Liverpool were left to rue a host of missed chances as Real Madrid held out for a 0-0 draw at Anfield to progress to the semi-finals of the Champions League 3-1 on aggregate.
Mohamed Salah and Georginio Wijnaldum were guilty of wasting glorious opportunities to get Jurgen Klopp’s men back into the tie as they failed to replicate a remarkable recovery from 3-0 down to beat Barcelona 4-3 on aggregate at the semi-final stage two years ago.
Madrid were far from their best, but did not need to be to set up a semi-final clash with Chelsea as Los Blancos extended their unbeaten run in all competitions to 14 games.
Klopp admitted before the game that his players had to create their own atmosphere without the cauldron of noise that has accompanied famous European nights at Anfield in the past.
Despite the empty stands due to coronavirus restrictions, Liverpool flew out of the traps and should have halved their deficit within two minutes.
Sadio Mane knocked Ozan Kabak’s long ball perfectly into the path of Salah, but Liverpool’s one consistent performer in the final third this season fired straight at Thibaut Courtois.
Klopp surprisingly repeated his decision from the first leg to leave Thiago Alcantara on the bench with James Milner this time taking the place of the Spanish international in midfield.