Real Madrid suffered their biggest home defeat in Europe as CSKA Moscow beat the UEFA Champions League holders at the Bernabeu on Wednesday.
A largely inexperienced Real Madrid side took the field on Wednesday night, with Santiago Solari resting a number of regulars. The hosts still dominated the early proceedings though, with Vinicius Junior and Marco Asensio coming close.
However, CSKA Moscow went on to grab the lead, pretty much against the run of play, as Fedor Chalov curled the ball past Thibaut Courtois and into the top left. Five minutes later, the visitors went on to double their lead through Georgi Schennikov after the Real Madrid no. 1 had saved Mario Fernandes’ effort.
In the second half, the wind seemed to have been knocked out of Real Madrid, who created very little in the final 45 minutes. The win was then rounded off in the 73rd minute, as Arnor Sigurdsson produced a fine finish from the edge of the box to hand the Champions League holders their heaviest ever home defeat in Europe.
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Although they had already secured top spot in Group G, the players went off the pitch to a chorus of boos as the Real Madrid fans voiced their displeasure over the dismal performance. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over Santiago Solari’s men following their Matchday 6 loss.
Thibaut Courtois: 5/10
Another evening to forget for Courtois, who has had several such outings this season. But, he couldn’t have done much to stop any of the shots that went in, although he was at fault for not being vocal enough to keep the backline organised and was also all over the place for the second goal.
Alvaro Odriozola: 5/10
The best of the lot at the back for Real Madrid, although the benchmark was pretty low to begin with. Could have perhaps aided Sanchez more on a couple of occasions, but there wasn’t much wrong with his defensive output. Offered very little threat in the final third, which was quite surprising.
Javi Sanchez: 4/10
Making his full Champions League debut, Sanchez had a great opportunity to law down the marker and boost his chances for the rest of the season. But, it wasn’t to be for him on the night, with the Real Madrid academy product looking out of his depth on a number of occasions.
In fact, Sanchez was directly at fault for the first two goals that CSKA Moscow scored, first giving Chalov too much space and allowing him to shoot from inside the box, before proving to be poor with his positioning for the second. Did not make any other mistakes, and this would have been a good learning curve for him.
Jesus Vallejo: 4/10
The more senior of the two centre-backs, Vallejo needed to take more responsibility to organise the backline. But, the young Spaniard did nothing to stop the CSKA Moscow juggernaut, in what was a missed opportunity to prove himself as an able backup to Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane.
Making his return to the side after a short injury layoff, Marcelo looked horribly off pace, getting caught out of positions umpteen times. Nowhere to be seen in each of the three goals that Real Madrid conceded and was not at his creative best in the final third either. Still showing some ill effects of his injury.
Federico Valverde: 6/10
Valverde was not one of the worst players on the pitch for the host, far from it in fact. But, during a few moments, the Uruguayan midfielder failed to provide cover to the backline, although he always aimed to put in a shift on either end. More positives than negatives for the talented youngster.
Marcos Llorente: 5.5/10
Llorente has been a standout for Real Madrid under Santiago Solari. But, on Wednesday, the Spaniard too had a role to play in the defeat. Had a lapse in concentration in the build-up to the visitors’ first goal, going into a tackle needlessly and leaving his backline exposed. Did improve thereon out before being replaced by Toni Kroos.
Given a rare chance to impress, Isco had the opportunity to show Solari why he ought to be played more. But, the Spanish international only ended up vindicating the manager. Held the ball too long on several occasions, which killed the momentum for his side. Did not contribute defensively either, and was whistled by the home fans for a poor performance.
Marco Asensio: 5/10
Throughout the match, Asensio looked the likeliest to score for Real Madrid. But, while he found himself in a good position to score on a number of occasions, his finishing was horrible. Tailed off considerably in the second half, as CSKA Moscow continued their ascendancy.
Karim Benzema: 6/10
Benzema was in his elements for the most part in the first half, doing a lot of dirty work off the ball and willing to stretch the play to bring Vinicius Junior and Asensio. The Frenchman even set up a chance for Asensio, but he couldn’t do much more to get the elusive goal before being replaced by Gareth Bale at half-time.
Vinicius Junior: 6/10
By far the best Real Madrid player on show, Vinicius was a livewire in the first half, driving at the defenders and leaving them back pedalling. His dribbles also brought the likes of Isco and Asensio into the game. But, he too petered off in the second half for the most part, as the hosts practically gave up.
Gareth Bale: 5/10
Introduced at half-time, Bale could not produce a moment of genius to turn the tide for his side. Continues to blow hot and cold at a time when he needs to step up. An ankle injury, sustained early on in the second half, did peg him back on this occasion, though.
Toni Kroos: 5/10
On or the final half hour, Kroos was given the chance to get some much needed minutes to rediscover the rhythm and continue building up his fitness. Did not bring on the creative touch, but did steady the ship somewhat.
Dani Carvajal: 6/10
A definitive upgrade over Marcelo for the final 15 minutes, Carvajal did a solid containing job.