Real Madrid succumbed to a second defeat in three days’ time against arch-rivals Barcelona, with Ivan Rakitic’s goal being the difference on Saturday night.
Real Madrid’s poor record in El Clasico contests this season continued, as they were beaten for the third time by bitter rivals Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday.
Having been defeated 0-3 in the Copa del Rey semifinal contest earlier in the week, Santiago Solari’s men came into the weekend encounter hoping to exact revenge. But, it was Barcelona who took the lead on the night, as Ivan Rakitic produced a delightful chipped shot in the 26th minute.
Apart from a couple of blocked efforts from Vinicius Junior and Luka Modric, the hosts struggled to conjure up any meaningful chances in the final third as Barcelona put on a solid defensive display to stifle Real Madrid.
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It was a sub-par display from Los Blancos that sees them fall 12 points behind Barcelona in the league standings and could end the week five points off second-placed Atletico Madrid who will play Real Sociedad on Sunday evening. And here’s how the Real Madrid superstars fared on a disappointing night at the Bernabeu.
Thibaut Courtois: 6/10
Beaten by Rakitic’s dinked effort in the first half, although he could have done better. Didn’t always inspire confidence between the sticks, but dealt with whatever came his way, with his stop to deny Luis Suarez being a particularly standout moment.
Dani Carvajal: 5/10
Fared slightly better than the midweek game against the dangerous Ousmane Dembele on the right side, but still appears well below his best level. Dembele’s threat meant Carvajal did not offer the same kind of attacking outlet as he usually does either.
Raphael Varane: 6/10
Having scored an own-goal in the last game, the Frenchman somewhat redeemed himself as he did well to keep Suarez in check, with his last-ditch tackle in the box on the Uruguayan being a particular highlight. One of the very few Real Madrid players who did not let the team down.
Sergio Ramos: 4/10
The Real Madrid captain was too slow to react to Rakitic’s run in the lead-up to Barcelona’s goal. Committed a series of fouls on his Barcelona counterpart Lionel Messi, including an elbow to the Argentine’s face. Booked and could have easily been sent off, for the number of infringements.
Sergio Reguilon: 7/10
Easily the brightest spot on a night filled with gloom for Real Madrid. Showed great desire and commitment, much more than some of his teammates managed on the night. Got forward well and was involved in a rare move leading to an opportunity for the home side in the second half. Saw an effort drift wide and was defensively fairly solid as well.
Luka Modric: 5.5/10
The Ballon d’Or winner came close to equalising for Real Madrid, but saw his effort brilliantly blocked by Gerard Pique, while he headed over the bar from a decent position. Saw plenty of the ball on the night, but failed to get his team going as he uncharacteristically misplaced a number of passes.
Another disappointing display from the Brazilian international, after having given away a crucial penalty in the cup game earlier in the week. Overran throughout the game as Barcelona controlled the midfield. Slowed down the game when in possession and was withdrawn for Federico Valverde as Madrid chased the game.
Toni Kroos: 5/10
The German was criticised heavily by Bernd Schuster following the second-half capitulation during the midweek, but he failed to respond to it strongly. Had a few nice moments in the first period, when he looked to drive the team forward, but not effective enough and withdrawn.
Gareth Bale: 3/10
Handed a rare start on the right flank ahead of Lucas Vazquez, the Welsh international failed to justify his selection in any way. Managed just a solitary shot during his 60-minute stay on the pitch – a free-kick that he fired well over the bar. Did little of note and was taken off to boos and whistles by the supporters.
Karim Benzema: 4/10
The Frenchman has seen his form drop in recent weeks as he put up another toothless display in the final third against Barcelona. Was well-marshaled by Gerard Pique and Clement Lenglet, who were at the top of their game, restricting him to just one effort at goal on the night.
Vinicius Junior: 6/10
Wasn’t at the same level as on Wednesday night, but still was Real Madrid’s greatest threat in attack. His pace and movement caused a few problems to the backline, while he also called Marc-Andre ter Stegen into action on a couple of occasions, but was unable to inspire a comeback.
Federico Valverde: 6/10
Thrown on for Kroos in the 55th minute, the Uruguayan added energy and tenacity to the Real Madrid midfield. Got into tackles strongly and wasn’t afraid to get on the ball and try to drive his team upfield.
Marco Asensio: 5/10
Came on in place of Bale at the hour mark. Did little to trouble the Barcelona defence.
Marked his return from injury when he replaced Casemiro for the final 15 minutes. Showed some fine touches, but also lost the ball leading to an attack for Barcelona.