Liverpool vs Real Madrid – Champions League: Live score and updates
21st February 2023

Liverpool vs Real Madrid LIVE: Jurgen Klopp’s side aim to gain revenge for Champions League final loss as they host holders in last-16 first leg… with Darwin Nunez FIT and Reds unchanged

Follow Sportsmail’s live blog for the Champions League round of 16 first-leg clash between Liverpool and Real Madrid.  

Host commentator

Liverpool fans were accused of causing issues outside of the Stade de France last summer, but with those reports having since been rubbished and found Liverpool fans were totally innocent, BT Sport made an apology for their coverage on the night to open up their programme.

An apology to Liverpool fans after the actions around the Champions League final in 2022.

"We are hugely regretful that we were reading out those false statements, the only statements shared on the screens inside the stadium. It was a completely false narrative."

‘There needs to be fireworks in the stadium and the responsibility lies with the players,’ Gerrard told BT Sport.

‘Get on the front foot and be aggressive. If they can do that it will be a tough night for Real Madrid, but we know they have got world class players and they can handle the heat.’

Mohamed Salah is in line to break THREE historic records set by Steven Gerrard, Robbie Fowler and Didier Drogba… but what are the landmarks? And how many goals does the Liverpool forward need to reach them?

Did someone say record breakers? Mohamed Salah enters the chat…

What were you doing as an 18-year-old, or for some of you, what are you doing now? Could you have imagined walking out onto a pitch at Anfield with the responsibility of taking on Real Madrid? I certainly couldn’t!

Even with the ability, that takes a strong mindset – let’s hope he deals with it well.

18 – Stefan Bajcetic is the youngest player (18 years, 122 days) to start a @ChampionsLeague match for Liverpool. Talent.

Bit over the top? Certainly a unique design, we’ve seen worse haven’t we?

PETE JENSON: Carlo Ancelotti’s injury-stricken side are EIGHT points behind Barcelona in LaLiga and the problems are piling up for star man Vinicius Jr… world champions Real Madrid may not be in fifth gear but Liverpool should STILL approach with caution

PETE JENSON: The table doesn’t lie after 22 games and Real Madrid being eight points behind Barcelona, despite having beaten them earlier in the season, tells its own story – all has not been well.

That doesn’t mean Carlo Ancelotti’s side will be there for the taking at Anfield. Madrid have a history off pulling top Champions League performances out of underwhelming league campaigns. And they were good on Saturday in a hard fought win over Osasuna.

But there are weak spots to be targeted and inadequacies in the squad, intensified by injuries that should encourage Liverpool.

Our friends at SofaScore have put together this neat graphic to show who really have been the best players of the season between these teams.

It’s a convincing win for Real Madrid, with Rodrygo I’m informed just squeezing out Vinicius Junior. The stats are based on players with at least 20 matches and 1800 minutes played.

Your thoughts?

…and that includes a return up front for Karim Benzema who had been a doubt through fatigue and missed the 2-0 win over Osasuna. Dani Carvajal also returns at right back as Dani Ceballos and Nacho Fernandez drop out of the side.

Meanwhile if you have a flip-flop (or sliders as some of you crazy people call them) shortage go complain to the Madrid dressing room…

Liverpool striker Darwin Nunez is fit enough to start after training on Monday following a shoulder injury sustained in the win at Newcastle.

It means Klopp is able to name the same team which won at St James’ Park, a side which due to injury and departures contained seven – Alisson Becker, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Virgil Van Dijk, Andy Robertson, Fabinho, Jordan Henderson and Mohamed Salah – who featured in the Stade de France final.

Courtois, Carvajal, Militao, Rudiger, Alaba, Valverde, Camavinga, Modric, Rodrygo, Benzema, Vinicius Junior.

Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson, Henderson, Fabinho, Bajcetic, Salah, Gakpo, Nunez.

Have to agree there – that is a superb cover for the programme.

Great front cover for tonight’s Liverpool-Real Madrid programme

Liverpool supporters are already out in the streets waiting for the teams to arrive, and have a few red flares to put some light on the subject.

Joel Matip reveals some Liverpool team-mates will be hoping to get ‘payback’ on Real Madrid ahead of Champions League last-16 showdown – with the Reds having lost two finals in the last five years to the Spanish giants

Joel Matip has admitted that some of his Liverpool team-mates will be looking to get ‘payback’ on Real Madrid after losing two Champions League finals in the last five years to the Spanish giants.

And here they are all ready and working. It’s quite a mild evening for this time of year with temperatures around nine degrees Celsius. I certainly don’t want to be seeing any gloves out there…

Now is the time to tell you there are two last-16 ties this evening as UEFA like to drag this phase of the competition over a month.

The other tie sees Eintracht Frankfurt, who finished runners-up in Tottenham’s group take on Serie A leaders and the table toppers in Liverpool’s section of the group phase, Napoli.

Much of our focus will be on Anfield but we’ll keep you updated of any major developments in Germany throughout the evening.

Liverpool sale Q&A: John Henry has ruled out a full takeover, so what happens now? What investment are FSG seeking – and who is interested – what effect has Man United’s own sale had, and what does it mean for Jurgen Klopp’s transfer plans?

We’ve read much on the takeover deals involving Manchester United recently, but let’s not forget, the Reds have also been subject of speculation over changes up top.

Sportsmail’s Merseyside expert DOMINIC KING has EVERYTHING you need to know…

Yep, took a few seconds to realise Jurgen Klopp wasn’t at a burger stands. Time for the old sausage sandwich game though. What sauce would Klopp have? Red? Brown? None at all?

Liverpool fans set off fireworks outside Real Madrid’s hotel at 2am, with mischievous supporters attempting to wake up opposition ahead of Champions League last-16 first-leg at Anfield

Don’t be surprised if Real Madrid look a little tired entering Anfield this evening. I’d be surprised if they had a good night’s kip.

The first one is particularly relevant. It’s been a poor season at Anfield with Liverpool nowhere near a title run, so you would think what hope do they have of winning the Champions League? You can ask the class of 2005 that question.

Meanwhile a lot of love it seems for Luis Diaz – the forward has been out since October with a knee injury but there is still a lot of hope of what he can bring in the future. 

Liverpool handed Champions League boost as Jurgen Klopp reveals ‘there’s a chance’ Darwin Nunez could be fit for Real Madrid clash after training with the Reds on Monday

Liverpool have been left sweating on the fitness of Darwin Nunez who after scoring in the 2-0 victory at Newcastle United on Sunday then departed injured with a shoulder issue.

Jurgen Klopp think’s ‘there is a chance’ he will start and early reports indicate he will feature in the starting XI.

At least not in the last-16 stage anyway. Two giants of the game in Liverpool and Real Madrid meet under the lights in Anfield as we hit the business end of the Champions League.

It was good enough to warrant being last season’s final so let’s hope we have some of Europe’s finest on offer again as I welcome you to our live coverage.

First on the agenda, will this man start?

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