A 2-0 Liverpool lead inside 15 minutes turned out to be only a minor scare for Real Madrid, as the reigning European champions roared back to win 5-2 at Anfield, in another historic European night for Los Blancos.
Alisson: 2 – A dreadful clearance rebounded off Vinícius to bring Madrid level. Was floored by Benzema for the fifth. Not helped by his defence either.
Trent Alexander-Arnold: 3 – Linked up well in the early parts of the first half, but yet again failed to keep Vinícius at bay.
Joe Gomez: 2 – A night to forget. Struggled to deal with the threats of Vini and Benzema, and saw the fourth Madrid goal deflect in off him.
Virgil van Dijk: 4 – Powerless and helpless.
Andrew Robertson: 4 – Looked bright at the start, aiding the attack with his pressing, but faded as Madrid took control.
Fabinho: 4 – Subdued by Camavinga and Valverde after initially holding his own when Liverpool were in front.
Jordan Henderson: 5 – Put in an energetic midfield shift as Liverpool threatened multiple times down the right side in the first half.
Stefan Bajcetic: 3 – Failed to make his presence felt against the experienced Madrid midfield.
Mohamed Salah: 6 – The first half was the best 45 minutes of football the Egyptian has played in some months. Easily Liverpool’s best attacker, creating the first superbly, scoring the second, and regularly looked dangerous on the ball. Nullified by Nacho in the second half.
Cody Gakpo: 4 – His good early pressing opened up a few opportunities for Liverpool.
Darwin Núñez: 6 – Scored a brilliant backheel flick less than four minutes in, but couldn’t do much as chances came by fewer as the game progressed.
Roberto Firmino: 4 – Ineffective in his half an hour on the pitch.
Harvey Elliott: Picked up a yellow despite being on the pitch for under ten minutes.
Diogo Jota: 3
James Milner: 4
Joël Matip: 4
Thibaut Courtois: 3 – A horrendous error allowed Salah to put Liverpool two up. Recovered well, massively improving his distribution after the error.
Dani Carvajal: 7 – A dogged defensive display highlighted by a timely goalline challenge in the first half. Gave the Liverpool left flank no chance.
Éder Militão: 7 – Let Núñez slip in behind for Liverpool’s opener, but excellent otherwise. Popped up unmarked to head home the third goal. Another very good performance.
Antonio Rüdiger: 5 – Looked shaky in possession against the early Liverpool onslaught, but faultless in the second half.
David Alaba: 3 – Struggled to contain Salah. Went off injured.
Eduardo Camavinga: 9 – Shook off some shaky early touches to deliver an outstanding 90 at the base of midfield. Excellent defensively and in manipulating possession. Another statement performance on a Champions League night.
Fede Valverde: 6 – Always persistent with a superb work rate, even when Liverpool were on top, and played a big part in changing the tide of the game.
Luka Modrić: 7 – Showed his class and experience on the biggest stage, controlling the midfield in the second half. Added the icing on the cake by creating the fifth goal with a stunning run, bypassing several challenges.
Rodrygo: 5 – A good performance, drifting in and helping in link-up. Assisted Benzema’s first goal of the night.
Karim Benzema: 7 – Two goals and an assist. Slow to start, but found his mojo as the game went on, topping off the demolition with an exquisite second goal, leaving Alisson in the dust.
Vinícius Jr.: 9 – The star. Another headline Champions League night against Liverpool. Led the Madrid comeback with a phenomenal first goal and his persistent pressing. Linked up brilliantly, made the correct decisions on the ball, and duly picked up an assist as well for Benzema’s second.
Nacho: 7 – Put in a superb defensive shift, helping to negate Salah, and even got involved going forward on occasion.
Dani Ceballos: 5
Toni Kroos: n/a
Marco Asensio: n/a
GSFN | Roddur Mookherjee