Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid Martin Skrtel Liverpool
Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo scores past Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet in their Champions League gameReuters

It was over in the first half, and without too much fuss as Cristiano Ronaldo and Real Madrid turned on the style to banish Liverpool with a 3-0 victory in the Champions League.

The match was billed as a clash of the heavyweights, but Real Madrid pounded Liverpool into submission, with the result looking inevitable the moment Ronaldo wrapped his right foot around the ball to make it 1-0 in the 23rd minute.

It was a wonderfully worked goal, started by Ronaldo, who played a one-two with Karim Benzema, before passing the ball to James Rodriguez. The summer signing then clipped a ball to Ronaldo in the Liverpool penalty box, with the Real Madrid superstar showing ridiculous skill to just reach out for the ball and smash it past Simon Mignolet for his 70th Champions League goal, one shy of another Real legend Raul's record.

It only got worse for Liverpool, who started the game brightly, looking to take the game to Real with their up tempo style, as seven minutes later Karim Benzema rose at the far post to loop a brilliant header into the far corner off a cross from Toni I-always-control-the-midfield Kroos.

It was paramount for Liverpool to keep the match at 2-0 until halftime if they were to stand even the remotest chance, but Benzema struck again in the 41st minute, latching onto a loose ball inside the six-yard box, after Pepe had made a nuisance of himself from a corner.

While Liverpool could do little to stop Ronaldo from scoring the first goal, the home team should have avoided conceding the other two, but it was game over from there, with Philippe Coutinho's blazing strike, which hit the post, and a few other half chances created scant consolation for the faithful at Anfield, who had been buzzing with anticipation before the start of the match.

Brendan Rodgers will be concerned about his strike power, with Mario Balotelli, yet again, failing to impress, while Liverpool now face a seriously difficult task of making it to the knockout stages from Group B, having picked up just three points from three matches.

Real Madrid are well clear with a perfect nine points, while the Reds are currently in a three-way tie with Basel and Ludogorets, who beat the Swiss side 1-0 on Wednesday night.

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