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Liverpool 2-5 Real Madrid: Player Ratings

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Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

After a first underwhelming week of Champions League football, Liverpool and Real Madrid at Anfield promised quite an entertaining spectacle. Jurgen Klopp’s men were seeking revenge, while Los Blancos were hoping to prove why they are the UCL defenders.

And it did not disappoint.

Goals started pouring in from the fourth-minute onwards when Mo Salah found Darwin Nunez inside the box, and the Uruguayan produced a sensational backheel flick to finish off the chance.

An absolute howler from Thibaut Courtois presented Salah with the chance to double their lead, but Madrid did not sit back for very long. The comeback was already underway by the 21st minute as Vinicius Junior’s incredible curler slotted into the bottom right corner.

The Brazilian then added another to his tally on the night when Alisson’s poor free-kick hit his back en route its way into the net.

Thereon, it was all Real Madrid, as Eder Militao and Karim Benzema (twice) got on the scoresheet to register a sensational 2-5 first leg win. It’s just what they do.

Thibaut Courtois: 2

Courtois produced the first of two howlers in the game when he game away the ball to Mo Salah for Liverpool’s second goal of the game. Did not do much wrong – or right – apart from that, though.

Dani Carvajal: 4

Dealing with the threat of Darwin Nunez, Carvajal was constantly on the backfoot on the right flank. Completely lost track of the Uruguayan on the opener, and then again, a fair few times.

Eder Militao: 7.5

Pretty much the only decent defender in the Madrid backline when the game started. Made a clutch goal-line clearance in the first-half, and then scored the goal that gave Madrid the lead in the second.

Antonio Rudiger: 6.5

Out of position a few times but did well to make recoveries at other moments. Unsurprisingly, a mixed game from him.

David Alaba: 4

Had to go off injured within the first half-an-hour. Did not do much noteworthy before that.

Federico Valverde: 8

Provided cover for Carvajal to deal with Nunez at times, and was also integral in launching counter-attacks thanks to his speed. Ran himself into the ground once again.

Eduardo Camavinga: 7

Far from his best in the first half, but gradually grew into the game in the second as Madrid found rhythm.

Luka Modric: 8.5

No stopping Luka Modric once again, as he ran the show from Madrid’s midfield. Constantly found spaces despite pressure to launch counters, and eventually got on the assist sheet with a superb free-kick for Militao’s goal.

Rodrygo: 7

Mostly a so-so performance from Rodrygo, but the Brazilian eventually assisted Benzema’s first goal.

Karim Benzema: 9.5

The less said about Benzema the better at this point. Looked out of the game during the initial minutes, but then assisted Vinicius for the first goal. Scored one in the second half, and then got himself a brace with a sensational finish that sold Alisson and the Pool defence.

Vinicius Jr: 9

Star boy. (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

Took responsibility and led the charge for Madrid when they were 2-0 down. Came clutch with a superb individual effort in the first-half that slotted into the bottom corner, and then found the equaliser after chasing down Alisson into the box. Got an assist, too, as Benzema slotted in the fifth.

SUBSTITUTES:

Nacho: 6

Found it difficult initially, as Mo Salah and Alexander-Arnold double-teamed him. Much better in the second half, especially as Pool chased a goal or two.

Dani Ceballos: 6.5

Came on late but did well to slow down the tempo of the midfield in Madrid’s favour.

Marco Asensio: N/A

Came on too late to warrant a rating.

Toni Kroos: N/A

Brought on with three minutes of regulation time remaining, was caught out once, but overall did not do enough to warrant a rating.

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid’s pursuit of 18-year-old prodigy dependent on captain’s future – report

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Photo by Fran Santiago/Getty Images

Real Madrid will step up their efforts to sign Lille defender Leny Yoro if Nacho decides to leave the club, according to a report by Agustin Martin in AS.

The situation surrounding Nacho is becoming increasingly uncertain. While he has received a lucrative offer from Al Ittihad, the move has reportedly hit a roadblock.

It is said that Nacho feels that his role in the team has not progressed under coach Ancelotti and his absence from the starting lineup in important matches, like the first leg of the quarterfinals against Manchester City and the Clasico has made him consider leaving the club. 

Furthermore, the recoveries of Eder Militao and David Alaba, along with the presence of Antonio Rudiger and the potential return of Rafa Marin have also influenced his thoughts about his future.

Nacho is aware of market movements

Real Madrid are very much interested in signing Leny Yoro. (Photo by SEBASTIEN SALOM-GOMIS/AFP via Getty Images)

Interestingly, it is not just his teammates’ presence that has made Nacho think about leaving. There are strong rumours about Real Madrid signing Leny Yoro as well. 

The plan is to sign Yoro either this summer and possibly loan him out if Nacho stays, or in 2025 to join the first team. 

If Nacho decides to leave, it would pave the way for Yoro to join immediately. This decision depends on Nacho’s willingness to stay for another year or take up one of the offers he has received. 

This means the potential signing of Yoro hinges on Nacho’s decision. If the club captain chooses to leave, Yoro could join Real Madrid this year or next. 

For what it is worth, Yoro would strengthen a defensive lineup where most players, except for Militao and possibly Rafa Marín, are over thirty years old. But for this to happen, Nacho must decide whether to stay at Real Madrid or open the door for Yoro’s arrival.

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