The showdown of 2016-17 football season at Millennium Stadium, Wales was no less than a battlefield when defending champions Real Madrid locked horns with Juventus in the Champions League final. The prestigious silverware has already been lifted by Los Blancos for a record 11 times. Also, they had an impressive domestic campaign under Zinedine Zidane as they ended Barcelona’s La Liga dominance and lifted the title for the first time since 2011-12. Their league triumph has made them more confident to retain the trophy and end the campaign on a high note by clinching the greatest European title for the third time in four years.
Juventus, the two-time champions, have now reached the final twice in three years of Massimiliano Allegri’s realm. They lost to Spanish giants Barcelona a couple of years back, however, the Bianconeri were determined not to repeat the same mistake once more and knock the champions off their perch banking on great composure as well as resilience. However, despite a scintillating first half, Juventus failed to keep the momentum and surrendered far too easily which resulted in a 4-1 defeat against the defending champions who now have secured their third Champions League title in four years time.
Juventus Players Rated And Slated In Their Disappointing Defeat Vs Real Madrid
Gianluigi Buffon: 5
The 39-year-old veteran conceded four times and should have done better at least twice when he was too late to react. So near yet so far for the Italian legend who might have to finish his career without a Champions League winners’ medal.
Andrea Barzagli: 5.5
Pulled off a few quality blocks and tackles, but had a sluggish second half before he was taken to be replaced by Juan Cuadrado.
Leonardo Bonucci: 6
Came up with a number of crucial clearances and tackles and made his presence known both aerially as well as physically. However, he too had a sloppy second half that resulted in a disappointing defeat.
Giorgio Chiellini: 5
Chiellini made a few crucial tackles and clearances but should have done a lot better in both of Cristiano Ronaldo’s strikes as he allowed him space as well as time to score goals.
Dani Alves: 5.5
The former Barcelona man made a number of ambitious runs down the right-hand flank and whipped in few sublime crosses for the attackers. However, he did not track back and help his defence much in the second half that resulted in a defensive catastrophe from a very organised back-line.
Miralem Pjanic: 5.5
Started the game brightly as his early strike was parried away masterly by Keylor Navas. Had a disastrous second half where he struggled to keep hold of the ball in the middle of the park and lost his temperament that resulted in a substitution.
Sami Khedira: 4.5
The former Real Madrid midfielder had a dreadful night of football when Casemiro’slong-rangee strike was deflected off him and found the net. He failed to control the game and was dispossessed frequently and repeatedly gave the ball away in dangerous positions.
Alex Sandro: 4
Was bullied down the left-hand flank and was at fault in Madrid’s third goal of the night as he failed to block Luka Modric’s cross. Made a few ambitious runs, but his defensive contribution was extremely disappointing.
Mario Mandzukic: 7.5
Scored from a spectacular overhead kick to level the scoreline in the first half. But the Croatian struggled since the start of second half and kept on losing the ball in dangerous positions far too easily that allowed Real Madrid to strike from counters.
Paulo Dybala: 6
Impressed with his skills, touches and runs during the first half. Had a quiet second half and was taken off to be replaced by Mario Lemina.
Gonzalo Higuain: 6.5
Higuain set the ball perfectly for Mandzukic who pulled off a stunning overhead strike to equalise. Was isolated and largely unnoticed during the second half.
Juan Cuadrado: 4
Came in place of Barzagli but did not last for twenty minutes as he was wrongly sent off following Sergio Ramos’ disgraceful theatrics.
Claudio Marchisio: 6
Came in place of Pjanic and tried to settle things down in the middle of the park but it was too late to constitute a comeback.
Mario Lemina: 5
Was introduced in place of Dybala. Failed to make any noteworthy contribution though.
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