PLAYER RATINGS: Thibaut Courtois puts on a goalkeeping masterclass for Real Madrid, while Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold lost his key battle with Vinicius Jr in Champions League final
- Real Madrid beat Liverpool 1-0 to secure their 14th Champions League title
- Vinicius Jr scored the only goal of the game midway through the second-half
- Thibaut Courtois was put in a memorable performance in goal for Madrid
- Trent Alexander-Arnold struggled to create and failed to deal with Vinicius Jr
Real Madrid secured their 14th Champions League title after beating Liverpool 1-0 on Saturday afternoon.
Vinicius Jr scored the only goal of the game midway through the second-half when Federico Valverde fired the ball across the face of goal, giving the Brazilian a tap-in at the back post.
Here, Sportsmail’s Gerry Cox has rated the players’ performances on Saturday night.
Real Madrid won their 14th Champions League title after beating Liverpool 1-0 on Saturday
Alisson Becker – 7
Far less busy than his counterpart Courtois but ended up losing. No chance with Vinicius Jr’s decisive goal, could have done better with Benzema’s disallowed goal.
Trent Alexander-Arnold – 6
Set up Salah for an early chance and then shot high over the bar. Vital interception to deny Vinicius Jr but caught napping when the Brazilian scored.
Ibrahima Konate – 7
Got the nod over Joel Matip as the right-sided centre-back because of his greater pace. Dispossessed Vinicius Junior early on and also got forward well.
Virgil van Dijk – 8
Calm as ever, making important interceptions when required and a reassuring presence alongside Konate. Hardly put a foot wrong, and little chance when Madrid scored.
Virgil van Dijk hardly put a foot wrong in the final – but found himself on the losing side
Andrew Robertson – 6
Did not get forward as much as usual in the first half, but showed more intent after the break, making more than one driving run. Disappointing
Jordan Henderson – 6
Heavily involved when Liverpool were on top. One vital interception to deny Vinicius Junior, and then volleyed wide from long range. Replaced on 77 minutes.
Fabinho – 6
One long shot well over the bar, and although his heavy touch set up Benzema for the disallowed goal, it was accidental. Booked for fouling Valverde.
Thiago Alcantara – 6
Doubts about his fitness before kick-off, but lasted 77 minutes. Tested Courtois with a tame shot early on, but struggled to find his usual passing accuracy. Replaced by Firmino.
Mo Salah – 8
Denied at least six times by Courtois, with two early shots and a header saved before the break, and then three more in the second half. So unlucky in the final again.
Mo Salah was a threat all night, taking nine shots, but ultimately struggled to get his revenge
Sadio Mane – 7
Took a knock to his thigh in the early minutes but recovered to hit a goalbound shot that Courtois did well to to tip on to a post in the 21st minute. Always lively.
Luis Diaz – 6
Had a running battle with Carvajal, who eventually got the better of the Colombian. Clearly disappointed when he was replaced by Diogo Jota in the 65th minute.
Subs: Jota for Diaz 65 Firmino for Thiago 77 Keita for Henderson 77 – Jota and Firmino gave Liverpool greater urgency, but Jota was denied by Courtois and Keita shot high over with two decent late chances.
Manager: Jurgen Klopp – 7
No surprises with his line-up and gameplan, which was working when Liverpool dominated the first-half, but he was outsmarted after the break.
Jurgen Klopp’s side were arguably the better of the two teams – but still fell short in the end
Real Madrid 4-3-3
Thibaut Courtois – 10
Man of the match by a mile with some brilliant saves, tipping an early Mane shot against the post, and then denying Salah an astonishing six times. Unbeatable.
Dani Carvajal – 8
Gave away the ball in the opening minutes, but won his tussle with Luis Diaz, matching the Colombian for pace and seeing him off.
Eder Militao – 8
Had plenty to do as Liverpool dominated the first half and made a vital block to stop Mane. More brilliant defending after the break. Solid.
David Alaba – 8
Back from injury for the first time since the semi-finals. Superb pass to Benzema for the goal that was disallowed and unbeatable in defence.
Thibaut Courtois put in one of the all-time great goalkeeping performances against Liverpool
Ferland Mendy – 7
Had his work cut out against Salah, but defended well, made some vital tackles and looked composed going forward. Tidy and composed.
Luka Modric – 7
Barely involved in the opening period as Liverpool dominated, but began to show his class and experience with some clever passes before being replaced late on.
Casemiro – 7
A game of two halves from the Brazilian, who struggled to get going in the first half, but looked a different player after the break, almost indomitable.
Toni Kroos – 7
Looked off the pace at first, being caught in possession and giving the ball away more than once, but improved hugely after the break.
Federico Valverde – 8
Never stopped running, and helped Carvajal out against Diaz. Set up Vinicius Junior with a driving run and low cross to the far post. Superb display.
Federico Valverde got the assist for the match winner and never stopped running throughout
Karim Benzema – 9
Perfect end to an amazing season, leading his side with a captain’s performance. Got the ball in the net only to be given offside after a VAR check. Kept going superbly.
Vinicius Junior – 9
The Brazilian scored the game’s only goal in the 59th minute when he lost Alexander-Arnold to sweep home Valverde’s cross pass at the back post. Always a threat.
Subs: Camvinga for Valverde 85 mins, Ceballos for Modric 90 Rodrygo for Vinicius Junior 90+2 – All three subs went on to close out the game and Camavinga and Ceballos both had late chances to score.
Manager: Carlo Ancelotti – 9
Won European Cup twice as a player and now the Champions Leagues four times as a manager. Perfect game plan, soaking up Liverpool’s pressure and then hitting them with a sucker punch.
Referee: Clement Turpin (France) – 8
Got the one big call of the game right when he disallowed Karim Benzema’s first half effort for offside, a decision supported by VAR. Let the game flow.
Vinicius Jr was a thorn in Liverpool’s defence all evening and got himself a well deserved goal
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