Vinicius & Benzema run riot as Real punish Liverpool

Real Madrid seemingly have one foot in the next round of the UEFA Champions League after coming back from two goals down to thump Liverpool 5-2 at Anfield. 

Madrid were boosted by the return striker Benzema, who joined Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo upfront. As for the Reds, Darwin Nunez shrugged off a shoulder injury that forced him off in the win over Newcastle United, as he formed a front three with Mohamed Salah and Cody Gakpo. 

Jurgen Klopp’s charges had a perfect start as an audacious backheel by Nunez and a mistake by Los Blancos goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois led to Mohamed Salah doubling the Reds’ lead within 14 minutes. 

However, Vinicius Junior pulled a goal back for the visitors on 21 minutes after cutting inside the box and sending a superb strike into the far corner.

Nine minutes before the break, shot-stopper Alisson made an error trying to clear a ball from the back as his shot ricocheted off Vinicius and sailed into an empty net for the equaliser.

Carlo Ancelotti’s men took the lead just two minutes into the second stanza after Eder Militao thumped home a header from Luka Modric’s free-kick. 

The Spanish giants hit Liverpool on a counter-attack seven minutes later as Benzema had a poked shot that took a deflection off Joe Gomez and wrong-footed Alisson to make it 2-4.

Los Blancos caught the Reds again on a transition attack on 67 minutes as Benzema made it 5-2 after going through on goal, rounded Alisson and scored into a gaping net to also complete his brace.

Napoli took a two-goal cushion back to Italy after beating ten-man Eintracht Frankfurt 2-0 in the round of 16 first-leg at Deutsche Bank Park.

Napoli made two changes from their win over Sassuolo, as Piotr Zielinski and Hirving Lozano joined Victor Osimhen and Khvicha Kvaratskhelia in attack.

The Italian side had a penalty ten minutes before the break after Osimhen was brought down in the box but Khvicha Kvaratskhelia had his spot-kick saved by goalkeeper Kevin Trapp.

However, Osimhen eventually broke the deadlock for Napoli five minutes before the interval after finishing off a cross by Lozano.

Eintracht’s chances of a comeback were affected after Randal Kolo Muani was red-carded just before the hour-mark for a dangerous tackle, as they went down to ten men.

Giovanni Di Lorenzo delivered a killer blow for the German side on 65 minutes, as he doubled the lead for Napoli with a sweeping strike in the box.

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