Vinicius Junior rubbed salt in Liverpool’s wounds on Tuesday by copying Cristiano Ronaldo’s ‘nap’ celebration at Anfield.
Liverpool were completely dismantled by Carlo Ancelotti’s Real Madrid after racing into a two-goal lead in the first leg of their last-16 Champions League game. They scored five goals in response to put one foot in the quarter-finals of the tournament.
Vinicius, who scored a lovely goal to get Real back into the game before forcing Alisson into a mistake. After completing his brace, the Brazilian star was keen to pay tribute to Ronaldo by emulating his celebration.
Ronaldo is not a popular figure on Merseyside after winning nine trophies with Manchester United. He is also Real’s record scorer after hitting 450 goals in 438 games for the Spanish giants between 2009 and 2018.
Vinicius never got the opportunity to play alongside Ronaldo at the Bernabeu, as the Portuguese star signed for Juventus in the summer of 2018. Although Vinicius agreed to join Real in May 2017, the transfer was not done until the following summer.
Liverpool opened the scoring when Darwin Nunez’s flick deceived Thibaut Courtois. The former Chelsea stopper was left embarrassed a few moments later after getting his feet mixed up, which allowed Mohamed Salah to score an easy goal.
Real equalised through Vinicius before thrashing Liverpool in the second half. Eder Militao’s header made it 3-2, but it was Benzema’s brace that gave the visitors a commanding lead.
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“World class!” Alan Shearer told BBC Radio 5 Live after Vinicius’ first goal. “Defenders all over Vinicius Jr, no space whatsoever but he just picks his spot and curls it into the far corner. Alisson had no chance – what a response that is!”
Shearer was also full of praise for Vinicius at the break. “Every time he got the ball on the left-hand side for Real Madrid, he has looked so dangerous,” said the Newcastle hero.