In a UEFA Champions League (UCL) classic, Real Madrid came from behind to beat Liverpool 5-2 in the first leg of their Round of 16 tie, leaving the Reds winless in the last seven H2Hs between these European giants.
After a dominant opening that was reminiscent of seasons gone by for the Reds, Thibaut Courtois then gave Salah an absolute gift with a poor touch, and the Egyptian gratefully accepted it to draw level with Didier Drogba as the highest-scoring African in UCL history.
Vinícius almost cut Liverpool open again with a ball to Rodrygo, although Andrew Robertson made an outstanding intervention to keep the score level going into the break.
However, it took just two second-half minutes for Los Blancos to be headed in front when Éder Militão was found in space by Luka Modrić’s pinpoint free-kick delivery, leaving a stunned Anfield the quietest it had been all evening.
Vinícius was released by Modrić after he bypassed Liverpool’s midfield with ease, and he slipped through Benzema who showed incredible composure for his second of the night whilst also becoming the first-ever Real Madrid player to score in six competitions during a single season.
With Los Blancos taking control, Liverpool were unable to create any notable late opportunities as Jürgen Klopp’s side suffered just their second loss in 24 home matches across all competitions.