Karim Benzema and Casemiro score late goals as Real Madrid rallied a comeback from 2 goals down against an impressive Gladbach side.

Real Madrid left it late versus Marco Rose’s men as they broke German hearts in the 93rd minute via a goal by Casemiro. Both late goals came in similar fashion – A played won the header at the far post and another tapped it in from the six-yard box.

Real Madrid were expected to carry on the momentum created on the weekend but looked slow in build-up and were not clinical. The two full-backs pushed very high and the team was often caught out on counter-attacks which hurt them as they trailed 2-0 for the majority of the game. Madrid were lucky to not concede more than 2 on the night where they had a lot of the ball but nothing to show for it.

Marcus Thuram ran the show for Gladbach as he caused all sorts of problems to Los Blancos‘ backline. His first goal was an emphatic finish, while the second had a bit of fortune. Borussia Monchengladbach would be disappointed to have bottled two opponents of three points versus the big boys of the group. Despite that, Gladbach can still take a lot of positives from the game and are more than able to qualify for the knockout stages.

Thibaut Courtois – 6

Courtois had a busy outing at Borussia Park. The Belgian did well to prevent Gladbach from extending their lead as he made 3 saves, 2 of which from within the box. Courtois could not have done much for the first goal however, for it was an emphatic finish but one could argue that he could surely have done better for the second goal.

Lucas Vasquez – 6

The makeshift right-back had a tough night. He was lively going forward, attempting numerous crosses and long balls, he threatened the Gladbach backline, but to no avail. Defensively, Vasquez had a mare of a time dealing with Thuram, who scored both goals. Combined well with Asensio on the right and did make a case for his spot in the team.

Raphael Varane – 6

Varane has not been his usual self since winning the La Liga and resumption of Champions League last season. Varane did not look as reassured yesterday either, but had a better performance from that versus Shakhtar. He did fairly well to win aerial battles, but did have a torrid time dealing with Plea, who seemed to skip past Varane with ease. Varane also did well to hold fort alone at the back as Madrid pushed on to come back into the game.

Sergio Ramos – 6

Ramos came into the side for his first Champions League appearance of the season, everyone expected Madrid to be much more solid at the back than they actually were. It was Ramos who cheaply lost possession which lead to the first goal. Later as time was running out, the captain stepped up into midfield, leaving Varane alone at the back, and had a larger influence on the game. Ultimately, the Spaniard won the header that set up the equaliser for Casemiro.

Ferland Mendy – 5

Mendy delivered a rather underwhelming performance. The Frenchman bombed forward on numerous occasions and got into good areas, but failed to produce a quality cross. He lost the ball cheaply on numerous occasions and looked sluggish while tracking back. Mendy was also guilty of playing Thuram onside for the second goal.

Federico Valverde – 7

A fantastic performance from Valverde, who covered large portions of the pitch, was extremely energetic in driving with the ball and caused the most problems to Gladbach. The Uruguayan won 7 out of 10 ground duels and successfully completed all three of his dribbles.

His extraordinary work rate saved Madrid a lot of times in transition, and it was his cross with which Casemiro set up Benzema for the first goal.

Casemiro – 8

Casemiro, Mr.Reliant, saved Madrid in the 93rd minute from their fourth defeat in a row for the first time in the Champions League. He was at the right place at the right time as he got the assist for the first and score the second in an impeccable comeback. Casemiro was assured in possession completing passes at an accuracy of 93% and produced stellar defensive numbers as well. His crucial goal will go a long way in helping Madrid to qualify for the knockout stages.

Toni Kroos – 6

A normal day in the office for Toni Kroos who delivered a composed performance. There was nothing noteworthy about the performance, Kroos had 2 key passes and 1 shot on target. He helped the defence when needed as well.

Marco Asensio – 7

Looked a lot like his old self and grew into the game as time passed. Combined well with Vasquez on the right and showed neat feet on several occasions. A lot more directness in his game could do wonders for the Spaniard who seems to be Zidane’s first choice right-winger.

Vinicius Jr. 6

Another day to forget for the youngster as Vinicius failed to improve from his El Clasico performance. Except pressing with conviction, the Brazilian was wasteful with the ball, as he lost the ball 16 times. His crosses were also poor and he seemed to make the wrong decision on numerous occasions.

Karim Benzema – 7

Benzema began the comeback for Los Blancos in the 87th minute with an orthodox finish from within the 6-yard box. Otherwise had a rather quiet evening by his standards, testing the keeper twice and scoring once.

You could see more of Benzema’s game when Hazard came on, as the two looked to combine. Hazard’s return to full fitness could mean that Madrid revert back to a diamond formation.

Substitutes

Luka Modric – 7

The orchestrator of this Real Madrid team, Luka Modric turned the tide on coming on in place of Toni Kroos. Modric always seemed to be wanting the ball and played some quick and key passes. He injected energy and urgency in the team, and it was his cross which Ramos met to set up Casemiro for the winner. An impactful performance from the Croatian.

Eden Hazard – 6

Came on in the 70th minute, and Hazard’s performance had a lot of positives.  The Belgian’s return to full fitness could be crucial for Real Madrid. Hazard had a positive impact on the game, twisting and turning, moving the ball fast and pinned Gladbach back as a team. Missed a big chance, but encouraging as a whole.

Rodrygo – N/A

Came very late for Marco Asensio but looked lively and tried to make things happen.

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