European nights are back! Liverpool, the six time champions of Europe's most prestigious completion, the Champions League, tonight locked horns with another giant of Europe, 13 time winners, Real Madrid. A fixture with much European royalty, 19 trophies between the two clubs.
Both sides were missing notable names in defence, Liverpool having to do with Virgil van Dijk, Jordan Henderson, Joel Matip. Joe Gomez, Divock Origi and Caoimhín Kelleher. Real lost Sergio Ramos, Dani Carjaval, Eden Hazard and Raphael Varane before the match.
In a mostly unchanged lineup, there were just three changes. In-form man Diogo Jota replaced Roberto Firmino on the field, Georginio Wjinaldum came in for James Milner and, in the biggest talking point before the match, Thiago Alcantara was dropped in favour of Naby Keita.
In a humiliating night out in Estadio Alfredo di Stefano, Real Madrid ran out as deserved 3-1 winners, a brace from Vinicius Jr and a goal from Marco Asensio got Zinedine Zidane's men the head start in the two legged tie. Mohamed Salah got back a valuable away goal leaving all to play for at Anfield next week.
Here are the player ratings
ALISSON BECKER 5
Not at his sharpest tonight. Should have done much better for the third Madrid goal. Still made a couple of good saves.
TRENT ALEXANDER-ARNOLD 4
He could have gotten a rating in the negatives after that diabolical first half. He got his act together in the second half though, and was one of the better Liverpool players on the pitch.
OZAN KABAK 4.5
Was Liverpool's best player for the shambolic opening half an hour, even so, he was not flawless.
NATHANIEL PHILLIPS 4
At fault for the third goal as well, where he was nutmegged as the ball smashed the back of the net.
ANDREW ROBERTSON 4
Could barely get a sniff of the game all night. Hardly participated.
FABINHO TAVARES 4.5
Was one of the decent players in the starting midfield. Had to shift back to defence when Kabak got subbed off.
GEORGINIO WJINALDUM 4
Was it a poor game? Yes. Was it a captain's performance? No. He improved in the second half as well, and played a role in the sole Liverpool goal, but was just not good enough.
NABY KEITA 4
Was sacrificed for a change in tactics at the 41st minute. Didn't help his cause after such a sub par performance.
SADIO MANÉ 3.5
He did nothing right all game and just kept on getting fouled. Absolutely abysmal.
DIOGO JOTA 4
Played a very big role in the only Liverpool goal but remained anonymous all game. Barely got service.
MOHAMED SALAH 5.5
In a moment of brilliance, he got one back. The valuable away goal. He tried to make things happen after the goal as well but in vain.
THIAGO ALCANTARA 5.5
His introduction altered the game, and somehow Liverpool started to play better. However, it was not enough to at least salvage a point.