In a buildup to the game which Napoli fans felt would be similar to a “funeral” for the Real Madrid players, it was Los Merengues who came out victorious on the night after a very difficult and gut-wrenching first half.

Starting Lineup:

With the full squad fit to play the match, the lineup chosen by Zinedine Zidane was no surprise to anyone as he stuck by his word of not wanting to take any risks against the Italians even though Los Blancos went into the game with a 3-1 lead. The starting lineup consisted of:

Keylor Navas, Daniel Carvajal, Pepe, Sergio Ramos [C], Marcelo, Carlos Casemiro, Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Karim Benzema

Scorers:

Napoli –
Dries Mertens (24′)

Real Madrid –
Sergio Ramos (51′)
Dries Mertens [OG] (57′)
Alvaro Morata (91′)

Keylor Navas:

I expressed this in an earlier post but feel the need to mention it once again: There is something definitely wrong with Keylor Navas. His nerves are extremely apparent and therefore leads to him making some major mistakes while also looking very shaky on the ball. Even though our defending hasn’t been anywhere close to “good” recently, it doesn’t help much knowing that your goalkeeper isn’t very confident either. With each match that passes, this is becoming increasingly apparent and if he’s not back to his best anytime soon, this may turn out to be a long summer for the Costa Rican goalkeeper. Having said that, giving Kiko Casilla an opportunity in the starting lineup isn’t a bad idea either!

Pepe:

What a performance by Pepe! The Portuguese central defender was a rock in his position and was able to take care of most of the threat coming his way. He was alert and also made sure to make the right tackles at the right time (which is unfortunately not something we do very often honestly). With his contract ending this summer, it will be difficult not to offer him a new one after witnessing performances like these!

Sergio Ramos:

There is no way that this man is real. Once again, it was Sergio Ramos who stepped up and gave Real Madrid the goal they needed to take control of the match. Even though it didn’t happen in the dying moments, it was still a massive goal which put Napoli on the back foot. Other than his goal, his overall performance was perfect and he has shown once again why he’s regarded as one of the best defenders in the world.

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Alvaro Morata:

Coming on for Karim Benzema during the second half, Alvaro Morata did exactly what he does best: be a super-sub! The Spanish forward acted upon his instincts perfectly to net Real Madrid’s third goal of the night in the dying moments and, even though the tie wasn’t in doubt at the time, it was great to see him shutting the Napoli fans up who built up this game so much only to see their team fall in the end.

My Personal Player Ratings:

Keylor Navas – 5/10
Daniel Carvajal – 6/10
Pepe – 8.5/10
Sergio Ramos – 9.5/10
Marcelo – 6.5/10
Carlos Casemiro – 6/10
Toni Kroos – 6.5/10
Luka Modric – 6.5/10
Gareth Bale – 6.5/10
Cristiano Ronaldo – 7/10
Karim Benzema – 6/10

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