Champions League: Real Madrid ease past Liverpool with 3-0 win at Anfield
Last Updated: 25/11/14 5:20pm
Real Madrid produced a first-half masterclass as they overpowered Liverpool 3-0 in their Champions League Group B clash at Anfield.
Cristiano Ronaldo netted his 70th Champions League goal with a stunning finish to set Real on their way midway through the first half.
Karim Benzema added a second on 30 minutes with a brilliant looping header and he put the game beyond Liverpool before half-time with a simple finish after more suspect defending from the home side.
Liverpool tried to rally in the second half, but Real held them at bay comfortably to secure their first win in their illustrious history over the Merseyside outfit
Liverpool tried to make a fast start and on 10 minutes Steven Gerrard found space on the edge of the box and fired in a dipping shot which Iker Casillas pushed away at full stretch.
But, after working their way into the contest, Real struck on 23 minutes with a superb effort from Ronaldo as he scored his first goal at Anfield.
Ronaldo started the move working the ball to James Rodriguez before collecting the Colombian's superb lofted return pass into the box and firing a brilliant shot under pressure from Martin Skrtel into the corner of Simon Mignolet's net.
The former Manchester United player went close to scoring again five minutes later when he cut past Steven Gerrard on the edge of the box and fizzed his shot just wide of the target.
Real doubled their lead on the half hour mark when Liverpool only half cleared a corner and Toni Kroos had time to pick out Benzema at the far post, the Frenchman looping his header brilliantly over Mignolet into the far corner from a tight angle.
Things got even worse for Liverpool four minutes before the break as they gifted Benzema his second goal of the game and surely one of the easiest of his career.
Mignolet and Skrtel made a mess of dealing with a corner and Benzema was on hand to gleefully slot the ball into the empty net.
Liverpool tried to rally before half-time and Joe Allen fired a shot wide of the target after being picked out by Mario Balotelli inside the box.
The home side were inches away from reducing the arrears right on the stroke of half-time as Philippe Coutinho smashed a shot from 25 yards out against the post with Casillas well beaten.
Brendan Rodgers made a change at the break with Balotelli making way for Adam Lallana and although the former Southampton man added guile to the Liverpool attack they struggled to make any inroads into the Real defence.
Real looked the more likelier to score again as they looked to hit Liverpool on the break and Ronaldo forced Mignolet into a good save after being gifted the ball by Dejan Lovren.
Ronaldo really should have made it 4-0 on 64 minutes when Benzema flicked Isco's cross into the path of Ronaldo in front of goal and with only Mignolet to beat the Portuguese star saw his shot kept out by the legs of the Liverpool keeper.
Liverpool huffed and puffed in the closing stages, but never looked like getting back into the game as Real coasted through to the final whistle.