Champions League: Real Madrid 1 - 0 Liverpool - Match Report.

A first half Karim Benzema strike secured a 1-0 victory over Liverpool.

Brendan Rodgers put out a very changed squad with Mario Balotelli, Raheem Sterling, Philippe Coutinho and Steven Gerrard all on the bench but started brightly before Benzema put Madrid ahead before the half hour mark. Liverpool continued to play well in the second half and despite bringing on key players couldn't find that significant chance.

Liverpool started brightly and looked composed on the ball despite the significant changes that Brendan Rodgers to their squad but it was Madrid who had the significant chances in the opening proceedings.

Benzema played it to James Rodriguez but the Colombian couldn't quite get the ball out of his feet but his shot still produced a good save from Simon Mignolet.

Captain for the night Martin Skrtel almost gifted the home side the lead when he was dispossessed by Benzema who laid it off to Cristiano Ronaldo but the Liverpool goalkeeper did well to tip it away.

Defender Raphael Varane was being called into action when he had to head away a floated ball from Emre Can who was looking for Fabio Borini was proving a problem for the defence, Lazar Markovic then attempted to outpace the French international but he did well to step across to keep the midfielder at bay.

In the 26th minute Real Madrid took the lead, some excellent play ended with Isco playing the ball through to Marcelo who played an excellent curling cross beyond the Liverpool defence which found Benzema who slid in to strike it into the roof of the net.

Liverpool could have easily found themselves two down if not for Mignolet pulling off another good save, Ronaldo hit a thunderous free kick from 40 yards and the Belgian did enough to palm it away. A minute a later Varane played an excellent ball onto the head of Benzema but the Liverpool defence did enough to see the effort loop onto the roof of the net.

Madrid continued to press to double their tally when another brilliant ball was played this time from Luka Modric which almost found Ronaldo but he couldn't quite latch onto it, the Spanish side managed to regain the possession almost immediately with it finding Marcelo who hit a thunderous effort which could only be parried by Mignolet.

Madrid continued their dominance into the second half when Benzema played it across again to Ronaldo his side footed effort was parried by Mignolet but he did well to claim the second attempt.

Liverpool had their first real opportunity of the match Alberto Moreno played it to Adam Lallana who turned well to open up some space hitting his shot across Iker Casillas but it was wide of the post.

Marcelo continued to prove a major problem for the Liverpool defence playing another great ball across to Benzema but this time his effort flashed past the post, he then played another great ball this time along the floor to substitute Gareth Bale but he clipped the bar.

Ronaldo had yet to really light up the Bernabeu up that point but had the opportunity with another free kick from a close range, it proved to be quite a tame effort but Mignolet still had to punch it away.

The final opportunity of the game fell to the home side after Bale was brought down by Moreno, the Welshman lined it up and hit towards the near post but Mignolet again punched it away.

Real Madrid weren't at their expected best but did enough to get the three points.

People were quick to criticise Rodgers for his starting XI but they proved their own against a strong Real Madrid side, they will have to rely on the Spanish side’s will to play if they want to progress into the last 16.

Writen by @Danialkennedy95