Holy Crap, we won the double and everyone gets a 10!
Ok, now that the post-match jubilation is over, we should probably take a look at player ratings if for no other reason than to talk more about just how dramatically different the players performed after the half time talk with Zidane.
I don’t know how Zizou does it, and I would absolutely kill to get into that dressing room, but whatever he manages to coax from these players is pure magic.
Keylor Navas - 7.5
Our man between the sticks played admirably during the match. He came up clutch in early in the first half with a beautiful diving save against a rocket strike from Pjanic.
The only time he was beat was from the wonder goal from Mandzukic, and there wasn’t anything he possibly could have done to better his positioning.
Other than that he was barely tested in the second half, which speaks volumes for what his team in front of him put together.
Dani Carvajal - 7
Dani had a rough first half dealing with long runs from Alex Sandro and the physical, marauding, and annoying play from Mandzukic.
In fairness, the overloads left him with little else to do, and he hustled and covered adequately enough. But he did manage to get forward to provide an assist to Ronaldo’s opening goal.
It wasn’t until the second half when Madrid became dominating the midfield that he could get forward more often with Modric.
Rafael Varane - 8
Varane had a quiet game. Well, quiet in terms of behind the scenes nearly flawless. I don’t recall a single instance where Juventus was able to build up play through his sector.
In the second half he and Ramos shut down absolutely any attempts through the middle, and he even crossed all the way over to the right to cover for Marcelo to snuff out an opportunity from Alves.
Can’t ask for a much more solid, consistent performance from a CB
Sergio Ramos - 7.5
If Varane was unobtrusively lethal, Ramos was nearly as effective, but in keeping with his usual personality, the absolute opposite in terms of presence. In his role as El Capitan, he was the outspoken leader as usual, and was frequently found arguing with the official (rightly so in many cases) as well as barking at the ever-drama-centered Alves.
What we can chalk up to Ramos’s defensive effectiveness was rendering Higauin, particularly in the second half, all but completely ineffective.
Marcelo - 6.5
Had Marcelo not turned around with the rest of the squad in the second half, I would have mercilessly panned this as his worst performance in forever.
Lucas and I were chatting on Twitter that we couldn’t even recognize our left back in the first half. He was uncharacteristically shaky and was easily dispossessed. Alves’s constant harrying left him reluctant to foray forward, and he turned the ball over often.
Fortunately, whatever motivation Zidane gave the rest of the team during halftime worked on Marcelo as well. As was the case with Carvajal, once the midfield controlled the play, he was much more fluid in attack and looked far more his usual self.
Modric - 9
Our little Croatian maestro would have probably ranked a little higher for me had the entire team not had a challenging first half. As Kiyan stated previously, Modric refuses to age.
Particularly in the second half, he was the conductor of most everything, particularly transition from the back to attach. What was particularly interesting during this match is how much build up play started on the right through him vs many previous matches where the Marcelo/(Sometimes Isco)/Benzema to Ronaldo progression dominates.
All in all, an imperious match from Luka.
Casemiro - 8.5
The only thing that kept Case from scoring higher was that when he made a bad pass, it was a REALLY bad pass that in a few cases led to dangerous chances for Juventus.
Outside of that, he was once again the absolute rock in the middle of the park just ahead of Varane and Ramos. While his 7 tackles, 1 interception and 2 clearances is nothing to scoff at, what statistics won’t bring to light is just how effective he was at completely stifling the link up play between Dybala, Pjanic, and Higauin, again, particularly in the second half.
Oh, and it didn’t hurt that he scored the go-ahead goal that really took the air from Juventus’s sails.
Tony Kroos - 7.5
A steady, solid, if not innocuous performance from the Cyborg. Nothing too huge stands out aside from the usual consistency of passing and defensive positioning.
Kroos was his usual metronome self in quickly circulating the ball to the left flank in the second half. As with the rest of the squad in the first half, he struggled to find an outlet largely because of Marcelo’s poor play.
Again, that element was rectified in the second half and we got to witness he, Case, and Modric dominate the midfield
Isco - 7
Isco was just ok for this match. His disco was a little off, and even in the second half, his previous tendency to hang on to the ball to long kept creeping up.
He just couldn’t seem to find that last pass at the right time, and in a couple of instances actually killed what looked to be really promising chances.
Overall he hustled pretty well and did an ok job of tracking back, but some of his mediocrity in this match could be due to the super solid three at the back for Juventus, particularly in the first half
Ronaldo - 9
What do you say about the man who scores twice against a squad that kept Barcelona scoreless?
Both his efforts, particularly his second, past Buffon were classic examples of just what a stone-cold-killer he is in front of goal. His positioning and awareness is second to none.
His first half was full of effort, albeit aside from his goal nothing too much of note, largely because he couldn’t get any service.
But man, what else can you say about this guy other than we’re so lucky to have him?
Benzema - 7.5
Big Benz had another characteristic game - the kind where critics like to shout, he doesn’t score a goal, but without him, our offense wouldn’t be nearly as effective.
His link up play was as effective as usual, but where he really shines is where he takes up position, or drags defenders into space to open gaps for, especially Ronaldo, to fill.
A couple nice dribbles from the Frenchman, and another solid performance.
None were in long enough to actually substantiate a rating in my opinion. A couple of notes though -
Gareth Bale was, I’m sure, delighted to make an appearance in front of his home-crowd fans. He’s worked hard to get back into fitness, and I’m sure felt good to get some game time at all. He made a couple speedy runs and tried for goal, but otherwise was perfectly content to play his part in a four-man midfield to lock out the game at 3-1. Here’s hoping he can get some rest this summer and come back next season with a return to his potential form.
Asensio came in and wanted to make something happen in the 8 mins or so left. He was sprinting everywhere, the fastest when he scored the fourth goal and raced to the corner flag to celebrate.
Morata - The perfunctory sub to waste time at the end, maybe? a last little something from Zidane as he was the one who put the nail in our coffin two years ago, but I think more to get him on the field after all he’s done for us this year. We’ll have lots of time to talk about this during the summer, but I really hope he sticks around to be one of the best super subs on the planet and to win more trophies.
In the end, the second half of this match shows a squad that goes down as one of the best in Real Madrid history, with an absolutely phenomenal, astounding, even magical performance to completely dominate a very difficult, extremely worthy competitor.