Thursday, March 12, 2009

Liverpool 4 - 0 Real Madrid

If Real Madrid didn’t know it before, they are now all too painfully aware of what a European night at Anfield is all about.

Liverpool produced a magnificent performance to reach the Champions League quarter-finals with a 5-0 aggregate defeat of Real Madrid.

In a remarkable first half, Real Madrid were torn to shreds by a breathtaking attacking display led by Fernando Torres, their arch-enemy from his Atletico Madrid days.

Torres scored early on, before Steven Gerrard fired home from the spot.

And had it not been for an outstanding display from Spanish goalkeeper Iker Casillas, Liverpool would have had a hatful in that first 45 minutes alone.

Gerrard scored a spectacular third seconds after the break to deflate Madrid further and substitute Andrea Dossena added a fourth with three minutes to go.

Real were not just beaten, they were pummelled into submission by a Liverpool side which grabbed their illustrious opponents by the scruff of the neck and never let go until all signs of life had been squeezed out of them.

Admittedly, the Reds’ failure to perform as well in the Premier League as they do in the Champions League is a disappointment.

But when clubs of the calibre of Real Madrid, Barcelona, Chelsea, Inter Milan, AC Milan and Juventus are so regularly overcome, their European exploits could hardly be a cause for complaint.

There is something very special about Liverpool in Europe and in the not too distant future supporters will look back on nights like last night as among the most glorious and memorable they have ever experienced. For everyone else, it brought yet another reminder of how potent the combination of Benitez’s Liverpool and their Anfield home are on a European night.

Long may it continue.

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