Liverpool 2-5 Real Madrid: Which player got the worst rating?
Remember that agonizingly boring 0-0 draw with Chelsea not so long ago? The first leg of the Champions League’s last-16 match was just the opposite, yet the result was ultimately worse.
Tuesday night at Anfield, Real Madrid displayed class in a convincing 5-2 victory against Liverpool in the first leg of their Champions League round-of-16 matchup. Karim Benzema and Vinicius Junior both scored twice.
Liverpool Player Ratings vs Real Madrid
Goalkeeper and Defenders
Alisson Becker (4/10)
Maybe he felt sorry for Courtois. There aren’t many other justifications for throwing the ball directly towards Vinicius Jr. when he had passing alternatives all over the place. Moreover, he had previously been defeated by a worldly player and had tipped another shot that was extremely similar wide.
Although the Kop instantly supported him, who knows how the game will turn out if that advantage doesn’t go before halftime? At the interval, Ali had no chance thanks to a close-range header and a deflection before being seated for the fifth goal.
He was obviously not ineffective or at fault defensively, at least not explicitly, but Vinicius did occasionally threaten to dismantle Liverpool on his own, as befits one of the finest attackers in the world. Didn’t stop running for the free kick, was frequently run off the field by sheer acceleration, and at the other end, didn’t quite have his delivery boots on.
Joe Gomez (2/10)
Perhaps a tad harsh, but he wasn’t able to approach Vinicius Jr. closely enough for his opening goal. In the first half, he covered a number of times quite effectively behind everyone else, and his speed was essential to a few counterattacks.
Gomez’s pass back wasn’t particularly weighted in the investigation of “what on earth happened” on goal number two, but that isn’t the main problem there. He bundled over Vinicius for the fourth, and he looked completely out of place for the fifth.
Virgil van Dijk (6/10)
Such is to be expected after an injury layoff and this is only the second game back. Defensively, the team has been extremely powerful at times and significantly lacking at others. Even though he held off Vini fairly effectively in a one-on-one situation until Gomez arrived, made several crucial clearances from crosses, and had a few powerful headers, many of the goals passed him by as much as they did the rest of the field.
Andy Robertson (6.5/10)
In the first half, there was a lot of running after Rodrygo, getting past Carvajal, and overhit crosses that went right to left. There was always an outlet, if not nearly as much end delivery as he would have preferred. Real were ahead at halftime if it wasn’t for one crucial miraculous clearing at the far post from Robbo.
He made the decision to go on a few rampage runs in the early half, similar to the old Fabinho but approximately 10 mph slower. A number of the passes were excellent. Many essential fouls. Even just one or two tackles. Yet for the most part, a midfield with mobility, tenacity, and agility basically passed him around, ran past him, and found him completely lacking.
Jordan Henderson (4/10)
Another player was responsible for Real’s first goal because he abandoned his mark, but three other times in the opening period, players came back to stop counterattacks as Real threatened to advance in large numbers. As soon as Real increased the pace of their passing in central areas, was swamped and pummeled, looked like a statue, and, like his midfield teammates, he was tossed around.
Stefan Bajcetic (3.5/10)
Both the great and the very young were on display. He needs to realize that not every second of every game can be spent acting like a creative mind. There was a turn into trouble for every great ball-winning and play-switching moment, including giving the ball away for their second. The goal is obviously not at stake at that point, but if he plays it the way he is playing after recovering the ball, it doesn’t come close to happening.
Mohamed Salah (6.5/10)
Salah was back in unstoppable Egyptian King mode for 30 minutes during which time he was fluid, excellent in link play, made several runs, and had two excellent scoring opportunities, one of which he missed after a wonderful move and the other of which he took advantage of the goalkeeper’s error. Yet Salah was inevitably sent to the sidelines as Liverpool’s midfield and supply line struggled. His fouls were unpunished, and in the second half, he was overlooked.
Cody Gakpo (5/10)
It must be acknowledged that in his role—forward or not—he occasionally needs to drop further to serve as a backup blocker but may also serve as a conduit the opposite way. Worked really hard, won the ball in challenges, and produced a lot of offense, but only for a short time.
Darwin Nunez (6.5/10)
He was very terrific for a brief period and then provided far less when the rest of the squad faltered, much like Gakpo. A magical goal gave the evening a true European thriller vibe, while an outstanding clearing at the opposite end was crucial but eventually lost its impact.
Didn’t really had an impact on the game.
Diogo Jota (3/10)
His first touches are as horrible as a forward’s can be.
James Milner (4.5/10)
Circled about and a few times passed the ball out of play.
Harvey Elliott (4/10)
Came when a few minutes left. A booking for becoming angry after the referee failed to call two clear handballs. UEFA strongly needs to take a step towards sloppy refereeing.