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50-50: Liverpool vs. Real Madrid

Champions League 1 day ago
36 minutes ago

Liverpool vs. Real Madrid: Head to head

Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti continued his praise for Cristiano Ronaldo who is currently on a goal-scoring tear.

They are two of the most successful clubs in Champions League history, and while 10-time winners Real Madrid may easily beat Liverpool's five European Cups, it is the Anfield club that have dominated their meetings.

Of their three fixtures against each other, Liverpool have won every single one, and by an aggregate of 6-0. They have beaten Real by big margins and on the biggest stage, having claimed the 1981 European Cup final between the two 1-0, and then slaughtered the Spaniards 4-0 in the 2009...

 By Rory Smith
about an hour ago

Liverpool, Real Madrid and the difference five years makes

ESPN FC's Steve Nicol believes the only way Liverpool can survive against Real Madrid is to flood the middle of the park and kill the game.

Rafael Benitez got the first message, as he was having his lunch. It was February 2009, and the Liverpool manager was sitting in the team hotel in Madrid, wearing his Liverpool club tracksuit, surrounded by his Liverpool players and coaching staff.

He checked his phone, the one Liverpool had furnished and paid for. The text was from a friend.

"Apparently, you're not Liverpool manager anymore," it read.

That would be the first of dozens of messages Benitez got that afternoon. They would come...

15 hours ago

Steve McManaman says Mario Balotelli reflects Liverpool's struggles

Does Mario Balotelli need to be volatile to be effective? The ESPN FC crew discuss.

Former Liverpool and Real Madrid winger Steve McManaman expects Mario Balotelli to start for the Anfield side when his former clubs meet in the Champions League on Wednesday but believes a drop in quality up front has been a fundamental reason for the Premier League side's struggles so far this season.

Balotelli has scored just once in nine games since his August move from AC Milan, and McManaman says the reservations he had about the signing at the time have been borne out by the Italian's performances...

 By Michael Cox
18 hours ago

Liverpool and Real Madrid's midfields have evolved since their last meeting

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers addressed Mario Balotelli's goal-scoring slump and says it's only a matter of time before he starts turning them in.

Liverpool's 5-0 aggregate victory over Real Madrid in the 2008-09 Champions League was arguably the genuine highlight of Rafael Benitez's six-year reign at Anfield.

OK, it didn't involve actually winning a trophy, like in the 2005 European Cup final, but as an exhibition of pure footballing brilliance, it was unparalleled. Even the most ardent Liverpool fan recognises Liverpool were far from brilliant in 2005, but defeating Real Madrid 5-0 was truly extraordinary.

The two performances were notable...

John Brewin profile picture  By John Brewin
1 day ago

Blame for woes of Arsenal and Liverpool lie at managers' feet

ESPN FC analyst Craig Burley sounds off on Arsene Wenger's lack of accountability, discusses Sunderland's disgraceful loss to Southampton and congratulates Sergio Aguero on joining some elite company with his four-goal game.

Arsene Wenger was ratty and dismissive, Brendan Rodgers apologetic yet defensive. Both had their reasons to be so. Arsenal and Liverpool had made injury-time escapes at the weekend, and neither manager was willing to explain why his team had got itself into such a mess.

A year ago this week, Arsenal topped the Premier League and Liverpool were just behind in third, before the collapse of a thrilling late-season run left them just short of champion Manchester City. This season, for both, has been...

1 day ago

Champions League 50-50 Challenge: Liverpool vs. Real Madrid

ESPN FC's Steve Nicol gives his take on Brendan Rodgers' comments on a struggling Mario Balotelli.

It's a clash of European royalty at Anfield on Wednesday as five-time winners Liverpool welcome holders and 10-time champions Real Madrid. Steven Kelly (Liverpool) and Rob Train (Real Madrid) preview the week's big clash in Europe.

So, is Cristiano Ronaldo the greatest player to have played at Anfield?

Steven Kelly: North-west England rivalry dictates that I should probably say "no" here! It's also easy to play the age card and confess that I'm old enough to remember Johan Cruyff visiting Anfield...