Liverpool 0-0 Real Madrid (1-3 on Aggregate): 5 Things We Learned

Liverpool bowed out of the Champions League this evening after failing to overcome a two-goal deficit to Spanish Champions Real Madrid. Here are five things we learnt from the tie.
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After a thrilling start, Liverpool failed to take their chances against a makeshift Madrid defence, meaning they exit the Champions League at the Quarter Final stage. It's a disappointing end to a campaign that managed to give the Reds a welcomed break from their league troubles.

Here are five things we learned from the goalless draw.

Wasteful In Front of Goal, Again

To say that Liverpool didn't give this game a go would be very wide of the mark. Bar a few spells, Jürgen Klopp's men controlled the ninety minutes. It started so promisingly, with Sadio Mané looking back to his normal self. 

He played Mohamed Salah through on goal, a chance the Egyptian has made his bread and butter in a red shirt. Instead of slotting it past Courtois, he hit it straight at the Belgian. At the time it was a promising start, by the end, it was a crucial talking point.

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Further chances fell to Salah, Georginio Wijnladum, Roberto Firmino and more. Each one of them was blasted off-target or into the goalkeeper. Liverpool accumulated 1.22 expected goals on the night, but couldn't make their superiority count.

Klopp's Team Selection

A huge talking point before the game was the German's team selection. He elected to go with Georginio Wijnaldum and James Milner in midfield, resulting in furor from fans. These selections looked to pay off in the first half as Wijnaldum in particular seemed to perform like he usually does in the big games. One standout moment, in particular, resulted in him spinning Toni Kroos and releasing Liverpool on the break.

Milner too impressed before he made way for Thiago. Perhaps the substitutions could have been different (Wijnaldum looked poorer in the second half and Oxlade-Chamberlain/Xherdan Shaqiri could have come on sooner). But overall, the team selection was good. It was just let down by poor finishing on the night.

A More Fluid Attack with Roberto Firmino

Roberto Firmino has divided the fan base this season, but in recent weeks, he's shown how important he can be to how fluid the team is. Bar one really poor pass when breaking to Trent Alexander-Arnold, the Brazilian was good in linking play.

He dropped deep, allowing space for Wijnaldum & Alexander-Arnold, in particular, to try and create things in the Madrid final third. He may have missed two chances - both were fairly difficult - but Firmino has made his case to be a starter in Liverpool's front three. Tonight didn't harm his cause.

Creativity and Goals from Midfield - Still an Issue

Whatever happened in this tie, Liverpool is in for a big summer. One thing that seems to be certain, a creative spark in the midfield is something that may need to be targeted. Alexander-Arnold & Andy Robertson created ten big chances between them this evening, but these were ultimately squandered.

Two chances fell to midfielders, Milner's shot was a good one that was comfortably saved by Courtois. Wijnaldum, however, missed a glorious opportunity in the first half to open the scoring. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Shaqiri both looked semi-threatening when they came on, but it wasn't to be. Thiago Alcantara looked to play people in once he came on too, but he isn't the sort of player to guarantee goals himself.

This is a game that was begging out for someone in the midfield to pop up with a goal from nowhere. It's an area that Liverpool may well look to improve in the next few months.

A Trophyless Season for Liverpool

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After a glorious two seasons, Liverpool have now confirmed a trophyless season. While disappointing, it is a season that still has something to fight for. Liverpool are in a good (yet probably not great) position to qualify for the Champions League next season.

The team from top to bottom need to pick themselves up. The next game is against Leeds on Monday night. There is no time for the players to feel sorry for themselves. They need to show the mentality that carried the team to a Champions League and League titles in two years.