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CHAMPIONS LEAGUE | SHAKHTAR 2 - 0 REAL MADRID

Real Madrid player ratings after UCL loss to Shakhtar

It was yet another game to forget for Zinedine Zidane and Los Blancos as two second half goals from their hosts took qualification out of their hands.

1x1 del Real Madrid: a Zidane ya le falla hasta Mendy
GLEB GARANICH REUTERS

The trip to the Ukraine was never expected to be easy, given the inconsistent form of the Spanish champions and the players that were missing from Zinedine Zidane’s squad. But after going down 2-0 to Shakhtar in the penultimate game in the group, and their passage to the knockout phase of the Champions League was made more complicated, we reflect on how each of the players performed.

Real Madrid player ratings

Courtois. it was a decent showing from the big Belgian who did what he needed to do for most of the game and made a crucial save from a Taison effort when a goal looked more likely early in the second half. He couldn’t do much with either of the two goals.

Lucas Vázquez. Another solid match on the right, one that cancels out much of the criticisms of the past. He got himself involved in a lot of the play, kept his position well, and provided width as was required. Odriozola is expected to be available for Saturday’s game against Sevilla, but could face competition for a starting position.

Varane. He was late getting to two important plays, one because of a mistake by Nacho in which he ended up taking out Moraes, and another where he hurt Dentinho. The opening goal came from him, although he was not alone, reacting to the situation in the box, and along with Lucas was unable to close down the space for Solomon to make it 2-0. He seems to miss having Ramos by his side.

Nacho. His mistakes led to his central partner picking up an early yellow card. He also, though, came close to scoring for his side, arriving at the back post but unable to head home. Most of the game was relatively comfortable but the key errors cost them.

Mendy. Made some useful connections down the left, linking up with Asensio, but proved himself clumsy again with the ball, one particular moment leading to the opening goal for Shakhtar. Brought to the club to replace Marcelo, he has a lot to live up to.

Modric. The Croatian continues to defy his 35 years of age with moments of genius linking up especially well with Benzema, who could easily have had the visitors ahead early on. Lost influence as the game went on.

Kroos. An essential figure in the midfield, connecting with his newer teammate Odegaard on several occasions to control possession. He was also an important outlet for his defenders and constructed many of the forward movements, as usual. Questions marks over failing to prevent a number of Shakhtar attacks after the break.

Odegaard (subbed on 77'). Still not reaching the heights of his performances of last season, he continues to grow little by little. His triangle with Asensio and Benzema in the first half looked very promising, and after the break he dropped back more to collect the ball and worked it well on the right with Rodrygo.

Rodrygo (subbed on 77'). He started very well and looked a constant threat down the right, although the finishing pass eluded him. As well as positive movement going forward, he tracked back to help his defence and then broke at speed.

Benzema (subbed on 77'). His lack of football for three weeks was evident as he offered little real danger across the time he was on the pitch. That said, he got on the end of a couple of Modric passes, without a clinical finish, and offered up a nicely dinked cross for Nacho’s missed header. More needed from such a pivotal figure.

Asensio. The best post-injury Asensio we’ve seen, as the pressure builds on him to deliver. He pressed, he regained possession, and there were glimpses of the spark of old. His delightful dink in the opening minutes deserved a goal rather than the upright and with a little more fortune could’ve painted a different picture on the game.