UEFA Champions League Final 2016/17

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Goalkeeper Ratings (out of 10)

 

1st

 

Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus)                      6

 

 2nd

 

Should consider himself unlucky for conceding 2 goals via deflections, he was powerless to prevent the other two. Without any noteworthy saves, it was a night to forget for the legendary goalkeeper.

In the 20th minute, Cristiano Ronaldo was left in acres of space inside the box to place his right-footed drive for the first one, a precarious deflection off Leonardo Bonucci’s foot taking the ball away from the outstretched hands of Buffon. Lighting struck twice in the 2nd half when Casemiro’s swerving, dipping effort from distance took a wicked deflection off Sami Khedira as Buffon haplessly flapped at the ball, unable to prevent it from creeping in. The whole Juventus defense stood still as Luka Modric pulled the ball back for CR7 to convert the 3rd at the near post as Asensio provided the final nail in the coffin at the 90th min from 12 yards.

Buffon might feel let down by his defense which had successfully implemented 8 shutouts prior to the final. This was also his 3rd defeat in as many finals and realistically might bring the curtain down on an illustrious career which is still bereaved of an elusive UCL.

 

Keylor Navas (Real Madrid)                       7

 

 3rd

 

Made 3 early saves including a fine one-handed stop early on. Beaten by a wonder goal from Mandzukic, he was rarely troubled after that.

Couldn’t hold on to a powerful shot from Gonzalo Higuain in the 5th min, but did enough to mop up the troubles. He reminded everyone of his superb reflexes after pulling off an excellent one-handed stop to deny Miralem Pjanic’s wonderful half-volley from 25 yards out. One can ponder over his questionable technique and positioning for Juventus’s equalizer, apart from which he displayed a commanding presence in his box.

With back to back UCL titles, Navas will surely be thanking the “fax machine fiasco” which prevented his imminent transfer to Manchester two summers ago.

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