Real Madrid 1-0 Liverpool – Tactical Analysis

Real Madrid beat Liverpool by having control of the match at all times.

Liverpool FC

In possession

Klopp’s side started with Diogo Jota and Cody Gakpo up front, with Darwin Nunez on the left flank. When they had long possessions and Robertson was able to gain meters in the opposition half, Nunez moved into the center as an extra striker.

Mohamed Salah

The accumulation of players in the central area made Liverpool look for long balls to Salah to play 1 on 1 in the right wing. The main passers were Trent and Van Dijk who in this aspect were at a great level. In addition Salah had a good situation in the first half after a mistake by Rudiger, which he couldn’t take advantage of.

Real Madrid

Eduardo Camavinga

The problems of Liverpool were in the great intensity and agressiveness demonstrated by Real Madrid with a better midfield. Camavinga was one of the players who recovered more balls and as we can see in this play it was usual that several Madrid players came to press the ball holder.

Toni Kroos

The other very important player in this aspect, who played at an extraordinary level, was Kroos. He recovered the ball, positioned perfectly, controlled the pace of the game and was very accurate in his passing, being the player who prevented the game from having lots of transitions as Klopp intended.

In possession

The big problem for Liverpool was the lack of balance, Fabinho was in charge of providing it but when he was out of position Liverpool had many problems, as in this play where Nacho appears in the middle of the field and the space is huge in the back of the midfielders.

A similar situation can be seen in the defensive line. When Benzema received with his back to goal, Van Dijk tried to press and at his back both Valverde and Carvajal attacked the space, leaving Robertson with a double threat.

In this play it is down the right flank with Kroos throwing a great long pass to Vinícius and Benzema also attacks the space generating problems for Trent-Alexander Arnold.

The lack of organization in midfield with little help from the attacking players allowed Real Madrid to combine with ease and get to the edge of the box to finish unopposed.

Alisson Becker

All these problems of Liverpool led to Real Madrid having many chances, being able to finish almost all the plays that reached the final third. Liverpool’s best player was Alisson who had to make saves of all kinds, proving that he is still one of the best goalkeepers in the world. His great level allowed Liverpool to keep a clean sheet until the 78th minute.

Vinícius Junior

To explain the play of the goal, first we have to talk about the problems Vinícius generate Trent Alexander-Arnold throughout the match. The Brazilian was far superior, with the Englishman showing apathy when he had to defend, in addition to the fact that his best contribution is always in attack. 


In the goal he made several mistakes, first of all he was late to defend, leaving Konaté out of position. When Benzema has the ball he loses sight of Vinícius, although in the end Benzema does not give the pass. The ball ends up in Camavinga who gives a great pass to Benzema and once again Trent misses the mark, allowing Vinícius to receive and assist Benzema for the goal.

Real Madrid was far superior and advanced to the quarterfinals of the Champions League.

Other Analysis

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