Real Madrid v Liverpool, player ratings

Daniel Zeqiri
The Telegraph
Joy and despair as Real Madrid make it 13 European Cup wins - PA
Joy and despair as Real Madrid make it 13 European Cup wins - PA

Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale scored a jaw-dropping overhead kick and a long distance strike to give them a 3-1 win over Liverpool in the Champions League final on Saturday, delivering a remarkable third consecutive title for the Spaniards.

Substitute Bale, who also scored in Real's 2014 final win over Atletico Madrid, had only been on the pitch for three minutes when he rose to meet Marcelo’s cross in the air from outside the box, sending it flying into the net to restore Real’s lead in the 64th minute at the NSC Olympic Stadium.

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French forward Karim Benzema had put Madrid ahead in the 51st minute by sticking out a leg as Liverpool’s German keeper Karius attempted to throw the ball to a team mate, sending it trickling over the line, but Sadio Mane levelled from close range in the 55th for Juergen Klopp's side.

AS IT HAPPENED: Real Madrid v Liverpool

READ MORE: Real Madrid v Liverpool live

READ MORE: Loris Karius gifts Real Madrid two goals

READ MORE: Is this the greatest Champions League goal ever?

READ MORE: Mohamed Salah in tears as Champions League final ends and could miss World Cup

But how did each team's players do? Dan Zeqiri rates those who featured.

Real Madrid

Keylor Navas 6

Like opposite number Karius, Navas was viewed as a potential weak link. Flapped at one corner but did play sweeper-keeper behind Real's high line effectively. 

Dani Carvajal 6 

Limped off moments after Salah to end an injury-ravaged season. One clumped back-pass straight for a corner was a notable lowlight of a truncated appearance. 

 

<span>Ramos defended with authority</span> <span>Credit: Getty Images </span>
Ramos defended with authority Credit: Getty Images

Sergio Ramos 7 

Knew exactly what he was doing when wrestling Salah to the ground, but defended with authority and is such a source of strength to his teammates. 

Raphael Varane 8

Constantly left exposed by Real's open approach, but Varane's pace ensures he can cope in isolation. Made three vital interceptions during a strong Liverpool start. 

Marcelo 6

Could play as an attacking midfielder in most European teams, but this relatively subdued performance stood testament to Liverpool's tigerish work and closing of space. 

Casemiro 7

The modern embodiment of the 'water-carrier'. Casemiro made some important blocks as Liverpool pushed Real back in the opening exchanges but also passed assuredly. 

<span>Isco's shot crashes off the bar</span> <span>Credit: Getty Images </span>
Isco's shot crashes off the bar Credit: Getty Images

Toni Kroos 7

A midfield metronome, Kroos put his foot on the ball at just the moment his team required a breather. Grew increasingly influential as Liverpool's pressing subsided. 

Luka Modric 7

Modric’s poise and technique are legion, but the ground he covers goes unnoticed and this was another performance that blended silk and steel. 

Isco 6

There is a fine line between being elusive and ephemeral, and Isco strayed towards the latter. Hit the bar with a presentable chance at the start of the second half. 

Karim Benzema 7 

Not everybody's idea of a world-class striker, but some of Benzema's link-up play was excellent. Quick thinking to pinch the opening goal in bizarre fashion. 

Cristiano Ronaldo 6

For once, Ronaldo lacked ruthlessness. Blazed over from an acute angle, headed straight at Karius and allowed Robertson to get a block-in when a Real third beckoned. 

<span>Bale celebrates his second goal</span> <span>Credit: &nbsp;Getty Images </span>
Bale celebrates his second goal Credit:  Getty Images

Substitutes:

Nacho (Carvajal, 37) 6

Gareth Bale (Isco, 61) 9

Bale's overhead kick must rival manger Zinedine Zidane's 2002 strike as one of the great Champions League final goals. His speculative shot added gloss to the victory. 

Marco Asensio (Benzema, 89) 6

Unused: Kiko Casilla, Theo Hernandez, Mateo Kovacic, Lucas Vazquez. 

Liverpool

Loris Karius 3 

Liverpool's goalkeeping problem was no longer considered urgent, but might be now. Karius’ throw hit Benzema to gift Real the lead and Bale’s second went straight through him. 

<span>Karius first howler lets Benzema in</span> <span>Credit: &nbsp;AP </span>
Karius first howler lets Benzema in Credit:  AP

Trent Alexander-Arnold 6

The first teenager to start a European Cup final since 1971, Alexander-Arnold stood up well to the pressure as Real focused most of their attacks down his side. 

Dejan Lovren 8

One of Liverpool's most improved players of 2018. Aggressive and always on the front foot, Lovren won the header that set up Sadio Mane's quick-fire equaliser. 

Virgil van Dijk 7

If embellishing the talents of those around you is the test of a top player, then Van Dijk passes with flying colours. Some of his distribution is a delight to watch. 

Andrew Robertson 6

Was a tornado down Liverpool's left flank in the semi-final against Roma, but Robertson had to curb his instincts in Kiev. Five years ago he was playing for Queen's Park. 

<span>Salah's final ended in devastating fashion</span> <span>Credit: &nbsp;REUTERS </span>
Salah's final ended in devastating fashion Credit:  REUTERS

Georginio Wijnaldum 6

Took the midfield spot the injured Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain would have occupied, and Wijnaldum broke into some fine positions in a progressive display. The final pass was lacking. 

Jordan Henderson 7 

Many questioned whether Henderson was a natural midfield anchor, but this was another responsible and tactically mature performance from the Liverpool captain. 

James Milner 7

Impossible to discourage, Milner chased and harried in typical fashion. His tour of duty at left back seems a long time ago - it is difficult to envisage the engine room without him. 

Mohamed Salah 6 

A devastating conclusion to a record-breaking season. Salah's tearful departure after 30 minutes stunted a burgeoning Liverpool performance but he will surely return to this stage. 

Roberto Firmino 7 

His pressing from the front forced Real's defenders to play square and thus Liverpool to box them in. A chance did not fall his way, however. 

Sadio Mane 7

A case of right place, right time for Liverpool immediate equaliser and following the loss of Salah, Mane was Liverpool's principal outlet and struck the post. 

Substitutes

Adam Lallana (Salah, 30) 6 

A fine player, but Lallana’s introduction in place of Salah altered Liverpool’s balance and left them shy of incision and threat. 

Unused: Simon Mignolet, Nathaniel Clyne, Alberto Moreno, Ragnar Kalavan, Emre Can, Adam Lallana, Dominic Solanke.

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