Real Madrid player ratings after 2-1 loss to Manchester City
Two collossal errors from Varane were Madrid's undoing but only Benzema and Courtois showed sufficient stomach for the fight in the Etihad.
Real Madrid player ratings after Zinedine Zidane’s side exit the Champions League following a 4-2 aggregate loss to Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City (2-1 on the night at the Etihad Stadium).
Courtois, Benzema lead the way
Thibaut Courtois: The Belgian stopper kept Madrid in the game with two fine stops from his international teammate Kevin de Bruyne and another two to deny Gabriel Jesús and Raheem Sterling from what looked like certain goals. Juts don’t play the ball to his feet…
Dani Carvajal: After Sterling moved to the City left in the second half Carvajal had a double the workload but he still managed to get forward, although his attacks were characterized with more enthusiasm than danger. In the opening 45 he thwarted a counter-attack and long with Militão prevented De Bruyne from pulling the trigger from just inside the area. Later in the game he was guilty of several loose passes like many of his teammates.
Éder Militão: The Brazilian had a lot to live up to in his role as Sergio Ramos’ deputy and while he didn’t’ have the rub of the green he made a few interventions when City were in the ascendancy and under the circumstances he can’t be reproached for the final result.
Raphaël Varane: A game to forget for the France defender but not one that should tarnish his Madrid career as a whole. He was responsible for errors that led directly to City’s two goals and will go to bed on Friday dreaming of Gabriel Jesús. His display simply served to underline how important Ramos is to this side, but the captain is hardly without fault as yet another sending off in the first leg saw him consigned to the stands.
Ferland Mendy: The Frenchman was much more active in the first half as he faced up to Sterling and his performance was half of the reason Guardiola moved the England forward to the other side in the second 45.
Casemiro: Zidane’s Mr. Dependable made a couple of uncharacteristic errors that lent to a sense of vulnerability at the back, but he did make a tremendous tackle to dry Sterling a clear chance on 18 minutes. An off-day for the Brazilian.
Toni Kroos: Despite being the better of the engine room midfielders in the first half Zidane did not instruct him to take charge of playing the ball out in place of the misfiring Casemiro – something the experienced Germany international might have done himself. Another under-performer, a couple of speculative efforts from distance aside he had little authority in the game.
Luka Modric: Modric moved well and was up for the contest, finding space in the final third but like Kroos failing to impose himself on City’s midfield. He managed one shot, which went into row Z.
Rodrygo: A surprise inclusion in the starting XI, the Brazilian earned his spurs on the night with an excellent, intuitive move to tee up Benzema for the equalizer. However, he managed to impart little more during the game and was guilty of losing possession in a dangerous area in the first half.
Karim Benzema: Together with Courtois he was Madrid’s best player and his goal gave his side hope after City’s early strike. Active both in attack and in defensive duties, Benzema was let down by deficiencies elsewhere across the pitch and was largely left to plough a lonely furrow up top.
Eden Hazard: A link-up with Benzema on 20 minutes drew a save from Ederson and a minute later he also made the Brazilian stretch with an effort that was sneaking in the far post. However, Zidane’s gamble didn’t pay off and he had to wait until the 65th minute for his first touch in the second half. He probably wasn’t fully fit but Zidane had little choice but to play his star summer signing with the Champions League on the line.
Marco Asensio: A surprise omission, he eventually replaced Rodrygo. And almost immediately teed Benzema up with a beautiful touch.
Lucas Vázquez: Preferred ahead of Vinicius to add some impetus, even the indefatigable Vázquez couldn’t turn Madrid’s lethargy around.
Luka Jovic: Little time to make an impact.
Fede Valverde: Not give enough time to make an impact and should have been brought on sooner to wrest control of the midfield.
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