Ancelotti's men beat Liverpool again and advance to a round where there are three Italian teams

Real Madrid do not walk alone in Europe, Haaland awaits in the quarter-finals

photo_camera AP/BERNAT AMARGUE - Karim Benzema celebrates after scoring his team's first goal during the second leg of the Champions League round of 16 tie between Real Madrid and Liverpool at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium

You'll never walk alone was playing on the Bernabéu's public address system as Real Madrid and Liverpool left the pitch after a game of formality, which Los Blancos won again.  

The music was Real Madrid's thanks to the English club for the emotional first leg tribute to the death of Amancio Amaro. But it was also a way of respecting a historic rival and, who knows, a gesture of what their Super League clashes will be like.  

Klopp landed in Madrid surrendered. He made no secret of it in the press conference before and after the game. Flattery for Real Madrid to cover up his criticism of Valdebebas when he had to play a Champions League tie at the Madrid club's training ground. 


The match was short-lived thanks to the fact that Ancelotti put out an eleven of guarantees with Camavinga, Kroos and Modric in midfield. Benzema and Vinicius were also absent for a match that could not end in a scare.  

Such was Ancelotti's fear of Liverpool scoring a goal that the first change of the four came in the 82nd minute, four minutes after Benzema had scored the only goal of the game after an assist from Vinicius from the floor.  

Earlier, Real Madrid had more chances than Liverpool, who were deflating as the minutes ticked by and were unable to spring a surprise in the Spanish capital. Salah was left alone on his flank against a lively Nacho. Alexander-Arnold was once again having nightmares about Vinicius, whom his coach once again described as "the best in the world".  

As well as the music of Gerry and the Pacemakers, a handball by Tsimikas in the 92nd minute had both coaches on edge. Not because of the significance, but they needed to know if the criteria of the previous day in the City-Leipzig game would be followed, where an unthinkable handball was whistled. 


This time common sense prevailed over the VAR microscope, something that pleased Klopp and Ancelotti, who said after the game that what happened in Manchester on Tuesday "is not football".  

Real Madrid advance to the quarter-finals and become one of the favourites to win the title. Much more so than last year when, at this stage, they had already caused more than one heartbreak among their fans.  

City and Bayern are the other two big outsiders. Guardiola and Haaland's side are seeking their first Champions League title before a Premier League sanction dismantles the team after years of financial doping. The Bavarians are rescuing their best football from other seasons and want to rule in Europe as they do in the Bundesliga. 


Then comes a group of deserving teams with Napoli as the big surprise. Spalleti's men are the best team in Europe from August to March. They have practically won the league and their football is almost perfect. The problem is that the Champions League crossings are a football mystery within the reach of very few teams.  

From Italy, Inter and Milan also reach the quarter-finals, two other classics returning to Europe's top flight, but with little firepower to reach the semi-finals. Also two teams such as Joao Felix's Chelsea and Benfica, who, for many, are the Cinderella and whom everyone loves.