Real Madrid forward Vinicius Jr. came of age to score twice as his side punished a sloppy Liverpool to win 3-1 at home their Champions League quarter-final first leg.
The 20-year-old Brazilian fired the 13-times European champions into the lead in the 27th minute at the Alfredo di Stefano stadium after controlling a long diagonal pass from Toni Kroos from his own half which flummoxed the Liverpool defence.
Marco Asensio put the hosts further at ease by scoring in the 35th after a Kroos pass again caused havoc among the visiting backline but Liverpool looked more settled after the interval and a scrappy Mohamed Salah strike pulled them back into contention early in the second half.
But they failed to build on their momentum and Vinicius, who has a reputation for thrilling play but a lack of composure in front of goal, struck again in the 63rd minute, blasting past Liverpool keeper Alisson after clever combination play between Karim Benzema and Luka Modric.
Asensio missed a clear chance to grab Madrid’s fourth goal, while Liverpool threatened late on.
Yet the visitors were unable to find a second away goal to take back with them to Anfield next Wednesday and the game ended with the same scoreline as in the 2018 Champions League final.