'Mixed feelings' - Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson reacts to Real Madrid Champions League thrashing
- Henderson reacts to Liverpool defeat
- Reds went 2-0 up at Anfield
- But lost 5-2 against current UCL holders
WHAT HAPPENED? Liverpool capitulated despite commanding an early 2-0 lead in the first leg of their Champions League round of 16 clash at home to Real Madrid, losing 5-2 in an end-to-end contest that was riddled with goals and errors. Captain Henderson didn't hold back when assessing their performance after the game.
WHAT THEY SAID: "It is hard to sum it up," Admitted Henderson to BT Sport. "Mixed feelings. Disappointment. For large parts of the first half we did well especially for the goals. We made too many mistakes."
He added: "Performance level, first half was very good. Second half wasn't as good. Second leg is three weeks away. We have to move on quickly and come across that bridge when we come back to it."
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Darwin Nunez fired Liverpool in front early on in front of a buoyant home crowd, who had been loud in their criticism of UEFA ahead of kick-off. Mohamed Salah doubled that lead thanks to a calamitous error from Thibaut Courtois, but a brace from Vinicius Junior allowed Real to head into half-time on level terms.
Liverpool then couldn't match their visitors after the break as Real ran riot in a record-breaking repeat of last season's final, with Karim Benzema and Eder Militao getting in on the act. The result undoes a return to form that the Reds had managed to carve out in the Premier League prior to the game, where they had managed back-to-back wins against Everton and high-flying Newcastle.
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WHAT NEXT FOR LIVERPOOL? The Reds have a glut of Premier League fixtures to play before they visit Madrid for the second leg, including a mammoth clash against Manchester United on March 5. Any faint hopes of pulling off a comeback at the Santiago Bernabeu must be fuelled by improved league form over the coming weeks.