Real Madrid are on the brink of making it to the finals of the UEFA Champions League 2016-17, after they defeated neighbours Atletico Madrid 3-0 at the Santiago Bernabeu in the first-leg of the semi-finals on Tuesday night.
The home team dominated the proceedings in the early stages of the game and deservedly went ahead in the 10th minute through Cristiano Ronaldo’s header. Diego Simeone’s side struggled to produce anything meaningful in attack for more parts of the game and were pegged further back in the 73rd minute when Ronaldo finished emphatically to double the lead before he went on to complete his second hat-trick in two consecutive Champions League games in the 86th minute.
The emphatic victory means, Zinedine Zidane’s men have one foot in the door through to their third finals of the competition in four years and are in with a chance to become the first ever club to retain the Champions League trophy. Atletico, on the other hand, are left it with a gargantuan task in the second leg at the Vicente Calderon.
Here is how the players from both sides fared on the night:
Real Madrid Player Ratings
Keylor Navas – 7/10
Made an excellent save charging off from his line to deny Kevin Gameiro in the first period. Did not have much to do other than that.
Dani Carvajal – 7/10
Was Madrid’s biggest threat going forward in the first-half with his marauding runs, before being subbed off at half-time due to an injury.
Raphael Varane – 7/10
The Frenchman had a solid outing on his return from injury. Always at hand to make important interventions, composed and confident on the ball. Forced Jan Oblak into an excellent stop with a headed effort.
Sergio Ramos – 7/10
A strong and rugged display from the Madrid captain at the back. Wasn’t worked much but dealt with whatever came his way comfortably.
Marcelo – 8/10
Gave Lucas Hernandez a difficult time with his surging runs down the left-hand side throughout the game. Another excellent game for the Brazilian.
Luka Modric – 8/10
Atletico midfield struggled to cope with the Croatian’s energy and movement in the first period. Drove his team forward and always available to receive a pass from his teammates. Ran the show.
Casemiro – 7/10
Grabbed an assist for Ronaldo’s first goal. Apart from one misstep where he gave away the possession in a dangerous position, did not put a foot wrong. Disciplined performance.
Toni Kroos – 7.5/10
Held up the ball well and used his excellent range of passing to control the proceedings from the middle of the park. Linked the two halves of the pitch well, set-piece delivery was dangerous too.
Isco – 8/10
Was one of the best players on the pitch as he caused Atletico all sorts of trouble with his movement. Popped up everywhere on the field and looked to press home the advantage each time he got on the ball. Booked early in the second period and taken off with risk of a second yellow.
Karim Benzema – 6/10
Fired over the crossbar from an acrobatic effort in the first-period. Showed great strength to hold Diego Godin off to set up Ronaldo for the second strike.
Cristiano Ronaldo – 10/10
Truly the man for the big occasions! Opened the scoring with a fine headed goal, before doubling his tally in the second period with an emphatic finish. Completed his hat-trick late in the game to put his team in control of the tie. Eight goals in the last three CL games, including two hat-tricks. Mind-blowing.
Nacho – 6/10
Came on at half-time for the injured Carvajal. Did a fairly solid job on the right-side of the defence.
Marco Asensio – 6/10
Replaced Isco in the 68th minute. Not as effective as he has been in recent weeks.
Lucas Vazquez – 7/10
Replaced Benzema for the last fifteen minutes. Was a lively presence and set Ronaldo up for the third.
Atletico Madrid Player Ratings
Jan Oblak – 6/10
Made a few exceptional stops, but there wasn’t much he could do about Ronaldo’s three strikes.
Lucas Hernandez – 4/10
Filling in at right-back for Juanfran the centre-half looked out of sorts, especially in the first-half when Madrid slaughtered him with their wing-play.
Stefan Savic – 5/10
Slow to react to the cross and as a result was easily beaten by Ronaldo for the first goal. Booked late in the game.
Diego Godin – 5/10
Had a great chance to equalize but fired over in the first-half. Perhaps a little timid against Benzema in the lead up to Madrid’s second strike.
Filipe Luis – 6/10
Probably the best of the Atleti defence. Was relatively solid at the back while also offering the biggest attacking threat for Simeone’s men.
Yannick-Ferreira Carrasco – 5/10
Was lively in the attack in the first period, but his influence waned off as the game progressed. Replaced as a result.
Saul Niguez – 3/10
Probably one of his poorest displays in recent times. Caught napping on the ball on numerous occasions and was dominated by Modric and Kroos.
Gabi – 5/10
The Rojiblancos captain too was guilty of conceding possession on many occasions. Struggled to get going against the might of the Madrid midfield.
Koke – 4/10
Simply not good enough. Booked early on in the game and was ineffective out on the flanks or through the middle.
Antoine Griezmann – 3/10
Subdued for most parts of the game. One clever set-piece in the first half aside, he was hardly involved in anything. Not the performance you expect from a player valued at £100 million.
Kevin Gameiro – 3/10
Had a great chance in the first-half, but fluffed his lines. Was anonymous for the rest of the game and was taken off for Fernando Torres.
Fernando Torres – 4/10
Replaced Gameiro before the hour-mark. As anonymous as the man he replaced.
Nicolas Gaitan – 4/10
Came on for Saul in the 58th minute. His season full of struggles continued.
Angel Correa – 5/10
Replaced Carrasco for the final 20 minutes. Looked lively but could not impact the proceedings.