Real Madrid may have effortlessly bowled over the challenge of Liverpool on their way to a 3-0 victory at Anfield last night, but the same couldn’t said in the earlier kick-off between the two clubs’ respective U19 sides.
The fabled Real Madrid youth side, which has produced players such as Iker Casillas, Raul and to a lesser-extent Tottenham Hotspur star Roberto Soldado, travelled to Merseyside high in confidence to play a European rival which had already lost to FC Basel.
But it was not to be, and an enthralling encounter ended 3-2 to the hosts. Perhaps the biggest talking point from the match however, and the one which is doing the rounds on the web this morning in the form of a viral video, is the horrific penalty miss by Borja Mayoral of the visitors.
The 17-year-old showed shades of Madrid vice-captain Sergio Ramos as he spooned the spot-kick not just over the bar, but also incredible wide of the target. It’s fair to say that he slipped somewhat immediately prior to the point of contact, but this is a potential future Galactico we’re talking about, so he isn’t afforded any sympathy.
Madrid 3-0 Liverpool
Meanwhile the senior side were a world apart with regards to their conviction in putting Liverpool down before the home team had a chance to put up much of a fight. Cristiano Ronaldo opened the scoring with a very smart half-volley, whilst Karim Benzema bagged himself a brace enroute to a tidy victory.
Following their narrow home victory over minnows Ludogorets and the away loss to FC Basel, the Reds are now in an extremely precarious position in Group B.
With Los Blancos virtually guaranteed qualification - they sit on nine points from their first three matches - and Basel having already proven that they’re more than a match for Brendan Rodgers’s side on their day, the chances of making the knockout rounds are looking increasingly slim.
Madrid meanwhile couldn’t be happier, with Ronaldo having edged one step closer to breaking Raul’s all-time Champions League scoring record of 71. The Portuguese forward’s finish put him on 70 goals in Europe’s elite competition, meaning he could well have smashed the record by the turn of the New Year.