Liverpool will take on Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League last 16 later today but Real Madrid players may well have received a few minutes less sleep than they would have hoped for after Liverpool fans set off fireworks outside their hotel on Merseyside at 2am.
The Spanish La Liga giants arrived on Monday and set up camp at the Innside Liverpool Hotel but had their sleep disturbed in the early hours and a video posted online shows fireworks going off in close quarters to the accommodation in what appears to be an attempt to wake up the Real players the night before the big game.
This year’s last 16 battle will bring sore memories back for Liverpool’s players and fans as the two teams both met in last year’s Champions League final with Real Madrid winning 1-0.
Here is all you need to know ahead of the UCL fixture and what happened in Merseyside...
What happened at Innside Hotel?
It is unlikely that the exceptionally experienced Real Madrid side will truly have been affected by the mischievous prank, but a video was posted online showing a phenomenal display of fireworks lighting up the sky at 2am in the hope of disturbing the footballers’ sleep.
There is, as yet, no further updates on any potential repercussions and it has currently not been confirmed who the exact perpetrators of the prank are.
When is Liverpool v Real Madrid?
Liverpool will host Real Madrid at 8pm GMT this evening, Tuesday 21 February 2023, at Anfield for what will be the first leg of the last 16 Champions League fixture.
The last time these two sides met was in May 2022 and the game was apparently so painful for Jurgen Klopp that he has only just sat down to re-watch it. On Monday, the Liverpool manager said: “It was proper torture because we played a good game and could have won - and that’s the decisive word because we could but didn’t because they scored and we didn’t. That’s the decisive reason.
“We saw how experienced Madrid is and how little they are fussed by the fact when the other team has chances. They don’t lose confidence in one second, they know ‘our chance will come’ and they defend with legs. That’s what you can learn from them, definitely.”
Liverpool are currently unsure whether their recent goal-scorer, Darwin Nunez, will be fit enough for the upcoming fixture. The Uruguayan came off with a shoulder complaint during the Reds’ 2-0 win over Newcastle and Klopp has said: “There’s a chance. From all possible scenarios, apart from being absolutely nothing - that’s not the case - we have to see how we can deal with the pain.
“When we know that, we have to make a decision.”
How to watch the Liverpool vs Real Madrid
BT Sport will have all the action from the UEFA Champions League and fans can watch the match by signing up to an account for £25/month. There are three other matches set to take place this week:
Tuesday 21 February:
- Eintracht Frankfurth v Napoli - 8pm
- Liverpool v Real Madrid - 8pm
Wednesday 22 February:
- RB Leipzig v Manchester City - 8pm
- Inter v Porto - 8pm