Real Madrid faced defeat for the first time in the UEFA Champions League this season as Tottenham beat them 3-1 at Wembley on Wednesday
Tottenham produced their most significant performance under Mauricio Pochettino as they comfortably dispatched defending champions Real Madrid to go to the top of Group H and qualify for the Round of 16.
For the visitors though, the miseries continued as they followed their loss to Girona over the weekend with another away day failure. Spurs dominated the proceedings for the most part, creating the more clearcut goalscoring chances before deservedly grabbing the lead in the 28th minute, when Dele Alli tapped in Kieran Trippier’s cross.
Alli doubled the hosts’ advantage just ten minutes into the second half as his fierce shot from the edge of the box was deflected past Kiko Casilla by Sergio Ramos. As Los Blancos pushed men forward in search of their first goal, Tottenham counter-attacked to good effect, with Harry Kane playing a fine through ball for Christian Eriksen, who finished with ease.
— Real Madrid C.F.🇬🇧 (@realmadriden) November 1, 2017
The visitors did have the final word in the game though, as Cristiano Ronaldo drilled the ball from close range. But, with ten minutes left, it was too little, too late as Real Madrid fell down to second in Group H, but still in with a great chance to make the Last 16. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over Zinedine Zidane’s men.
Kiko Casilla: 5/10
A horrid night in goal for the deputy Real Madrid goalkeeper. While he could have done better to prevent the first goal, the Spaniard was not at fault for the next two goals, one of which was a deflection. But, his indecisiveness was on show on Wednesday as he made several poor decisions while distributing the ball.
Achraf Hakimi: 5/10
Hakimi has been solid for the most part in the absence of Dani Carvajal, but Wednesday’s outing proved that he still has a long way to go, and that the senior right-back will almost be like a new signing when he finally returns to action.
While the Moroccan-born defender did pose some threat in the final threat, his impact was limited, and his defensive limitations were all too apparent to see on the night.
Sergio Ramos: 5.5/10
One of the better performers for Real Madrid on Wednesday was captain Sergio Ramos, who put in a big shift defensively, but was often rendered helpless due to the midfield failing to provide ample cover. He also posed a threat in attack, with one of his goal-bound headers being blocked by Ronaldo.
💬 @SergioRamos: “We have to stay calm, we’re still very much alive in the Champions League.”
— Real Madrid C.F.🇬🇧 (@realmadriden) November 2, 2017
His block from Harry Kane’s thumping effort in the first-half was the standout defensive moment for the visitors, but perhaps his biggest letdown was his failure to rally his men when their backs were against the wall.
It was one of those rare outings by Nacho in which he did not look like the Mr. Reliable that he has been called of late. While he wasn’t one of the worse performers for Real Madrid, the Spaniard was tormented by Harry Kane, and he should have done better to prevent Alli from getting the shot for his first goal.
Things have gone from bad to worse for Marcelo, who looked like a liability in defence for the second game running. Kieran Trippier had the measure of the Brazilian all through the night, with the player being caught out of position on a number of occasions.
Additionally, he created little impact in the final third, as depicted by his pass completion rate of 79.6 per cent. In fact, his part in Ronaldo’s goal was a rare positive moment for Marcelo, who looks miserably out of form at the moment.
What was Casemiro Doing???? pic.twitter.com/GmeIduGiPV
— Femi Coker (@femifactor) November 2, 2017
The epitome of Real Madrid’s performance on the night was Casemiro, who produced one of his worst outings for Los Blancos on Wednesday. Sloppy in possession and overrun without it, the Brazilian was horrendous in his positioning and put in many a wild tackle that amounted to nothing, one of which let Alli go into clear space and net the second.
Luka Modric: 5/10
It was a very unhappy return to his former stomping ground for Modric. While he did not lose the ball easily, he was far from his creative self on the night as his passes lacked penetration and incisiveness. The Croat, in fact, managed just 81 touches on the ball, which is another measure of just how dominant Spurs were.
Toni Kroos: 5/10
Like his creative partner in midfield, Kroos was largely anonymous on the night as well. The German did have a 90 percent pass completion rate to boast of on the night, but that was largely down to sideways and backward passing as he struggled to find a way past the defensively organised Spurs defence.
The usually energetic and tireless Isco was a pale shadow of himself on the night, perhaps showing the knock-on effects of the knock that he picked up at Girona on the weekend. Providing little threat in the final third, it was a rare uneventful and sub par outing for the Spaniard.
Cristiano Ronaldo: 6/10
Cristiano Ronaldo has now scored at 50 different away grounds as a visiting Real Madrid player.
Wembley makes it a half-century. pic.twitter.com/Z1EKBggHCm
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) November 1, 2017
The only Real Madrid player who carried a threat on a night to forget for Zidane & co. Ronaldo tried to create something out of nothing with his dangerous movement, and continued showing the intent even when the game was lost. The Portuguese forward deservedly got a goal to cap off a fighting performance, but will have been left frustrated by his teammates.
Karim Benzema: 5/10
Another night when Benzema’s inconsistencies were on show. The Frenchman was highly ineffective in front of goal, while he couldn’t produce his revered link up play to create space for his teammates. With Real Madrid reportedly in hot pursuit of Kane, Benzema needs to up his game quickly.
Marco Asensio: 5/10
Came on with the match already lost, and hardly got into the action to produce any sort of impact.
Borja Mayoral: 5/10
The Spaniard was on the pitch for the final 17 minutes, but could not produce anything to suggest he needs a bigger run.
Theo Hernandez: N/A
On for the last ten minutes, Theo had very little time to create anything for his side.