Real Madrid's Gareth Bale lands matchwinning 10/10 off the bench to win fourth UCL

Real Madrid beat Liverpool 3-1 in Kiev on Saturday to claim their third Champions League in a row and fourth in five years. Gareth Bale did not start but decided the game off the bench, after Karim Benzema opened the scoring and Sadio Mane equalised for the English side.


Real Madrid have won the Champions League for three years in a row, and there is no doubting their place in history after an uneasy start to the game. They weathered that early storm when it looked like they might get a pasting. Bale's impact off the bench was decisive.


There might be movement in the summer window, with Bale and Ronaldo suggesting they need to think over their futures, but for now, Real Madrid can celebrate complete European domination. The only problem now is that anything other than a win next year will be seen as a failure.

Manager rating out of 10

9 -- Zinedine Zidane gambled by leaving Bale out of his starting XI, and it paid off handsomely. The player who started in his place, Benzema, scored the opener, and Bale landed two in the biggest game of the year.

Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Keylor Navas, 7 -- Made an excellent save to deny Trent Alexander-Arnold in the first half when Real Madrid were under pressure. Solid after that and couldn't do anything for Mane's goal.

DF Dani Carvajal, 6 -- Left the field in tears after 37 minutes. Suffered a suspected hamstring injury after struggling to contain Mane on the wing in the early going. Replaced by Nacho.

DF Sergio Ramos, 8 -- Saw loads of the ball in the first half and stood up to everything Mane had to throw at him. A real captain's display when needed.

DF Raphael Varane, 7 -- Made a couple of important stops in the first half and showed off his speed to reject Mane a couple of times, too. Made good decisions on the ball and headed a ball out of Roberto Firmino's reach in the second half to deny a certain goal. Solid.

DF Marcelo, 6 -- Looked like he was going to have a very long night before Mohamed Salah went off. Once the Egyptian was subbed, he started to attack and caused problems for Liverpool. Very tame for Mane's goal but delivered the cross for Bale's chilena.

MF Luka Modric, 7 -- He popped up all over the middle and was calmest man on the pitch, which comes as no surprise. Offers Real Madrid so much control and defended well in a more sacrificial role.

MF Casemiro, 6 -- A relatively quiet night for the Brazilian on the ball but was a rock in the middle for Real Madrid. Slotted into defence when needed and generally very strong.

MF Toni Kroos, 9 -- Completed 50 out of 51 passes in the first half. His elegance was on display all night in Kiev and offered control when Real Madrid needed it most. Excellent.

MF Isco, 6 -- Hit the crossbar after it looked like he did everything right with his shot. Had another chance after that but was replaced by Bale after 61 minutes.

MF Karim Benzema, 8 -- Looked dangerous in the first half and scored the opener. Not a classic, but very aware to get a touch on Loris Karius' throw. Had a shot later in the second half that forced a good save from the keeper again.

FW Cristiano Ronaldo, 6 -- Poor display after such an incredible season. As the game opened up, it looked like he might score, but his last chance went out the window with a pitch invader stopping play.


DF Nacho, 6 -- Offered more stability than it looked like Carvajal was going to. Never troubled by Adam Lallana, who was inconsequential.

FW Gareth Bale, 10 -- How can you not give him anything other than full marks. Came on for Isco after 61 minutes and scored a chilena with his first touch. Scored a second with a helping of poor goalkeeping from Karius. Decided the final in 30 minutes.

FW Marco Asensio, NR -- Replaced Benzema with a few minutes left. Made no impact in such a short time.