was so avoidable.
That was a terrible goal to give away. Kroos, near the halfway line, lofted a pass down the inside-left channel towards Vinicius Junior. Alexander-Arnold read it well but then headed the ball across the face of the penalty area, straight to Asensio. His insouciant lob was half stopped by Alisson, but the ball bounced kindly and Asensio was able to run the ball into the net with appreciable glee.
GOAL! Real Madrid 2-0 Liverpool (Asensio 36)
Marco Asensio makes it two after a howler from Trent Alexander-Arnold!
36 min Mane goes over on the edge of the area after a collision with the last man Lucas Vazquez. The referee Felix Brych waves him up.
34 min Liverpool have been so disappointing. Any team can play badly, it happens, but it’s hard to explain the sluggishness of Liverpool’s performance.
33 min The resulting corner is headed away to the edge of the area, where the unmarked Asensio sprays a half-volley into orbit. It was on his right foot, hence the orbit bit.
32 min While that’s being checked, Vinicius Junior’s shot from the edge of the area takes a slight deflection off Phillips and whistles past the far post. It looks like Kabak has got away with that tackle on Benzema; I think he’s a bit lucky. Or, to put it another way, I think that would have been given in the Premier League.
32 min Benzema appeals unsuccessfully for a penalty after a desperate challenge from Kabak. This will be checked by VAR.
It was made by Toni Kroos, who received possession halfway inside his own half, turned and assessed his options. He drove a fantastic long pass over the Liverpool defence towards Vinicius Jr, who got behind Phillips and controlled the ball superbly with his left shoulder. That touch took him across Phillips and into the area, and his second touch was a confident drive back across Alisson. Liverpool will be annoyed at the simplicity of the goal, but the pass and first touch were immaculate.
GOAL! Real Madrid 1-0 Liverpool (Vinicius Jr 27)
Real take the lead with a majestic goal!
25 min A dreadful pass from Alexander-Arnold goes straight to Asensio on the halfway line. He gives it to Kroos, who slides a through ball towards Benzema in the inside-left channel. Benzema moves into the area and hits a shot that goes behind off Kabak. That was good defending from Kabak, who tracked Benzema all the way.
23 min Ozan Kabak and Nat Phillips have had a really solid start to the game. That’s the biggest positive for Liverpool at the moment.