real Madrid one leg in the quarterfinals Champions Leagueand maybe a few fingers from the other. We beat Liverpool 5-2 It barely begins to tell the story of a ridiculous, exhilarating, bug-ridden game at Anfield, but the high score line definitely indicates one direction was right: the finishing level was extremely high.

A cursory glance at a few stats from the match might make anyone who wasn’t watching think: nine shots each, Liverpool have the ball off the sidelines, the expected goal from the game is in Reds’ favour, 2.59 – 1.57, as the “score line” is.

But this was not a coincidence of Real Madrid’s victory, not a one-time case where luck favored them, even if a deviation and a bizarre goalkeeping error were ruled out.

No, this was largely the end result of having one of the most confident, dangerous and sophisticated attackers in the game in world football on the field: Vinicius Jr.Barely needing an opening to count when it matters most.

Real’s No20 is relentless and fast, eye-catching and game-winning. In his manager’s eyes, he’s one of the best game-changing players right now, and that’s definitely the impact he’s had on Merseyside.

“At the moment, to me, Vinicius is the most decisive player in world football,” he said. Carlo Ancelotti after the game. “He’s the man who can make the biggest difference, and if he can maintain that consistency…let’s hope he can continue along that line.”

Defeated boss Jurgen Klopp was pretty succinct in his summary.

Asked if the 22-year-old player is currently one of the best players in the world, the Liverpool boss replied “Yes”.

What more needs to be said in fairness?

The Brazilian has made six appearances this season, including seven in the Champions League this season, three in the LaLiga and three in the last Club World Cup. 18 goals in all competitions on 22/23 – not to mention a goal and a double assist for his national team at the World Cup in Qatar.

Vinicus Jr. is an outstanding actor, but more importantly, someone who explores consistency and a clinical, calm, ruthless side.

Complex, unorganized but he was the first to find gaps in Liverpool’s defence. His unmistakable 2-1 bend got Real back on track, even after he repeatedly threatened to spoil the hosts’ good start with his scorching speed behind the back line and his willingness to chase losing cases.

This latter feature led directly to the equalizer and his own support, shutting down Alisson and somehow forcing his compatriot to gift a second. Vini’s score was made at this point, but the effect was certainly not: he won Real’s third free kick and took roughly the second kick after Karim Benzema was again away from the defenders.

It’s probably worth noting that at this stage, Vinicius’ celebrations were not marred by obnoxious racial abuses.

Ridiculous, needless to say, such a poisonous and inexcusable reaction to something as mundane as a football player scoring has never happened inside Anfield.

Still, what Vini has to go through while playing in LaLiga is routine.

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At the end of 2022, the winger Criticizes Spain’s best flight for doing “nothing” to combat the racist chants repeatedly leveled at him; just a few weeks later, Atletico Madrid fans hanged a puppet figure of him from a bridge before a Copa del Rey game. in February, more racist insults He aimed towards Mallorca. At this point, an almost systematic abuse of him by the fans of many of the country’s clubs, a nasty accusation of the match-goer mentality, and a complete disgrace to the country’s football league – and the country in general – for failing. finish it.

Real Valladolid earlier this month suspended a dozen season ticket holders For events involving Vinicius – from a game played in December. To be clear, it has only taken them so far to join the fixtures as an investigation begins within the club. About two months after the match.

LaLiga has penalized exactly zero clubs for any racist incident, claiming they have no jurisdiction. The reports are forwarded to the Public Prosecutors. Neither resulted in any penalties for a fan. No one was blamed for the figure hanging from the bridge.

And yet against persistent and reprehensible attitudes towards him, Vinicius Jr continues to rise above him, demonstrating his worth to his team and leading another move for trophies on the field.

His mentality as well as his excellent technical skill is admirable. He was definitely flamboyant as he pushed Real first into the game and then forward.

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Ancelotti leaned into this strong mindset on Tuesday night’s entire team’s show, citing this as a reason why he came back from the two – but his final word on the matter was the attack that, predictably, ended the night on a positive note. We had difficulties in the beginning, they made our job more difficult,” he said. “You can’t start games like this. We know they started strong. Luckily, that’s what’s always been on our team: we kept our minds, stayed cool, gave ourselves back to the game and showed our quality.

“We were very effective in front of the goal. When we managed to escape their pressure, we gradually managed to get ourselves into the game. We improved our defensive direction, we got the ball out of the defense and our players were very accurate in front of the goal. Karim and Vinicius were very alert.”

The Brazilian promised to continue dancing at the celebration no matter what happened in response. The first game here added more evidence to the whole thing, which shows that it wouldn’t be surprising if he showed his moves at the Atatürk Stadium in June.