Lucas Vazquez endured a torrid night as Real Madrid lost 1-2 to Athletic Bilbao in the semi-finals of the Supercopa de Espana on Thursday night.
After a bright start to the game, it was Athletic Bilbao who took the lead at La Rosaleda through Raul Garcia, who put the finishing touches to a fine through pass by Dani Garcia in the 18th minute. Twenty minutes later, Los Leones doubled their tally, with Raul Garcia getting his second, from the penalty spot after Lucas Vazquez had clattered into Inigo Martinez.
Marco Asensio had struck the woodwork twice as Real Madrid pushed to draw level in the second half. They pulled a goal back in the 73rd minute, when Karim Benzema poked home from close-range, with his strike initially being ruled out for offside, but the decision was overturned by VAR.
Less than ten minutes later, Benzema had the ball in the back of the net, but this time out, he had strayed offside and the goal did not stand. Moments later, Sergio Ramos went close twice with headers, with his efforts going wide, while Ferland Mendy also spurned a late chance as Athletic Bilbao held on to their lead to dump Real Madrid out of the Super Cup and set up a final against Barcelona.
It was an overall disappointing display from Zinedine Zidane’s men, with the team lacking solidity at the back and the necessary penetration while on the ball. Here’s how we rated the performances of the Real Madrid stars on the night in Malaga.
Thibaut Courtois: 5.5/10
Not a lot he could have done to stop Raul Garcia’s opener and went the wrong way for the penalty. Not tested a great deal from that point on, but did make a decent stop to deny Asier Villalibre in the latter stages of the game.
Lucas Vazquez: 3/10
A sloppy pass in his own half allowed Athletic Bilbao to capitalise leading to the opening goal. Was guilty for the second goal as well, as he made a very poor challenge to give away the penalty which Raul Garcia converted with ease. Booked for his troubles too. Tried to make things happen, completing five key passes, but the damage was already done.
Raphael Varane: 4/10
Caught out of position for the opening goal and couldn’t make a recovery run to stop Raul Garcia. Did not look comfortable and came off with a foot injury at half-time.
Sergio Ramos: 5.5/10
Having picked up a knock during warm-up, Ramos went on to start the game. Should have done better with his headed effort with the scoreline still at 0-0. Wasn’t fast enough to catch up to Raul Garcia in the lead-up to the opening goal. Played as an auxiliary striker for the final stages as Real Madrid searched for the winner but could not divert a couple of headed efforts into the net.
Incredible 📸 of Sergio Ramos and Athletic Bilbao manager Marcelino together, watching the Bilbao players celebrate after knocking Real Madrid out of the Spanish Super Cup.
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) January 15, 2021
Ferland Mendy: 6/10
Offered a constant outlet down the left-hand side, but the end product was not always the best. Did complete three dribbles and three key passes each, but skied his effort late in the game when he had the chance to equalise and send the game into extra time.
Luka Modric: 5.5/10
A fairly quiet outing for the Croatian international, who tried hard but could not find a way through the Athletic Bilbao backline. Made a couple of dribbles and completed 86% of his passes, but was not able to fashion any openings for his teammates on the night.
A combative display in the middle of the park as the Brazilian worked hard to keep Athletic at bay. Got the assist for Benzema’s goal and made one tackle and three interceptions, but could not sway the outcome of the game in his side’s favour.
Toni Kroos: 5.5/10
A tad loose in possession compared to the lofty standards he sets for himself. Did not offer much in way of creative influence and was a bit wayward with his shooting from distance. Real Madrid needed him and Modric to be at their best to stand a chance on Thursday, but that was not to be.
Marco Asensio: 6/10
— RouteOneFootball (@Route1futbol) January 14, 2021
Starting on the left, the Spaniard moved to the right flank soon after Real Madrid conceded, but endured a largely anonymous first-half where he just could not get into the game. Came to life after the break, hitting the post and the crossbar, but ultimately could not drag his team back into the match.
Karim Benzema: 6/10
An underwhelming display from the Frenchman, who never really got a grip on the proceedings as he offered little in terms of goal-threat while his link-up play was also not as effective as it can be. Did pull one goal back in the second half, which boosts his rating by a point. Had another strike ruled out for offside soon after.
Eden Hazard: 5/10
Handed another starting berth, the Belgian wing-wizard had his moments, but could not make a telling impact on the night. Created a chance for Asensio in the second half from which he hit the woodwork. Made way for Vinicius Junior a little after the hour mark. Seems to be lacking in confidence.
Eden Hazard failed to complete a single take-on in his 66 minutes on the pitch against Athletic Club.
Not his night tonight. pic.twitter.com/32gpNHTaeA
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) January 14, 2021
Replaced Varane at half-time. Much steadier than the man he replaced, kept things tight and was composed with the ball at his feet.
Vinicius Junior: 5.5/10
On for Hazard in the 67th minute. Delivered a good cross to set Ramos up for a late chance. Not much contribution beyond that.
Federico Valverde: 5/10
Came on to replace Modric with a little over twenty minutes left. Got stuck in, made a few good challenges, but could not turn the tide.
Mariano Diaz: N/A
On for Benzema in the 88th minute.