Real Madrid's total team performance too much for Juventus in UCL final
Real Madrid etched their names on the Champions League trophy and in the history books with a 4-1 victory over Juventus in Cardiff, a score that confirmed Zinedine Zidane's side as the pre-eminent force in European football. Cristiano Ronaldo continued his extraordinary scoring run in the knockout stages with a brace while Casemiro and substitute Marco Asensio also found the net to complete the biggest win inside 90 minutes in the competition since Milan beat Barcelona 4-0 in 1993-94.
Real's midfield were imperious in the second half and restricted Massimiliano Allegri's side to just one shot after the break. In 90 minutes Zidane's team put more goals past Juve than the rest of Europe had managed in the whole of this season's competition. Barca being held to no goals over 180 quarterfinal minutes added a little more juice to the blender in which the Serie A champions were thrown.
None. This was a complete team performance against the best defence in Europe, and even Juve's consolation goal required a moment of pure genius from Mario Mandzukic. If the first half was even on points, Real delivered a knockout blow in an almost perfect 45 minutes from the restart.
Manager rating out of 10
9 -- Zidane usually makes his changes around the hour mark but sensibly held off as his team systematically deconstructed Juve. When he did shuffle his deck, he sent on two of his speed merchants in Gareth Bale and Asensio to stretch Juve further on the break, securing a first European double for the club since 1958 and capping a season in which his side have found the net in every single game.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Keylor Navas, 8 -- Had his hands stung twice by Gonzalo Higuain early on and pulled off a fantastic stop from Miralem Pjanic. Couldn't do much about Mandzukic's goal but exuded confidence throughout.
DF Dani Carvajal, 8 -- A one-two with Ronaldo prised open the Juve back four, and although he could have closed down Mandzukic earlier, Carvajal was in the right place at the right time for 90 percent of the match in defence while giving Alex Sandro a torrid evening at the other end.
DF Raphael Varane, 8 -- Had the better of his duel with Higuain and put in two excellent challenges when the Juve striker attempted to turn him as the last defender. Two vital first-half blocks capped an excellent performance.
DF Sergio Ramos, 7 -- A couple of crunching tackles set the tone early on, and Ramos duly went in the book for a challenge on Dani Alves after half an hour. Rather than walking himself off, the captain ensured Juan Cuadrado's evening was cut short with a bit of gamesmanship that served to quell any hopes of a late Juve rally.
DF Marcelo, 7 -- Dispossessed early and a bit shaky defensively in the first half, Marcelo was unable to get forward as he likes to with orders to keep Alves under wraps. Delivered a fine cross into Ronaldo's path just before the hour and delivered the assist for Asensio's coup de grace in a much-improved second half.
MF Casemiro, 9 -- Sold a dummy by Higuain in the opening exchanges, Casemiro didn't put a foot wrong for the rest of the game, flying into seven tackles -- more than double any opposition player -- and avoiding the referee's book while hitting Real's all-important second with a deflected shot from distance.
MF Luka Modric, 8 -- A wonderful assist for Ronaldo's second was delivered with the speed and determination of a winger, and Modric was absolutely everywhere, recovering possession in both halves and driving at the Juve back four as Real turned the screw.
MF Toni Kroos, 9 -- Charged with keeping an eye on Pjanic, Kroos also helped to stem Paulo Dybala's penetrating runs. Also found time to go into the book for a challenge on Khedira. Real's second-half domination was forged by way of Kroos' all-action coverage.
MF Isco, 8 -- Didn't really get into the game in the first half but chipped in at the back before turning in a spectacular second 45 and leaving the pitch to an ovation after twisting the blood of veteran defender Andrea Barzagli.
FW Karim Benzema, 7 -- Like Isco, Benzema failed to have much of an impact initially but played his part in the second half, targeting Barzagli in tandem with Isco and Marcelo and opening up spaces for Ronaldo to exploit.
FW Cristiano Ronaldo, 9 -- As he did against Bayern and Atletico, Ronaldo rose to the big occasion, opening the scoring with a crisp strike after 20 minutes that took a slight deflection off Leonardo Bonucci. The Portugal international bagged his second with an expert touch to seal his place as top scorer in the Champions League for a fifth consecutive season and more than likely earn himself another Ballon d'Or, while also becoming the first player to score in three Champions League finals. Not a bad evening's work all in all.
FW Gareth Bale, NR -- On for Benzema, Bale almost got on the end of a Ronaldo cross shortly after entering.
MF Marco Asensio, NR -- On for Isco, Asensio got on the score sheet with a well-taken finish in stoppage time to apply the icing to a remarkable season.
FW Alvaro Morata, NR -- On for Kroos, Morata was on the pitch for the victory celebrations in what is likely to prove his last game for Real Madrid.
Rob Train covers Real Madrid and the Spanish national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @Cafc13Rob.