Real Madrid-Athletic: 1x1 player ratings from Bernabéu: Benzema, Valverde, Vinicius...
Real Madrid ended off the year with another 0-0 draw in a frustrating evening for Zidane's side against a resolute and defensively minded Athletic Club.
Courtois: Another clean sheet for the Belgian stopper who produced an excellent save from Iñaki Williams in the first half. He also reacted well to stop a Villalibre header in the final minute despite the flag subsequently being raised with the Athletic No. 25 in an offside position.
Carvajal: The Spanish international was busy in attacking and defensive duties on his flank with his deliveries into the Athletic box lacking the type of precision we're used to from the right back.
Militao: The former FC Porto defender is slowly improving with match time from Zidane and worked well in a defensive tandem with Sergio Ramos. Unfortunately for the player, a collision with Kodro shortly before the hour mark brought an abrupt end to his evening.
Ramos: The Camas born defender was solid in defensive duties making one immaculately first half intervention which snuffed out an Iñaki Williams foray into the danger zone. Was the only player booked in the entire match for a late rash challenge on Villalibre and will be suspended for the Getafe away game in January.
Mendy: A hesitant start to the game for the French international saw him concede possession cheaply on two occasions giving possession back to the Basque side, the player grew as the game developed and he looked more assured in attacking duties rather than in his defensive role.
Valverde: With no Casemiro in the side, the holding midfield responsibility fell to the young Uruguayan and Valverded delivered a display, once again that justifies recent plaudits being aimed at the 21-year-old who seemed to cover every blade of grass at the Santiago Bernabéu last night. AS English's Man of the Match.
Modric: The Croatian was on fine form and offered a first half with the usual range of repertoire from elegant flicks, through to defensive splitting passes. The veteran midfielder was less of an influence as the second half progressed but for 75 minutes, the opportunity to see the elegance of the 34-year-old on the ball was worth the admission price alone.
Kroos: Was unlucky to see an early effort rocket off the cross-bar and along with Modric was instrumental in the bulk of Real Madrid's creative midfield play.
We missed to score. Again. But the way we play the last couple of months makes me sure we can fight for all trophies in 2020! pic.twitter.com/PON9ppBPA3— Toni Kroos (@ToniKroos) December 23, 2019
Rodrygo: The Brazilian was bright and alert on his wing for the first half but as the game advanced became less and less involved in the action before being swapped for Gareth Bale in the 62nd minute.
Vinicius: The Brazilian striker came close to opening the scoring in the first period only to be denied by the inspired Simon in the Athletic Club goal. The winger looked lively and will have had his confidence boosted after a solid display. Zidane opted to substitute the young Brazilian in the 71st minute of the action.
Benzema: The French striker was unlucky not being able to add to his impressive tally against the Basque side coming up against Unai Simon in goal for Athletic who on numerous occasions was on hand to deny the striker. Always looked like the main threat for Zidane who later claimed that he felt his side don't need any new striking resources.
Nacho: Came on to replace the injured Militao and soon after saw a header of his strike the woodwork. A solid display from the Spanish international who did well to diminish the attacking threat offered by the always lively Williams.
Bale: The Welsh striker replaced Rodrygo and was welcomed by the Bernabeu crowd with a mix of applause and whistles. Had a discreet game but did come close with a rasping left footed effort that fizzed wide of Simon's goal.
Jovic: A rather anonymous 20 minutes from the Serbian international who has yet to find his feet at Madrid since the big summer move from Eintracht Frankfurt. Did almost put his side ahead lat on with a header that grazed the Athletic Club post.
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