Vinicius Junior scored twice as Real Madrid beat Liverpool for a fourth successive time in the Champions League to take a 3-1 aggregate lead in their quarter-final tie.
Although without first-choice defenders Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane, Madrid took the game to Liverpool from the off in the first meeting between the sides since the 2018 final, exposing the Reds’ own defensive failures.
Vinicius opened the scoring from Toni Kroos’ exceptional pass and Trent Alexander-Arnold’s error nine minutes later led to Marco Asensio making it 2-0.
Mohamed Salah snatched a potentially crucial away goal for Liverpool, but Vinicus’ second ensured a first-leg lead for the 13-time European champions.
Meanwhile, Phil Foden gave Manchester City a slender 2-1 Champions League quarter-final advantage over Borussia Dortmund after Marco Reus snatched an away goal in a frantic finish at the Etihad Stadium.
Kevin De Bruyne started and finished a rapid move to put City ahead in the 19th minute, but Dortmund were unfortunate to be behind at half-time after referee Ovidiu Hategan inexplicably penalised Jude Bellingham for a fair challenge on Ederson.
City belatedly hit their stride in the final quarter of the game, although Foden looked like being the villain as he missed two golden opportunities before Bellingham and Erling Haaland combined for Reus to coolly equalise six minutes from time.
Fortunately for the home team, England youngster Foden kept a cool head when Ilkay Gundogan knocked down De Bruyne’s majestic cross in the 90th minute, firing into the right corner.