Real Madrid player ratings vs Liverpool: Vinicius Jr. and Benzema soar on magical night at Anfield

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Karim Benzema Real Madrid 2022-23
Los Blancos ran riot on Merseyside as they again showed that they cannot be written off when it comes to challenging for the Champions League

Real Madrid battered Liverpool at Anfield, with Vinicius Junior and Karim Benzema leading the way in a convincing 5-2 win in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie.

Liverpool actually took control of the game early on, scoring twice within the first 15 minutes thanks to Darwin Nunez and Mohamed Salah.

But Madrid clawed their way back into the contest, with Vinicius the key man. The Brazil forward scored twice before the break to level the game at 2-2 after 45 minutes.

The visitors then exploded in the second half, as Eder Militao and Benzema scored in quick succession, before Benzema added a fifth to perhaps put the tie to bed ahead of the return leg at Santiago Bernabeu.

GOAL rates the performances of all Madrid's players on Merseyside...

  1. Goalkeeper & Defence
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    Goalkeeper & Defence

    Thibaut Courtois (5/10):

    Early blunder handed Salah an easy goal.

    Dani Carvajal (7/10):

    Lost Nunez on Liverpool's opener but was otherwise solid.

    Eder Militao (8/10):

    Cleared one off the line, scored a header at the other end. A statement showing.

    Antonio Rudiger (7/10):

    Helped keep Salah quiet in the second half.

    David Alaba (4/10):

    Given a hard time by a lively Salah before being substituted with a first-half leg injury.

  2. Midfield

    Federico Valverde (7/10):

    Started poorly but grew into the game. Won the ball back regularly and progressed play well.

    Eduardo Camavinga (8/10):

    Absolutely everywhere defensively. Let Modric do most of the attacking stuff.

    Luka Modric (9/10):

    Comes alive in these games. Absolutely masterful. What's in those legs?

  3. Attack
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    Rodrygo (7/10):

    Involved in the build-up for the fourth and fifth goals. Wasn't required for much else.

    Karim Benzema (9/10):

    Was relatively quiet before seeing his second-half shot deflect in off Gomez for his first Champions League goal this season. Added his second, and Madrid's fifth, after an hour.

    Vinicius Jr. (9/10):

    Scored a wonderful goal to pull one back for Madrid, and added a second shortly after thanks to Alisson's error. Was fouled for the set-piece that gave Madrid their third. A performance for the ages.

  4. Subs & Manager

    Nacho (7/10):

    Settled into the game after replacing Alaba, and made one terrific tackle to deny Salah in the second half.

    Dani Ceballos (6/10):

    Fresh legs for a tiring Rodrygo.

    Toni Kroos (N/A):

    No time to impact the game.

    Marco Asensio (N/A):

    Gave Benzema a rest.

    Carlo Ancelotti (9/10):

    Started his best possible XI and it appeared to be going horribly for 15 minutes. Got a hell of a response, though.