Real Madrid player ratings: Ramos loses his head and Isco struggled to influence the game
Real Madrid dropped two points against Athletic Bilbao on Saturday night and missed a trick with Barcelona slipping up earlier in the day too. Sergio Ramos was sent off and Karim Benzema struggled massively in every aspect of play as Zinedine Zidane continues to look for a way to stop Real Madrid's slump.
Here are Real Madrid's player ratings from a frustrating affair for los Blancos on a rainy night in Bilbao.
Keylor Navas - 7.5
Can't be easy playing with speculation over your future ringing in your ears but Navas made a number of key saves in the first half. Rarely called upon in the second half but made a save from Aduriz when he was needed. Solid.
Dani Carvajal - 7
A threat from the right but so often things bottle-necked in the middle and his crosses were cleared with little impact. Athletic Bilbao never caused any trouble down his side and coming back from injury, was impressive. If looking for the source of Real Madrid's problem, no need to start at the right-back position.
Sergio Ramos - 4
Real Madrid don't tend to like seeing Ramos getting so emotionally involved in a game so early and with his hands in the face of Raul Garcia early on, the omens were not good, but kept his cool for a while before the end. Defensively, he made a nuisance of himself a number of times to spoile Athletic Bilbao attacks. Captain of the team getting sent off when his side in the driving seat is inexcusable. Against an opponent like Aritz Aduriz, you need to be cuter and Ramos was not and put not just the three points out of reach but threatened the draw too as Athletic pushed forward when he went off.
Raphael Varane - 7
A threat from set-pieces and generally decent. Drove forward when necessary and kept Navas safe in the second half. Became little more than an extra in the second half when Athletic Bilbao battened down the hatches.
Marcelo - 6.5
Hectic and slightly scattered from the Brazilian. That is his style though and while he couldn't deliver much from the left, he was constantly up and down the wing. Lost Williams a couple of times and it could have been worse but once he camped himself in the opponents' half, it was more about attacking than anything else, which was of the usual standard for the left-back.
Casemiro - 6
Good if never spectacular. Becomes somewhat obsolete when Real Madrid are on top like they were in the second half but necessary to prevent counters against the brawn Bilbao have in Raul Garcia and Aritz Aduriz. Perhaps up to Zidane to introduce a player like Ceballos in his place to open things up but not bad.
Modric - 7.5
Looks to be coming under increasing pressure from opponents and finding it hard to escape that pressure too at times. He remains the engine in Real Madrid's midfield though and while the end product isn't there, he is always looking to make things happen. Not one of his better nights but he willed Real Madrid forward every chance he got and that's worth everything in a slump. Real Madrid's hardest worker and top performer.
Kroos - 6
Not the same player we have grown accustomed to seeing or maybe the exact same player we have grown accustomed to seeing, which is worrying in a game where grit is valued more than anything else. Got on the end of a couple of balls at the edge of the box but never the kind of player to grab the scruff of the neck. Did well to keep plays alive and recycle play in general but lacked that last ball to attackers and the finish on a few occasions too.
Isco - 5.5
A few bright moments but failing to influence games as he can. This might be as a result of the movement ahead of him but not shooting himself enough either or popping up in dangerous positions opponents' penalty areas. Lost the head in the middle of the second half and coughed up possession too easily on a number of occasions. Not a good sign when your most comfortable ball-carrier looks jittery on the ball.
Ronaldo - 6.5
Struggling to get involved in meaningful ways. He is finding the going tough and picking up possession in awkward positions out on the left and right, which is a result of his roaming to get involved. The one or two chances he tends to put away per game not going in for him at the moment and needs a more defined role to shine again.
Benzema - 5
The one thing Benzema brings to the side is something he is not bringing to the side at present. His moving out left and right is a nightmare for defenders and midfielders between the lines and a dream for the likes of Isco and Ronaldo but remains static at the number nine. This also means Ronaldo has to shuffle around looking for space without finding it. Poor on the ball when trying to round defenders, missing the target too often and his position in the team a very tenuous one at the moment.