Real Madrid drew blank for the second La Liga game in a row as Atletico Madrid held on to a 0-0 draw in the Madrid derby at Santiago Bernabeu.
Real Madrid had to bounce back from their 3-0 defeat to Sevilla during the midweek. Los Blancos had the chance of steering two points clear of Barcelona and others with a win in the Madrid derby. They started positively. Despite a fair number of chances for Atletico Madrid, Thibaut Courtois stood firm in what was his first impressive performance as a Real Madrid player.
Real kept knocking on the doors, with Gareth Bale coming close. Marco Asensio had the best chance of the second half. But, the 1-on-1 chance was scuppered, with Jan Oblak coming out of his space to close the angle and save the shot. Julen Lopetegui’s changes failed to have a positive effect as the match ended 0-0
We take a look at how the Real Madrid players fared individually.
Thibaut Courtois – 7.5
A couple of brilliant saves from Courtois. The first, a long range effort while the other a 1-on-1 in the first half. The Belgian was up to the task whenever called upon. The second half saw Atletico Madrid mostly trouble from long range, which was a comfortable distance for the custodian. More of the same, please.
Dani Carvajal – 6
Was rightly sanctioned for a poor foul from behind. Carvajal’s lack of fitness showed to a certain extent. While there wasn’t a dearth of his usual marauding presence, he failed to convert a brilliant teed up ball from Luka Modric inside the box, shooting the ball straight at Jan Oblak. Average.
Sergio Ramos – 5.5
Another disappointing performance from the Spanish veteran. The alarm bells will be ringing in the Real Madrid thinktank, with no real alternative to Ramos within the squad. Lopetegui might have to delve into the transfer market prematurely in January to find an alternative, if not a replacement for Ramos, at the very least.
Raphael Varane – 6
Better than his experienced centre-back partner but also disappointing. Varane and Ramos both gave too much space for Atletico Madrid. Had Courtois not been up to the task and Atletico Madrid been a bit more prolific, we could have easily seen the away side score a couple of goals, if not more. Needs to step up.
Nacho – 6.5
The brightest in the back four. Nacho was played on the left because of Marcelo’s injury. And while the Spaniard is not as technically gifted as the Brazilian, he did a considerable job of not making the star’s absence felt. Did well going forward and was the most consistent of the defenders.
Toni Kroos – 7
The German woke up in the second half. Was making things tick going forward. His deliveries were good and provided a threat to the Atletico goal. Kroos even had an effort from a similar angle he scored in the World Cup, albeit in open play this time and it was saved easily by Oblak.
Casemiro – 6
An average outing from the Brazilian. He was getting in decent positions but his lack of shooting ability restricted him from being an able threat. Lopetegui’s system does not need a player like Casemiro and it is becoming increasingly clear with each passing match.
Luka Modric – 6.5
Another quiet outing by the midfielder. Modric, like Kroos, also came alive in the second half. Was dispossessed a couple of times. Needs to find his form and quick.
Gareth Bale – 6
Bale got into good positions but his profligacy cost Real Madrid. There were a couple of chances that Bale should have converted and perhaps would have, on another day. Was brought off for Dani Ceballos at the start of the second half. Needs to be more consistent if he is to truly take Ronaldo’s place within the setup.
Karim Benzema – 5
Another tepid display from Benzema. The Frenchman was dispossessed 4 times and did not offer any attacking outlet to his teammates. Was played the ball on a couple of occasions but scuffled the lines. His days as the first-choice striker for Real Madrid look numbered.
Marco Asensio – 7.5
Easily the best Real Madrid player on Saturday, Asensio could have had a couple of goals on another day. His finishing needs to improve. But, Asensio keeps getting into the right positions and his dribbling ability is always a threat to the defenders. Would also like to improve on his 1-on-1 ability. Likely to improve with time and minutes on the pitch.
Dani Ceballos – 6.5
Came on for Bale at the start of the second half. Provided a good outlet to his teammates and was a threat on occasions with his passing and movement. Likely to have played his way into contention for a start in midfield, if not as part of the attacking trio.
Lucas Vazquez – N/A
Came on for Modric in the latter stages of the game. Did not have enough time or much of a chance to influence the game.
Vinicius Jr. – N/A
Came on and was instantly trouble for the opposition with his directness and pace. Another star who could be in with a shout to start in the coming games.