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‘They paid the price’ – Mark Lawrenson on the Liverpool failure that led to 3-1 Real Madrid defeat

“The first half was a mess.”

Former Republic of Ireland and Liverpool defender Mark Lawrenson believes that the Reds’ failure to stifle Real Madrid’s midfield during their Champions League clash on Tuesday cost them the win.

Lawrenson explained that Madrid’s midfielders are the “heartbeat of the team” and as such, the opposition side ought to prevent them from playing their game, something Liverpool failed to do.

Real Madrid vs Liverpool.

Zinedine Zidane‘s Madrid welcomed Liverpool to the Alfredo di Stefano stadium for the first leg of their quarter-finals Champions League clash on Tuesday.

Jurgen Klopp’s team came into the match following an impressive 3-0 win over Arsenal on Saturday and were pegged as favourites to win the tie by many.

However, it was Los Blancos who came away with a 3-1 victory on the night, leaving Liverpool on the edge of elimination from the tournament.

The result means that Madrid have now beaten the Reds four times across all European competitions, a joint-record with Benfica.

“If you want to go to the semi-finals you have to earn the right to do so – we didn’t do that especially in the first half,” Jurgen Klopp said after the game.

“We just didn’t play enough good football to cause Real Madrid more problems.”

Zinedine Zidane responds to Jurgen Klopp’s Real Madrid stadium comment

Lawrenson on Liverpool.

Lawrenson, speaking to BBC Sport, shared his thoughts on his former side’s defeat against the reigning La Liga champions.

“Tuesday was an awful night for Liverpool,” Lawrenson said.

“The first half was a mess, basically. There was no urgency or ideas on the ball – Liverpool created nothing – and no energy or intensity off it.

“To stop Real you have to stop their midfielders from playing, because they are the heartbeat of the team. Liverpool didn’t do that, and they paid the price.

“Mistakes led to both of Real’s goals before the break, but Liverpool looked likely to concede all the time whenever they came under pressure and, defensively, they looked well off the pace.

“Liverpool still have a chance of rescuing themselves (in the second leg), but I have not seen much evidence to suggest they can pull it off.”

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