Connect with us

Champions League

Liverpool and Real Madrid win key away games ahead of UCL clash

Liverpool and Real Madrid will lock horns in a repeat of last season’s Champions League final on Tuesday, albeit the mood will be different this time.

Both sides are lagging well behind their seasonal goals in domestic championships and will be looking to use Europe’s elite competition to redeem themselves to their supporters.

Liverpool’s worst Premier League campaign under Jurgen Klopp sees them languish six points behind the top four after winning less than 50% of their league matches this season (10/22).

However, Darwin Nunez and Cody Gakpo inspired the Reds to a morale-boosting 2-0 win at fellow top-four hopefuls Newcastle United on Saturday, making it two top-flight victories in a row.

To better understand the difficulty of that task, Klopp’s men became the first team to take home three points from St James’ Park this term, though Nick Pope’s first-half expulsion gave them a massive helping hand.

Left with ten men, the Magpies stood no chance against last season’s Premier League runners-up, but Klopp cannot be satisfied with his side’s lackadaisical display in the second half.

Liverpool wasted too many clear-cut opportunities to record a more convincing triumph ahead of Madrid’s highly-anticipated visit to Anfield for the first leg of their mouth-watering round-of-16 tie.

Unlike their opponents, Los Blancos are on the verge of securing another top-four finish in La Liga, yet defending the crown for the first time since 2008 was a prime goal at the start of the season.

Despite eking out a 2-0 win at mid-table Osasuna without standout striker Karim Benzema, Carlo Ancelotti’s men are still eight points off pacesetters Barcelona, who claimed a comfortable 2-0 home triumph over Cadiz on Sunday.

Given the Catalan giants’ outrageous domestic form, Madrid’s chances of closing the gap look rather slim, putting the emphasis on the upcoming Champions League tie against Liverpool.

With Benzema set to miss out on his side’s trip to England, the Spaniards will have to play out of their skins if they are to avoid entering the return leg with a deficit.

Driven by revenge for last season’s grand final heartbreak, Liverpool will be out to take advantage of the Frenchman’s absence and settle the nerves of the frustrated Anfield faithful.

No matter on which side of the spectrum of supporting these two sides you stand, Tuesday’s encounter has all the makings of a blockbuster contest, with both teams peaking at the best possible moment.

More in Champions League