Player ratings, UCL final: Bale the hero, Karius the zero
Real Madrid were crowned champions of Europe (again, for the third straight season) on Saturday, spearheaded by an all-time great goal scored by Gareth Bale and an all-time shocking performance from Loris Karius.
GK - Loris Karius - 0/10: A goalkeeper has never committed a worse, more egregious, more senseless error in the history of soccer. Just watch it (unless you’re a Liverpool fan). Then he did this, in the same game. He can’t go back to Liverpool.
RB - Trent Alexander-Arnold - 6/10
CB - Dejan Lovren - 6.5/10
CB - Virgil van Dijk - 6.5/10
LB - Andrew Robertson - 6.5/10: Robertson’s heroic sliding block to snuff out Cristiano Ronaldo’s breakaway in the 75th minute kept Liverpool’s hopes and dreams alive.
CM - Jordan Henderson - 7/10
CM - James Milner (83') - 6/10
CM - Georginio Wijnaldum - 6/10
RW - Mohamed Salah (31') - 5/10: Injured by a highly questionable “challenge” from Sergio Ramos (WATCH HERE) inside the opening half-hour, the Premier League’s Golden Boot winner was unable to find his footing (through little fault of his own) during a cagey opening 25 minutes.
CF - Roberto Firmino - 5.5/10: A brilliant season for the Brazilian ends with one of his least impactful, quietest outings of the campaign. To Madrid’s credit, they put him on an island up top and denied any and all service to the frontman.
LW - Sadio Mane - 7/10: Scored Liverpool’s only goal (WATCH HERE), but was rendered largely ineffective following Salah’s departure, as Madrid were able to shift their defensive focus to the other side of the field.
Sub - Adam Lallana (31') - 5.5/10
Sub - Emre Can (83') - N/A
GK - Keylor Navas - 7.5/10: Navas made a pair of truly world-class saves in the first half to keep the game scoreless, at a time when the Reds were beginning to find their way and build up a head of steam.
RB - Dani Carvajal (37') - 5/10
CB - Raphael Varane - 8/10: Kept Firmino in his hip pocket all game long.
CB - Sergio Ramos - 6/10: Responsible for the injury to Salah (no matter your feelings his about intent), but Ramos managed to avoid getting sent off over 90 minutes, which is a big win for him.
LB - Marcelo - 6.5/10:
CDM - Casemiro - 6.5/10
CM - Luka Modric - 7/10: Bossed the midfield and marshaled (par for the course) with four tackles and completed 94 percent of his 72 passes attempted. Madrid’s metronome, oftentimes their most important players lying in the shadows.
CM - Toni Kroos - 6/10
CAM - Isco - 7.5/10 (61'): Far and away Madrid’s best player for the entirety of the first half, and was inches from putting Los Blancos ahead in the 48th minute, when he lifted the ball over Karius and was denied by the crossbar.
FW - Karim Benzema (89') - 7/10: Scored the game’s opening goal, could have scored a second goal late in the second half if not for a great save by Karius, and continues to (somehow) remain underrated when he so consistently shows up in the big games.
FW - Cristiano Ronaldo - 6/10: Little to no impact from minute 1 to 90. All that was missing was an 89th-minute goal to make it 4-1 and a wild shirt-off celebration like he’d scored the winner.
Sub - Nacho (37') - 6/10
Sub - Gareth Bale (61') - 10/10: When you score a goal like this, you got a 10/10 every time, no matter anything else you did while on the field (he scored again in the 83rd minute).
Sub - Marco Asensio (89') - N/A