For all of the European clout shared between two of the biggest names in world football, Real Madrid and Liverpool have only once previously been pitted against each other: the European Cup final in 1981.
It is with some rapture, therefore, that Yossi Benayoun and Liverpool return from the Santiago Bernabeu - for the first time in the club's history - with a win, a near perfect result to protect when the two sides collide at Anfield in a fortnight’s time.
For the majority of Wednesday evening's fixture, it appeared as though the heavyweight clubs were destined to battle out a fruitless stalemate - that is until Benayoun popped up to head home the decisive goal (82’). No-one, it seems, is happier than the 28-year-old.
"Of course I am really pleased to score at the Bernabeu but the most important thing was to get the victory," he explained to the club's official website.
"We're all really pleased because this is a fantastic result for us. It's a great win but we have to think that we still have one more game to play and look to complete the job at Anfield.
"We came with the idea to win. We knew we'd have to work hard in defence but that we could get spaces behind them when they attacked us. We've done well but Real Madrid are a big team with quality players. We have confidence after this result but now we have to put everything into the next game to make sure we are in the next round."
The positive result also showed that Liverpool are no one-man team; talismanic captain Steven Gerrard started the game from the bench. Fernando Torres, too, suffered a knock.
"It will be easier for us when both of them play," Benayoun mentioned. "Gerrard is the most important player on this team, so when he's not playing everyone needs to work harder and it's difficult to fill his place. Hopefully he'll be ready for the next game and that will make things easier."
Meanwhile, hard-working Dutch forward Dirk Kuyt is not getting carried away with the win, as he insists only half the job has been completed.
"We all said to each other in the dressing room that it's still only half-time,” he explained. “We've got another really important game to play against Madrid and they're a really good side. We knew they'd scored a lot of goals in their last few games and that we'd have to defend well but we also wanted to score a goal and that's what we did.
"We're satisfied with the result but we still have to play another game."
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