Liverpool come up short against Real Madrid in Champions League tie
Liverpool's struggles continue as they lost 1-0 to Real Madrid in a Champions League game at the Santiago Bernabeu this morning (Singapore time).
But they can have no complaints.
If Real Madrid currently represent the best there is on the continent, this match illustrated just how far Liverpool are from regaining the crown they last won in 2005.
Never mind if the Reds left out Raheem Sterling, Mario Balotelli and skipper Steven Gerrard from the starting line-up. It didn't matter either that they were missing Daniel Sturridge through injury.
The gulf in quality is too great for a handful of players to make a difference.
Real began the match brightly, with James Rodriguez and Cristiano Ronaldo testing Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet within the first 10 minutes.
It soon became inevitable that Real would eventually find their way through, and they did so in the 27th minute.
Karim Benzema easily shrugged off the marking of Kolo Toure to turn in a cross by Marcelo to give the hosts the lead.
In the 58th minute, the Reds fashioned tier first decent chance of the game.
Adam Lallana executed a brilliant turn on the edge of the box, but could only drag his shot wide of the goal.
That, unfortunately for Liverpool fans, was as good as it got.
The introduction of Gerrard and Sterling in 70th minute changed little.
By the time Gareth Bale's effort struck the crossbar in the 71st minute, Real had already dropped their game by a couple of gears.
There was no burning desire on their part to rip the opponents apart.
All they wanted was to get the job done. With this victory, they progressed to the knock-out stage with two games to spare.
Liverpool are now third in Group B, three points away from Basel who occupy the second qualifying spot.