Liverpool lap up praise after routing Real

Liverpool's 4-0 thrashing of Real Madrid received the widespread praise it richly deserved on Wednesday, the positive reaction to their Champions League win coming in stark contrast to the criticism of their opponents.

Already leading 1-0 from the first leg, Liverpool sent Real crashing to their heaviest defeat in the Champions League era with The Times declaring it "a result that will resonate through Europe and go down in the modern history of both clubs."

The Merseysiders eased into the quarter-finals on Tuesday with two goals from a dominant Steven Gerrard, making his 100th European appearance, and one apiece from Spaniard Fernando Torres and substitute Andrea Dossena.

The Daily Mail said Liverpool simply "pulverised" Real.

"There is no other word for it," wrote columnist Martin Samuel.

"Fittingly for a team nick-named The Meringues (Los Merengues), Real Madrid were splattered and dispersed over a wide area of Anfield in the manner of an airy fairy dessert.

"One that has been run over by a steamroller. Then another one. Then a herd of rampaging elephants. Driving more steamrollers."

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The Independent added: "This was Liverpool playing like European royalty, delivering a four-goal cuffing to Real Madrid, their biggest defeat in the Champions League.

"This was European football's most successful club humiliated, eliminated, eviscerated. A rout."

Spanish newspapers were also unanimous in their praise for Liverpool and in their condemnation of Real's woeful performance, noting that the English side had taught the nine-times champions a lesson in how to play in Europe.

Pictures of a tearful-looking Iker Casillas contrasted with shots of his jubilant international colleague Torres, and the Spanish champions were variously dismissed as "pathetic", "lamentable" and "provincial".

English newspapers were equally astonished at the way Real played with the Daily Mirror reporting: "The Spaniards were simply atrocious, an imitation of the giants who have swaggered majestically through the history of this competition.

"But they were reduced to that level because of the brilliance of Liverpool."

Spanish newspapers continued along the same theme and a typical reaction came from Jose Samano in El Pais, who wrote: "Liverpool had everything that Real lacked: energy, purpose, aplomb, speed, shape and flair.

"They were facing a team reduced to rag dolls. It was an exercise in demolition, with an imperious Torres and Gerrard and (Xabi) Alonso and (Javier) Mascherano running the show."


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