Goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema (two) were enough to defeat Liverpool after just 41 minutes of battle at Anfield on Wednesday evening in the Champions League, as Real Madrid cruised to a 3-0 victory.
Goal-shy striker Mario Balotelli has seemingly been made the scapegoat for the underwhelming performance of Brendan Rodgers's team, but there are also weaknesses at the back, holes in midfield and the team unit as a whole look out-of-sorts.
Ronaldo produced a five-star performance while Benzema, Isco, Toni Kroos, James Rodriguez and Raphael Varane were all extremely competent on the night, also.
One would be hard pressed to find as many positive displays from the Reds but one player who acquitted himself well was Raheem Sterling.
The young English prospect showed good energy and a high work-rate, but ultimately was played out of the contest.
However, that does not detract away from his potential - which remains tremendous.
Even when comparing him to the consensus best player in the world, Sterling is comparable to Ronaldo after an equal amount of Premier League games - 68.
For instance, Sterling has already outscored the former Manchester United man by 14 goals to nine, has a far superior shot conversion rate (almost 20% compared to 6%) and has created more assists and produced more key passes (nine from 112 next to eight from 90).