Toni Kroos and Eden Hazard impressed while Gareth Bale struggled again as Real Madrid were held to a 2-2 draw by relegation battlers Celta Vigo on Sunday night.
Real Madrid were off to the worst start possible as Celta Vigo broke the deadlock just seven minutes in through January signing Fedor Smolov. The La Liga leaders struggled to break a stubborn Celta defence down and headed into the half-time break with the scoreline intact.
Post the break, though, Real Madrid came out stronger, with Sergio Ramos having a goal ruled out early on for offside. Soon enough, Los Blancos leveled up courtesy a Toni Kroos strike, before Ramos put them ahead from the penalty spot. However, a late goal from Santi Mina meant Real Madrid had to share the spoils with Celta Vigo on the night.
The result meant Real Madrid now have just a one point lead over second-placed Barcelona. And here’s how we rated the performances of Zinedine Zidane’s men at the Santiago Bernabeu.
— Real Madrid C.F. 🇬🇧🇺🇸 (@realmadriden) February 16, 2020
Thibaut Courtois: 6.5/10
Ended up conceding early on and late in the game, although there was little he could have done for either goals. Wasn’t tested a great deal in between, but a stellar fingertip save to deny Joseph Aidoo at 1-0 was a standout moment from the Belgian.
Dani Carvajal: 5/10
As usual, was a presence going forward, more so given the space that was afforded to him by Celta. However, he was unable to find the accuracy with his crosses. The Spaniard wasn’t solid enough at the back either, failing to track Smolov for the opener, while allowing Mina to run through for the late equaliser.
Raphael Varane: 5.5/10
Caught napping for the opening goal as he failed to read the situation effectively and ended up playing Smolov on-side. Improved thereafter, though, looking more solid as the game wore on. Could have done a touch better to try and prevent Mina’s equaliser late on. Distributed well when in possession.
Sergio Ramos: 6/10
Not good enough from the Real Madrid captain. Recklessly charged at Iago Aspas, breaking the defensive shape, allowing him to play in Smolov for the opener. Continued to look shaky defensively, but redeemed himself somewhat after the break, scoring a nerveless penalty after having a goal disallowed.
Picked ahead of Ferland Mendy surprisingly, the Brazilian was his usual self going forward, making marauding runs down the left flank. However, much like Carvajal, his end product wasn’t always on the mark. Did provide the assist for Toni Kroos’s equaliser with a neat cut-back, while his link-up play with Karim Benzema and Eden Hazard was quite sharp throughout.
Federico Valverde: 6/10
An average performance from the Uruguayan compared to the lofty standards that he has set for himself this season. Did not offer much in the attacking sense throughout the game, but did help stem a number of counter-attack attempts from Celta Vigo with key interventions. Worked hard, but could not make a telling impact on the night.
Much like Valverde, Casemiro was solid in his role in the middle of the park, constantly thwarting any attempts at quick breaks from the hosts. The Brazilian’s distribution was on point throughout, as he racked up a pass accuracy of 92% on the night. Had a shy at goal from distance in the first half which went perilously close to the Celta Vigo crossbar.
Toni Kroos: 8/10
The German international was one of Real Madrid’s brightest players on the pitch on Sunday without a doubt. Used the ball intelligently, spraying cross-field passes with great ease and accuracy, while charging forward to help out in attack against the visitors’ rigid defence.
One such charge led to the equaliser, as he buried home a left-footed strike from the edge of the box – it was his sixth goal against the Galician outfit. Was diligent in his defensive duties as well. His substitution had a negative impact on the proceedings for Real Madrid.
Gareth Bale: 4/10
After his poor performance against Osasuna last time out, the Welshman’s display once again left a lot to be desired. Lacked any sort of cutting edge in the final third, which Madrid needed going up against Celta’s deep defensive block. Seemed to improve after the break, looking more purposeful and sharp in his link-up play, but didn’t do much of note.
Could have easily gotten sent off for a reckless challenge on Rafinha, but got away with just a yellow card.
Karim Benzema: 6/10
Real Madrid’s chief attacking threat was marshaled very well by the Celta defence, who did not give him much space to work with in the danger area. Still, worked hard in the final third, linking up well with Eden Hazard and Marcelo, while dropping deep to create spaces for others.
Involved in the buildup to Kroos’s goal and could have won it for Real late on, but fired a shot over and then had another one saved.
Eden Hazard: 8/10
Returning to action after almost three months out, the Belgian wing-wizard looked the most lively of the Real Madrid attackers. Had the Celta Vigo defenders on their toes each time he was on the ball, cutting in from the left. Worked well with Marcelo on the flank throughout.
Created a great chance for Bale and then went on to win the penalty that Ramos scored from. Bodes very well for Real Madrid ahead of important matches coming up against Manchester City and Barcelona.
Vinicius Junior: 5/10
Replaced Hazard in the 73rd minute. Made a couple of dangerous runs which didn’t amount to much. Quiet after he was shifted to the right-wing.
Luka Modric: N/A
Came on for Kroos with less than ten minutes left on the clock.
Ferland Mendy: N/A
Late substitute for Bale.