Real Madrid show why they remain the team to beat



Although the hard work was done at Anfield by winning the first leg 5-2, Real Madrid’s achievement in knocking Liverpool out of the Champions League with a 6-2 aggregate victory should not be understated.

Liverpool are one of the most successful and formidable teams in Europe and only Real can surpass their recent run of three finals in five years, so to inflict such a crushing defeat on Jurgen Klopp’s team shows that Real mean business again.

In what is becoming an unusually open Champions League this season, nothing has changed in that Real are still the team to beat. Whether they are drawn against a fellow favourite such as Manchester City or a dark horse side such as AC Milan in Friday’s draw, Carlo Ancelotti’s side will expect to progress.

This Real have never quite been granted the respect that they deserve. People still revere Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona team of Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta and Xavi Hernandez which won two Champions League titles in three years in 2009 and 2011, but several players on this Real team have won four or five during the past 10 years. Karim Benzema, who scored the only goal of this game, Luka ModricToni Kroos and Dani Carvajal are multiple winners, while the rest lifted it in Paris after beating Liverpool last season. Antonio Rudiger didn’t, but he had already won it a year earlier with Chelsea.

They are stacked with seasoned Champions League winners and they still have plenty to offer. Their first-leg demolition of Liverpool was a warning to the rest of Europe, but so was this game in the sense that they were experienced enough to ensure that Liverpool never get going in their attempt to pull off remarkable fightback. Real have already won 14 European Cups and nobody else comes close. Don’t bet against them winning another one this time around.

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