Jurgen Klopp’s team famously came from 3-0 down to beat Barcelona in the semi-final on their way to winning a sixth European Cup two years ago and the task in the last-eight second leg at home is likely to be just as difficult.
With no fans inside Anfield to produce that special European atmosphere and a team performing at a significantly lower level than in 2019, even an away goal given to them by Mohamed Salah’s 26th in 44 Champions League matches may not be of much help.
Keita departed, Thiago arrived but still the errors continued with Ozan Kabak’s mis-hit backpass presenting Asensio with a chance he rolled wide of the far post.
Liverpool got the start – and the away goal – they wanted in the second half with Salah blasting home via the arm of goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois after Wijnaldum had driven forward from midfield and Diogo Jota had forced his way into the penalty area.
Jota headed wide a raking cross from Alexander-Arnold, whose last-ditch interception prevented Asensio scoring on a counter-attack from a Liverpool corner.
However, it was only delaying the inevitable as Vinicius swung the tie in Real’s favour, shooting through the legs of Nat Phillips with Alisson only able to help the ball into the net after defenders stood off him.