Luka Modric has piled more misery on Liverpool by claiming he and his Real Madrid team-mates eased off in the second half of their Champions League clash to save themselves for Saturday’s El Clasico against Barcelona.

Real cruised to a 3-0 win at Anfield and played much of the second half at walking pace as they conserved energy for the eagerly anticipated encounter at the Bernabeu.

Cristiano Ronaldo opened the scoring against Brendan Rodgers’ side before a Karim Benzema double put the game out of the Reds’ reach before half-time, and Modric admitted the European champions started to think about the Barca match after the interval.

‘In the last month, or month and a half, we have looked in great shape and we showed our top form in this iconic stadium,’ the Croat was quoted as saying after the match on

‘The first goal broke them. They lost enthusiasm. Then in the second half we were saving a little bit of energy for Saturday.’

Modric also claimed that beating Barca on Saturday would be a huge morale boost for Madrid, who finished third in La Liga last season.

‘The atmosphere in the team is great and it’s one of the reasons why we’re playing so well,’ the former Tottenham playmaker added.

‘I am ready for the Clasico, whatever the outcome is. Hopefully, we will win because it would mean a lot for our confidence.’

Real go into Saturday’s showdown on the back of eight consecutive wins but Barca are top of La Liga, and have not conceded a single league goal this season in eight games.