LIVERPOOL, England — It took a while for the frustration, the anger and the hurt to bubble to the surface. On Tuesday night it lasted about one hour. Liverpool’s fans had watched with grim forbearance as their team was expertly dismantled by Real Madrid at Anfield.

They urged on Jürgen Klopp’s players after they threw away a two-goal lead in the first half. They stood behind them Real Madrid They made it 3-1, 4-2, and then 5-2. It turned from a loss into a victory. They were stoic even as the collapse of their season occurred, and they had to endure the most painful evening. Anfield’s illustrious European history.

And then, there was the finishing straw: the passing. The crowd began to shrink as the game ended. Real Madrid The two of them decided to have a fun game of keepay. They made passes among, between and around their bedraggled adversaries. They gave them a peek at the ball, and then they tossed it away. at Last moment

For a few seconds, they kept it going. Liverpool’s players lolling and lagging as they dashed around in hopeless pursuit. This was an insult too much. It is one thing being beaten — particularly by Real Madrid — and it is quite another being taunted. They began to whistle and to laugh. at Real Madrid, at Its own players and chasing at shadows, at This entire long, damned and miserable season.

It is that Real Madrid It is possible to win at Anfield This is not a surprise. It is a fact. Real MadridThis is, in fact, the essence of it all. Champions League. Stirring Real Madrid Part of the deal is recovery. It is becoming increasingly strange that anybody else enters the contest.

Carlo Ancelotti’s team has mastered the comeback, turned it into an art form, boiled it down to its very essence. This team was on the way to European glory in last season’s final campaign. Real Madrid To achieve the miracle recovery, it required the entire length of the tie (up to an additional time in the second leg).

The only change this season — on this evidence — is that it has streamlined the process to such an extent that it now takes no more than half an hour, with a break in the middle for a quick bite to eat.

It is far more remarkable than just the simple fact Liverpool’s defeat on Tuesday, then, was the manner of it. This is what’s really going on deep within. Liverpool Team is the muscle memory from what it was once, but not that far back. After all, it has only been nine months since its third game. Champions League final in five years, Klopp sufficiently confident that the halcyon days would keep rolling that he advised his team’s fans — even in defeat — to book their hotel rooms for this year’s showpiece.

It was easy to imagine for 15 minutes if the stage and the opponent might have enough power to awaken those ghosts. Liverpool Thanks to an inventive, audacious flick from Darwin Nuñez, and then doubled it when Thibaut Courtois forgot how to work his legs and presented the ball to Mohamed Salah. Salah missed two chances in between. Here, at Last, the flickers Liverpool’s fans had been waiting months to see.

The reverie vanished and the reality came down. Vinícius Júnior scored one goal, wonderfully, and then had a second presented to him by the Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson. This had the result of ending the spell. The clock struck midnight. Éder Militão made it three. Karim Bizma got a goal deflected towards the goal for number four. He danced through with his soft shoes and firm touch to score five.

LiverpoolThe Premier League suddenly looked like it was for most of the season, a middle-table one League Team caught in awkward transition. This time it was forced to face the European champion.

How? Liverpool’s collapse has happened remains, even now, something of a mystery. In recent months, thousands of words were written to try and understand the collapse of a team so meticulously assembled, with such precision and thought. at The seams come apart so fast and easily. You can’t imagine how something this good could be so fragile.

There seem to be concrete contributing factors. Of course injuries haven’t helped and are compounding the failure to upgrade midfield. In which we will be looking back at the effects of last season. Liverpool became the first English team to play every game in every competition for which it was eligible — winning two trophies, but neither of the prizes it most wanted — have lingered, both physically and psychologically.

There are also the intangibles. These include the psychological and theoretical strands. They charge us with questions that we can never answer. Liverpool been too loyal to the core of Klopp’s team? Is it possible that the chaos behind the scenes and the departures of key staff members have disrupted the harmonious atmosphere the club has worked hard to create. Is that true?

No matter what the cause, there were no side effects on the field against a team less than one year ago. Liverpool could — largely rightly — consider its equal. When Klopp, upon reviewing last year’s final for the first time this week, commented that it was a game his team could have won, he was not simply presenting a brave face.

The gap is large, however. The temptation is to focus on the major mistakes — Alisson’s misjudgment for the second goal, the stationary marking for the third, Joe Gomez’s body shape for the fourth — but more telling are the little things.

It is speed that matters. Liverpool Passes the ball just a little slower than usual. The spaces between the players are a bit too big, and there is a lack of cohesion in the lines. It lies in its intensity, which has been somehow diminished and dimmed.

Every element is dependent on each other, which can lead to a loss of confidence and purpose that leaves the system looking broken beyond repair. This was the case. at This is the point. Real MadridWith that feeling of complete self-assurance, he began to play the game. Liverpool’s players powerless to stop them, their fall from the rarefied heights they once shared with these opponents complete.