Liverpool 0-3 Real Madrid: Player Ratings

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Liverpool had a night to forget, as they were thrashed 3-0 by Real Madrid at Anfield. The visitors took the lead in the 23rd minute, when Cristiano Ronaldo latched onto James Rodriguez's through ball to smartly finish past Simon Mignolet.

That effort was followed up by a Karim Benzema double before the half time interval, all but sealing the three points with plenty of time in hand.

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Simon Mignolet 5.5

It was the same old story for the Belgian. Mignolet looks extreme unconfident in the Liverpool goal, especially when coming to collect the ball. Albeit, he is a superb shot-stopper, one of the best in Europe, as we saw when e denied Cristaino Ronaldo in the second half with his legs.

However, a goalkeeper has to get his basics right, first of all. For Madrid's second goal, Mignolet softly punched a cross away prior to the build up, putting pressure on his team-mates. Then, for the third, he failed to deal with a scrambling ball that should have been claimed.

As a 'keeper, you have to be brave and claim the ball with your hand - this is what world class goalies like Peter Schmeichel and Oliver Kahn done so often.

Glen Johnson 5

Johnson had the upmost task of marking Cristiano Rondo and he didn't do all that badly. The England international denied the superstar on several occasions, making some quality dispossessions.

However, that doesn't mean that CR7 didn't get the better of the former Chelsea man. In fact, he won the battle quite easily. It was Ronaldo's movement that give Johnson the most problems, with the Portuguese international constantly finding space and forcing other players in a Red shirt to deal with him.

Usually, Johnson offers a lot going forward, yet he was very poor on the attack last night. The former Chelsea man barely offered himself as an option throughout the game, and when he did, he was easily dispossessed on multiple occasions by Madrid left-back, Marcelo.

Martin Skrtel 4

Skrtel had another game to forget. The Slovakian was menaced by the Madrid forward line all night long, and had no answers.

For Ronaldo's strike, Skrtel should have attempted to block the number seven's effort with his left boot, however he was too slow to respond. Albeit, he was not helped by the poor positioning of Dejan Lovren, yet an attempt to block the effort with his left foot was appropriate.

For the most part, he looked lost throughout the game. Skrtel's awareness seems to be getting worse as each game goes by, not tracking his markers and reading the play. When the cross was put in for Karim Benzema's first goal, the former Zenit St. Petersburg should have been right in the mix to defend the cross, however he was instead in no man's land.

And for the Frenchman's second, Skrtel for some reason, tried to allow Simon Mignolet to come and collect the ball after deflecting off Pepe.  In those situations, you have to take matters into your own hands and get rid of the ball, even though you may concede possession.

Dejan Lovren 4

Lovren is still yet to rediscover the form he showed at Southampton.

This was the Croatian's biggest game of his Liverpool career, however, he flopped on the main stage. Too often, Lovren was caught ball watching and his side were punished when he lost Ronaldo for the first goal. Again, in the second half, he lost Ronaldo when going for the ball that was not his to claim, but luckily Simon Mignolet stopped the effort.

Lovren's form is worrying for Reds fans. He was brought in to shake up the defence, but instead it seems like he has made it worse. His lack of confidence is having a negative effect on the rest of his defenders, as he is causing dysfunctions that cannot be dealt with.

If the £20 million man does not improve - and fast - he may find himself sitting on the Liverpool bench in the future.

Alberto Moreno 5.5

Out of all the Liverpool defenders, the Spaniard probably has the best game. Moreno is all heart, and you could see his desire to get a result last night.

Attacking wise, he is top class. The former Sevilla man is so powerful on the attack, and displayed that last night when constantly offering his support wide on the left-hand side. He and Raheem Sterling have a fantastic understanding for one-another, and they linked up on several occasions last night to cause the Madrid defence problems.

Defending wise, Moreno had an okay game. It's not easy being so young marking James Rodriguez, and the Columbian did get the upper hand. Too often, Moreno dived into tackles in not so dangerous positions, and this caused problems for Liverpool.

Steven Gerrard 5

Gerrard was helpless against the Real Madrid attack. The Liverpool captain had no answers to Luka Modric and Toni Kroos in midfield, who pulled the strings throughout the game.

In his prime, the 34-year-old would have been in a constant battle with the Madrid midfield, really taking the game to them. Instead, he chose to sit back and try and remove the threat of Cristano Ronaldo, giving both Modric and Kroos so much space in midfield.

When Liverpool did have the ball, Gerrard attempted to start an attack with flashy long balls to find Raheem Sterling and Mario Balotelli. It was obvious that these were not working, given how isolated the strikers were up top, and should have instead built a Red attack by quick passing.

Joe Allen 4.5

The Welshman was making his first start for the Reds since September 9, and looked like he badly needs game time.

He worked hard in the centre-of-midfield, but was very much outclassed. Work-rate is not enough against top sides, and he finds himself being carried. On many occasions, Allen was nowhere to be found, and I think he didn't quite know what role he was playing.

He had an effort on goal in the first half from 18 yards out that just went wide, however that's about all he contributed going forward.

Jordan Henderson 5.5

Out of the midfield three, Henderson had the best game.

He was aggressive from the first to the final whistle, really physically challenging Ronaldo and Luka Modric. His work-rate was flawless, putting his body on the line for his side, and put Toni Kroos under pressure on the ball, causing mistakes from the German.

Unfortunately, Henderson had little effect on the attack. He attempted several through balls to Raheem Sterling, but they were too obvious and easily read by Pepe and Alvaro Arbeloa.

Philippe Coutinho 6.5

The Brazilian has had a slow start to the season, however he looks to be getting back to his former self.

Coutinho started brightly, driving at the Madrid defence and causing problems for them. You could see how hard the former Inter Milan man was working to make things happen for his side, attempted clever through balls and going past defenders.He was denied by the woodwork when Liverpool were 3-0 down in the first half, smashing a crisp shot 25 yards out that had the beating on Iker Casillas.

Raheem Sterling 7.5

Another game, another solid performance from the youngster. Sterling was the only Liverpool player who really tested the Madrid defence, and his pace had the beating of Alvaro Arbeloa several times.

He linked with Mario Balotelli fairly well on occasions, as well as Alberto Moreno, however for the much part he was forced to go alone. Unfortunately, he was surrounded by Madrid defenders and struggled to beat them all.

Mario Balotelli 5

Balotelli has received a lot of criticism for his performance, however, it wasn't all that bad. The Italian's movement was a lot better than it has been in previous weeks, searching for space to receive the ball.

There was one occasion when he easily beat Marcelo on the left hand side, highlighting he has pace that is not shown enough in games.

The 24-year-old was substituted at half time as a 'tactical decision', however after trying to swap shirts at half time, one suspects that may have been the real reason.


Adam Lallana 6.5

Brought on for Balotelli at half-time, the England international changed the dynamic of the Liverpool team. Lallana was an engine going forward, really working hard to get his side back into the game.

He charged at the Madrid defence with real venom, and made things happen for his side.

Emre Can 5

Brought on to keep the score-line down, and had little chance to get into the game.

Lazar Markovic 4

Markovic done little to nothing when coming on. Despite having the ball wide several times, he failed to attack the Madrid defence with the pace he does possess.

UEFA Champions League
Premier League
Cristiano Ronaldo
Real Madrid
Mario Balotelli
Steven Gerrard

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