Liverpool player ratings v Real Madrid: Coutinho a bright spot, as Balotelli's struggles continue

Anfield

Liverpool could do little to stop a sublime Real Madrid side in their Champions League Group B clash, as first-half goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema secured a comfortable 3-0 win for the holders at Anfield.

Simon Mignolet 5/10 – Made a couple of decent saves in the second-half but was embarrassed in the air by Benzema for Real’s second and looked completely lost when the Frenchman added the third.

Glen Johnson 4.5/10 – Had a thankless task to take on Cristiano Ronaldo, but there was no hiding the fact that it was a miserable evening.

Martin Skrtl 5/10 – Showed strength when around the ball but just couldn’t cope with Real’s lethal counter attacks.

Dejan Lovren 5/10 – Much like his centre-back partner, the £20 million man struggled to contain a fast-paced opposition.

Alberto Moreno 5.5/10 – Looked good going forward, as usual, but made a mistake on the first goal and continued to struggle on defence throughout the match.

Steven Gerrard 6.5/10 – Made some impressive passes but looked helpless when Real’s high-powered attack pushed forward into the Liverpool half.

Joe Allen 4/10 – Was full of running but his impact on the game was almost non-existent.

Jordan Henderson 6/10 – Showed no lack of effort but couldn’t quite assert himself in possession.

Raheem Sterling 6/10 – Looked bright at times, with determination in abundance, but just couldn’t make the breakthrough on this occasion.

Philippe Coutinho 7/10 – Liverpool’s best performer on the night, showing real pace and purpose, before he was taken off with 23 minutes to go.

Mario Balotelli 3.5/10 – It’s clear Brendan Rodgers made a mistake starting him, as he showed nothing to suggest that a turnaround is coming during his 45 minutes on the pitch.

SUBSTITUTES

Adam Lallana (Balotelli 45) 6/10 – A huge upgrade to Balotelli, as his inclusion added some shape and enthusiasm to the front three.

Emre Can (Henderson 67) 5/10 – Given a run out with Liverpool resigned to defeat, but didn’t show much.

Lazar Markovic (Coutinho 67) 5/10 – See Can.

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