The defending UEFA Champions League holders maintained their 100% record in this season’s competition but Liverpool come away with their heads held high despite a third successive defeat in the group stage.
Brendan Rodgers rested several first-team players with Saturday’s Premier League clash with Chelsea in mind and despite failing to cause Iker Casillas any problems and picking up 0 points, holding Madrid to a one-goal win is no mean feat.
Karim Benzema scored the game’s only goal on 26 minutes which proved to be enough for the home side.
Here are the SoccerLens player ratings for Real Madrid 1-0 Liverpool:
Iker Casillas 6 – The Real Madrid goalkeeper barely touched the ball.
Álvaro Arbeloa 6 – One of Real Madrid’s weak points was their right-back who filled in for Dani Carvajal. Alvaro Arbeloa didn’t know what to do when Alberto Moreno broke forward from left-back. Also conceded possessions on more occasions than he should have.
Raphaël Varane 8 – Solid in the centre of defence preventing Liverpool attackers from getting in on goal on more than once occasion and halted the threat of Lazar Marković’s pace. Made a number of interceptions to break up any potential attacks.
Sergio Ramos 8 – Harshly booked, won a fair few tackles and possession back for his side. Liverpool never looked like scoring with Sergio Ramos and Raphaël Varane in front of them.
Marcelo 9 – Great assist for the goal, was a useful attacking threat although was caught out one too many times up field when Liverpool were in possession but fortunately for the Brazilian left-back nothing came of it.
James Rodríguez 6 – Saw an early effort well saved from Simon Mignolet and after that was kept relatively quiet by Lucas.
Luka Modrić 8 – Only his midfield partner Toni Kroos saw more possession of the ball than Real Madrid’s Croatian. Luka Modrić looked after the ball and out of possession he closed the ball down well when he wasn’t out of position.
Toni Kroos 8 – Maintained possession almost every time he touched the ball. Toni Kroos also linked up well with the attack on occasions and showed a few splendid passes. Had a long range effort fizz narrowly over after a corner wasn’t full cleared. Off the ball he dived in with a few challenges and won back possession a lot of times.
Isco 6 – Had a quit game by his standards. After being a real threat at Anfield in the first leg, Javier Manquillo did a splendid job on Isco at the Bernabéu.
Cristiano Ronaldo 6 – A substandard performance for Cristiano Ronaldo’s standards. His delicate effort in the first half was denied by Simon Mignolet and the Portuguese forward never got himself into a better scoring position after. 12 consecutive games with a goal came to an end as Kolo Touré had his number.
Karim Benzema 8 – Scored the winning goal which was the most important thing for the home side. Karim Benzema combined well with his attacking players, showed good strength at times to maintain possession and bring his teammates into play.
Gareth Bale (30 minutes) n/a – Made one great run on his return to draw a foul on the edge of the box from Alberto Moreno.
Nacho (9 minutes) n/a – No time to do anything.
Javier Hernández (5 minutes) n/a – Barely given enough time to touch the ball.
Simon Mignolet 8 – Had no chance with Karim Benzema’s goal but had made two fine saves beforehand. Dealt well with crosses in an all-round good performance from Liverpool’s number one.
Javier Manquillo 6 – Kept Isco in check but was lost at sea when Marcelo was attacking down the left wing, which was often.
Martin Škrtel 6 – Got away with an early error at 0-0, won the aerial battles but didn’t deal too well with Ronaldo when he was up against him. Got cautioned for a foul on the former Manchester United player too.
Kolo Touré 8 – A solid showing at the back from a defender who hasn’t had much game time this season. Made a few key interventions and blocks. Perhaps at fault for the goal but he saved his team on more than one occasion otherwise the score would have likely been much greater.
Alberto Moreno 7 – Was a good attacking threat down the left wing when going forward and did a decent job in defence but for conceding a few free kicks.
Lucas 8 – Kept James Rodríguez very quiet after his early opportunity which appeared to be his sole responsibility.
Emre Can 7 – Won possession back a few times and showed good energy in the middle of the park. Tried to set up a few attacks but little came of it.
Joe Allen 6 – Probably the most careless in possession of the ball for Liverpool and wasn’t the best at winning back possession for his side either.
Lazar Marković 5 – Showed on the odd occasion that his pace may be a threat before being thwarted and had little else to offer.
Fabio Borini 4 – Barely touched the ball.
Steven Gerrard (23 minutes) n/a – Did not get enough time or venture forward enough to make an impact on the game in the second half.
Raheem Sterling (23 minutes) n/a – Barely saw the ball after he came on.
Philippe Coutinho (17 minutes) n/a – Liverpool didn’t get the ball to the Brazilian substitute enough to make any impact.