PLAYER RATINGS: REAL MADRID 1-0 LIVERPOOL
Liverpool succumbed to defeat at the Bernabeu tonight. A hard fought encounter was settled by a Karim Benzema goal in the second half as Los Blancos triumphed 6-2 on aggregate. Here are player ratings from the match.
Alisson – 9
Did all in his power to keep a clean sheet and his defence still found a way to give away a goal. An outstanding save to halt Vinicius from point blank range was bettered by an even better save to tip Camavinga’s long range effort onto the crossbar. Halted Valverde when he went clean through on goal second half.
Alexander-Arnold – 3
One tackle on Benzema aside he was hapless. Was about as useful as a cone up against Vinicius. He lost his head as he was constantly getting embarrassed. This affected his work on the ball. He gave it away so many times. Abysmal set pieces to boot.
Konaté – 8
The best defender in red tonight. Played two positions and stood out in both. Stopped Vinicius on so many occasions as a right back and held his position in the defensive line well as the right sided centre back. Only one in the entire squad equipped to deal with Vinicius it seems.
Van Dijk – 5
Very lax at sensing danger. Needs to play to the whistle. Kept waving his arms about instead of actually dealing with the danger. His laid back nature saw him react half a second too late for their goal.
Robertson – 5
Looked up for it in the tunnel. It didn’t transpire onto the pitch however. Poor set pieces.
Fabinho – 5
Not good enough on the ball tonight. Several balls in behind were overhit. Robbed of possession way too easily at times. Could have been braver in driving forward with the ball.
Milner – 6
Did about as well as you can expect. Not the quickest or cutest on the ball but got through a lot of work in a two man midfield. Played a good ball forward first half that led to a chance for Gakpo.
Salah – 5
We needed the talisman to show up tonight but he was pretty quiet. I don’t remember a single attempt on goal. Created a few openings early on for Jota and co. Got into a physical battle with Nacho second half and lost. His body language might be called into question. Made a mess of a simple pass that would have put Nunez through on goal at the start of the second half.
Gakpo – 6
Worked his socks off, as seen when he tracked Benzema all the way into the box to dispossess him right when he looked set to score. Stung Courtois’ gloves with a fiercely struck volley. Really good in tight spaces but needs to learn how to buy free kicks.
Darwin – 6.5
Looked the likeliest in red to score a goal so was surprised to see him taken off. Collected Salah’s early pass in behind but couldn’t generate enough power to trouble Courtois. Brought out a stunning save from the Belgian when he cut in from the right and aimed for the far corner.
Jota – 5
Set up for a volley early on and he completely miskicked. Still looks miles off his best. Didn’t make enough runs in behind nor win enough balls in the middle. Resorted to petulant fouling second half. 29 matches now without a goal for the club.
Elliott – 5
Had the opportunity to shoot in the box but went with the tiki taka option of an extra pass. Drew the fury of Klopp with that decision so decided to shoot the next time he got a sight of goal. It was a tame effort, straight at Courtois. Almost like his legs can’t generate enough power on the ball.
Firmino – 4
Just like at the weekend, made absolutely no difference when he came on.
Oxlade-Chamberlain – N/A
A lovely drag back was a highlight. Then went on to pass straight out of play under no pressure. That was before he gave up on an overhit Robertson pass late on.
Tsimikas – N/A
On in the 90th minute and almost gave away a penalty (that would have been extremely harsh). It was a goal saving block. Booked for brushing Ceballos’ chin. Eventful few minutes.
Carvalho – N/A
On for the final 20 seconds on stoppage time. Klopp’s handling of this talented boy since Christmas has been truly baffling.
Went with a bold lineup, with an all attack approach favoured. That failed to translate into goals for his side however. The subs didn’t make much of a difference, with a few of them puzzling to say the least. A 6-2 aggregate defeat underlines the difference between the two sides, and to think it was just fine margins that separated them in the final last May.