Even with Liverpool’s lightning-quick start, a very strong defensive performance from Real Madrid sees them book a spot in the Champions League semi-finals. Without the likes of Sergio Ramos, Dani Carvajal, Raphael Varane, Lucas Vazquez — all of which are crucial defensive players and UCL veterans — Zinedine Zidane’s men managed to get the job done.
See full players ratings below.
Thibaut Courtois — 8: Now there is a lot of talent in this Real Madrid squad, but one player who constantly comes up big and doesn’t necessarily appear in the headlines as much is Courtois. Made a massive stop on Mohamed Salah’s shot in the opening minutes and commanded the backline throughout the match. Crucial decision making to get the club to the next stage. Finished with four saves but very low 40% pass completion rate.
Fede Valverde — 8.5: With both Carvajal and Vazquez out, Zidane had a problem at right back. But, when asked to fill in at Anfield, Valverde stepped up to the task. While the opening 10 minutes were full of nerves, the Uruguayan was comfortable for the rest of the match and eventually moved into the midfield to carry out the game. Workhorse on the pitch and full of determination. Finished with three dribbles, one aerial won and three tackles.
Eder Militão — 8: What a massive week it has been for Militão, who in weeks prior to this immensely intense stretch of games, had rarely appeared for Real Madrid. But tonight at Anfield the defender was strong, physical and didn’t shy away from a challenge or calling on his teammates to do more. Very promising performance. Finished with one aerial won, one key pass and two tackles.
Nacho — 8: Another massive performance from Nacho, who time and time again shows he is Real Madrid to the core. He’s been around for Madrid’s glory years in the Champions League and put on a veteran performance to help the club move on to the next round. Partnered well with Militāo and shut Salah down all night. Finished with 90% pass completion rate, four aerials won and one tackle.
Ferland Mendy — 7.5: Solid performance from Mendy tonight who offered an energetic presence down the left wing when Madrid looked to push forward. Teamed up well with Kroos and Casemiro when Liverpool pressed, but lacked any connection with Vini Jr. Still, put on a strong mental performance and finished with one dribble and one tackles.
Casemiro — 9: It’s been said before, but it’s another excellent time to bring it up again: How crucial is Casemiro for Real Madrid? Build this man a statue outside the Bernabéu. Another masterclass from the Brazilian who helped his teammates in every part of the pitch. Never afraid to get physical and put his body on the line to stop Liverpool whenever he could. Played a massive role in the defensive performance. Finished with one dribble, two aerials won, one key pass and five tackles.
Toni Kroos — 7.5: It was evident Jurgen Klopp handed Liverpool a clear game plan prior to this match was to shut down Kroos and Modric. And, frankly, the Reds did that fairly well. Haven’t seen Kroos misplace that many passes in a long, long time. Still, Kroos managed to work his way into the gaps and try to push Madrid forward. A lower rating this time around but not entirely his fault. Finished with one shot and four tackles. Subbed after 72 minutes.
Luka Modric — 7.5: Was also silenced by Liverpool’s formation but often dropped into defence alongside Casemiro and the centre-backs. Didn’t have many touches on the ball for the opening 25 minutes but managed to find ways to get into the game. Played the entire 90 minutes, as well. Finished with one shot and one tackle.
Marco Asensio — 6.25: Handed the start after starting on the bench for El Clásico but didn’t perform too well. Forgot he was playing at times in the first match. Will be hoping for more as the season closes out. Finished with one shot, one dribble, one key pass and two tackles. Subbed off after 82 minutes.
Karim Benzema — 7: Suffered a huge knock in the opening 60 seconds when James Milner stepped on his ankle. Communicated with the bench three or four times about the discomfort. With that being said, we didn’t see Benzema at his best tonight. While he was stagnant, he was still Madrid’s main attacking threat. Should have done better to score a safety goal, though. Finished with one shot, two dribbles and one tackle.
Vini Jr. — 6.5: Let’s hope Vini Junior isn’t going back to his old ways. Handed the start but couldn’t link up anyone up top and made some questionable decisions in the final third. Still showed bright spots but nothing too noteworthy. Finished with two shots, two dribbles and two tackles. Also 100% pass completion rate but only 24 passes. Subbed off after 72 minutes.
Alvaro Odriozola — 6.5: Must have stung not to earn the start at right back with both Carvajal and Vazquez out, but Odriozola did make a cameo appearance coming on for Kroos. Managed to have a decent 15 minutes but was caught out a few times and let Liverpool regain possession. Finished with three tackles and put a decent cross in for Benzema.
Rodrygo — 6: Came on for Vini Jr in a straight swap and added some energy to Madrid’s front line but couldn’t make the most of any chances. Would like to see him having more impact soon, especially as the team continues to chase titles. Finished with one tackle.
Isco — 6: Came on for Asensio and played just over 10 minutes but didn’t add too much to the game. His Fresh legs helped shut down Liverpool as they pushed to keep their Champions League hopes alive. Finished with one tackle.