Antonio Rudiger fires Liverpool Champions League warning amid Real Madrid battle

The Real Madrid defender spoke out ahead of the second-leg of their Champions League clash.

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Real Madrid defender Antonio Rudiger has expressed how important it is for his side to stay focused against Liverpool despite their three-goal lead, after watching Jurgen Klopp’s men score seven against Manchester United.

Liverpool had threatened to dominate Madrid when the two sides met at Anfield four week ago when two early goals from Darwin Nunez and Mohamed Salah gave the home side an early lead.

However, the experience of the reigning champions shined through as they went onto score five goals with no reply to take an unassailable lead back to the Bernabeu.

Since then Liverpool have experienced the highs of beating United 7-0 but have also lost away to Bournemouth, whereas Madrid stuttured with two draws and a loss following thier Anfield exploits, but hit back with a 3-1 win over Espanyol at the weekend.

Despite that, Rudiger has reaffirmed that Madrid need to find the right balance and be wary of Liverpool’s ability to ‘rise to the big occasions’.

“We have to approach the opening a bit better than at Anfield because you cannot afford to sleep in the first 15 minutes against a team like Liverpool,” Rudiger said. “We saw what happened, we need to find the right balance between attacking and defending.

“As I said before, it’s about not sleeping in the first 15 minutes and that is very important. We have to find the right balance, this is, for us, very important and not only coming here to defend and say we have a three-goal lead. We have to also please our fans and gain confidence for ourselves.

“Liverpool have a very good attacking team and scored seven against Manchester United, who are a big rival, so that shows that they rise to the big occasions and we need to be aware of that.

“Like when you concede goals you are criticised which is okay, no problem, at the end of the day we have to improve on that, of course. We’re on our way towards doing that.”