Real Madrid into Champions League quarterfinals after Liverpool win
MADRID, March 16: Real Madrid booked their place in the quarterfinals of the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday night with a 1-0 win at home to Liverpool, giving them a 6-2 triumph on aggregate.
Karim Benzema scored Madrid's goal in the 79th minute after the ball fell kindly for him in Liverpool's penalty area, and his side never looked in danger of surrendering their 5-2 lead from the first leg.
Both sides had chances to score in an entertaining first half but Madrid had the best of them and were it not for the heroics of Alisson in the Liverpool goal, the tie would have been dead and buried long before Benzema's goal.
The Brazilian made a spectacular block from Vinicius Jr's effort as the forward arrived unmarked at the far post to meet a cross from a narrow-angle, only for the keeper to stick out an arm to make a reflex save.
Alisson then tipped over Eduardo Camavinga's shot from outside the area after it took a wicked deflection off James Milner.
Luka Modric then fired just over and Alisson again denied Vinicius, although this time the flag was up for offside as Madrid threatened to overrun their rivals.
At the other end, Thibaut Courtois pulled off two saves to deny Darwin Nunez and Cody Gakpo as Liverpool looked to react, although Alisson had to make another routine save from Toni Kroos before the halftime whistle.
There were no changes at the break and Alisson was quickly called into action to deny Federico Valverde, who was put clean through on goal after an error from Andrew Robertson.
Valverde then headed wide and Real Madrid continued to threaten, with Benzema firing over from a Vinicius pass when he would have usually at least put his effort on target.
The Frenchman made no mistake from close range shortly afterward, when the ball fell kindly for Vinicius to play it to him from the floor to fire into an empty net.