At the start, visiting coach Brendan Rodgers stunned supporters by resting captain Steven Gerrard, Raheem Sterling, Mario Balotelli, Dejan Lovren and Glen Johnson and this decision tilted the match in favour of Madrid, who benched Gareth Bale and started Rafael Varene and Alvaro Arbeloa for the injured Pepe and Dani Carvajal.

With the strongest available team, the Spaniards had two chances in the opening 10 minutes, but Liverpool's Simon Mignolet saved well from James Rodriguez and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Madrid dominated the first half against a rival which failed to create a single move and it was no surprise when Benzema opened the scoring after 26 minutes.

Later, Mignolet did well to stop a swerving Ronaldo free kick, while Benzema almost added a second after getting in behind Kolo Toure, who was able to recover just in time to concede a corner.

The second half soon settled into a similar rhythm to the first with Mignolet denying Ronaldo five minutes after the break, although Alberto Moreno did manage a decent attempt for Liverpool.

Bale replaced Rodriguez after 62 minutes as Liverpool began to timidly push forward in search of an equalizer.

But it was the Spanish side who did well to win the match with its custodian Iker Casillas ending the game without ever being tested.

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