Real Madrid were sent packing from the UEFA Champions League on Friday night, as Manchester City inflicted a 2-1 defeat at the Etihad Stadium.
Aiming to overturn a one-goal deficit from the first leg in Spain, Real Madrid hardly showed any urgency. Instead, it was Manchester City who took the game to the La Liga champions from the scratch and the early pressure paid off as Gabriel Jesus forced a mistake from Raphael Varane before teeing up Raheem Sterling, who opened the scoring from close range.
City could have killed off the tie soon after as Madrid continued to flounder, but some profligate finishing meant there was still life left in the tie. And when Karim Benzema headed home a Rodrygo cross close to the half-hour mark, the visitors were very much back in it.
However, post the half-time break, Real Madrid once again lacked the intensity and another howler from Varane allowed Jesus to find the net in the 68th minute. City could have easily scored a few more goals, but weren’t clinical enough. But, the two goals were enough to hand Zinedine Zidane his first ever knockout defeat in the Champions League.
— Real Madrid C.F. 🇬🇧🇺🇸 (@realmadriden) August 7, 2020
And here we rate the performances of the Real Madrid stars in what was a disappointing outing at the Etihad Stadium.
Thibaut Courtois: 5/10
Not a lot the Belgian could have done for either of City’s goals. Made five saves to keep Real Madrid in the game. But at the same time, Courtois was quite poor on the ball, often inviting pressure on himself and his teammates with his decision-making when the visitors tried to play out from the back.
Dani Carvajal: 4/10
The Spaniard coped fairly well with Jesus early on, but when Sterling shifted to his flank, Carvajal found it extremely difficult to handle his pace and movement. Didn’t offer much in terms of attacking threat either, while he was lucky to escape a booking on a couple of occasions for shirt-pulling.
Raphael Varane: 2/10
Expected to take over the mantle of the leadership with Sergio Ramos suspended, Varane cost Real Madrid the game on the night. Couldn’t cope with City’s pressing from the front as he ended up losing the ball to Jesus in the lead-up to the first goal, before a weak header allowed the Brazilian to pounce for the second. There were more errors which went unpunished by the home team.
The last three players to make 2+ errors leading to goals in a single #UCL match:
❍ Loris Karius (vs. Real Madrid)
❍ Aymeric Laporte (vs. Spurs)
❍ Raphael Varane (vs. Man City)
An unfortunate trio. pic.twitter.com/YmehJJfLO4
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) August 7, 2020
Varane’s performance brought him the ignominy of being the first outfield player across the last four seasons to make three errors leading to goals in a single Champions League campaign.
Eder Militao: 4/10
Filling in the void left by Ramos’s absence, the Brazilian looked at sea under the hosts’ pressure. Almost repeated Varane’s mistake by gifting Sterling with a chance, but the Englishman failed to make the most of it. Did make four tackles on the night, but hardly looked reassuring, especially when in possession, and had to be bailed out by teammates on a couple of occasions.
Ferland Mendy: 6/10
Perhaps the most solid defender on the night for Real Madrid, although that isn’t saying much. Nevertheless, the Frenchman looked sharp and alert at the back for most parts, while also offering a decent outlet on the left side. However, he couldn’t create anything meaningful from his forward forays.
Luka Modric: 4.5/10
Preferred over Federico Valverde, the Croat operated with the same renewed energy that has been visible during the post-lockdown period. However, that couldn’t help him exert any sort of influence in a midfield battle that Manchester City won quite comfortably. Worked very hard and had a few bright moments here and there, but they came few and far in between. Booked late on.
An uncharacteristically poor display from one of Real Madrid’s most consistent players over the course of the season. Casemiro couldn’t get close to Kevin De Bruyne all night, while he hardly offered any sense of security to a backline that was devoid of Ramos’s presence.
Was dribbled past by an opponent on 3 occasions – the most for any player on the pitch, while a horrific pass in the second half almost led to a goal for City. Only notable contribution was the tackle on Sterling inside the box when the scoreline was still at 1-0.
Toni Kroos: 4/10
The German international was a far cry from his best as he struggled to cope with the intensity and pressing of his Manchester City counterparts on the night. City’s pressure meant he was hardly afforded time on the ball to pull the strings effectively. Dispossessed twice, once in his own half. Completed 65 of his 67 attempted passes, but almost none of them were in dangerous areas.
Preferred over the likes of Marco Asensio and Vinicius Junior on the right flank, the Brazilian had a couple of decent forward runs. Beautifully chipped cross to find Benzema for the equalizing goal in the first half. But that was as good as it got for him, as he faded with time and was replaced by Asensio.
Karim Benzema: 7/10
Karim Benzema has now scored 65 goals in the Champions League, only Raúl , Lionel Messi  and Cristiano Ronaldo  have scored more.
Fine company. 🤝🤝🤝 pic.twitter.com/bitlVc5cKl
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) August 7, 2020
The only positive for Real Madrid on the night, Benzema looked to make things happen every time he was on the ball. Released Rodrygo, before getting on the end of his cross to equalise in the first period. Worked up a couple more chances, but fired straight at Ederson. Was involved in everything dangerous the visitors conjured up in the final third, but he can’t do it all by himself.
Eden Hazard: 3/10
Back into the starting XI after having missed the La Liga title run-in with injury, the Belgian wing-wizard put in a listless performance on Friday night. Apart from a neat link-up with Benzema in the first half which led to a shooting opportunity, Hazard did nothing of note. Lucky to have not been subbed off until the 83rd minute. A forgettable performance to cap off a forgettable debut campaign.
Eden Hazard failed to complete a single take-on against Man City (0/2) and was successfully dribbled past twice by Man City players.
Unable to deliver on the big stage tonight. pic.twitter.com/JGt7FIMBe9
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) August 7, 2020
Marco Asensio: 5/10
Thrown on in place of Rodrygo at the hour mark. Looked bright initially, creating a shooting chance for Benzema. But couldn’t turn the tides in the favour of his side.
Lucas Vazquez: N/A
Thrown on in place of Carvajal in the 83rd minute. Made one forward run.
Federico Valverde: N/A
Came on for Modric in the 83rd minute. No time to make an impact.
Luka Jovic: N/A
Replaced Hazard with less than ten minutes left. Hardly got a touch.