Despite not being a starting center-back for Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane, Real Madrid looked a class above the defending Premier League champions and took the lead thanks to first-half goals from Vinicius Junior and Marco Asensio.
Mohamed Salah pulled one out for Liverpool, but with 25 minutes to go, Real extended their lead with Vinicius clinching his second of the night.
It was the same score as when the two teams met in the Champions League final in 2018, and this time Liverpool face a tall order to reverse the two-goal deficit in the second leg at Anfield on April 14.
“If you want to go to the Champions League semi-finals, you have to earn the right to do it,” Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp told BT Sport.
“We didn’t do that tonight, especially in the first half … we just didn’t play football well enough tonight.”
Despite coming into the game after an impressive win over Arsenal in the Premier League this weekend, Liverpool were second best from the start.
The experienced midfielder of Toni Kroos, Luka Modric and Casemiro took control of the course of the game, and it was an excellent ball from Kroos that helped Real Madrid to open the scoring.
Vinicius masterfully controlled the ball on his chest before shooting past Alisson into the Liverpool goal.
Liverpool’s night went from bad to worse moments later, as Trent Alexander-Arnold’s misplaced header on another Kroos pass was thrown by Asensio, who lifted the ball over Alisson before to touch at home.
The Reds looked better after the break and reduced the deficit six minutes into the second half as Salah took advantage of the careful work of Georginio Wijnaldum and Diego Jota to finish ahead of Thibaut Courtois.
However, as Liverpool tried to restore parity, sloppy passes and errant shots disrupted his flow and Real Madrid were able to extend their lead as Vinicius squeezed a first shot past Alisson after a smooth construction game from Karim Benzema and Modric.
“ Won the ball fairly ”
In Tuesday’s other draw, a late goal from Phil Foden helped Manchester City to a 2-1 victory over Borussia Dortmund.
Kevin De Bruyne opened the scoring as he pushed the ball deep into Dortmund’s half before Foden and Riyad Mahrez combined to kick off De Bruyne for the finish.
In an eventful first half, City saw a penalty decision overturned after consulting the video assistant referee as Dortmund ruled out Jude Bellingham’s goal as he took the ball away from Ederson.
Marco Reus equalized the game late after a well-crafted move that gave Dortmund a valuable away goal, only for City to regain their lead when De Bruyne’s ball in the box allowed Ilkay Gundogan to set Foden up for. the winner.
However, Dortmund will feel he deserved a better result after Bellingham’s refused effort.
“I really think I won the ball fairly,” the 17-year-old told BT Sport of the first half incident.
“It’s a little frustrating in the days when they have so many cameras and so many TVs watching the game that they don’t wait for me to put it in the net and then check it out.
“This is football, this is life and I really have to keep going.”
The return leg will take place in Dortmund next week as City aim to reach their first Champions League semi-final since 2016 and Dortmund their first since 2013.