Real Madrid player ratings as Nacho scored the only goal of the game to lead the Merengues to a 1-0 win over Athletic Bilbao at San Mames on Sunday.
It was a dour start to the game at San Mames with Real Madrid hardly creating any chance of note despite hogging possession. Karim Benzema came the closest with a headed effort while Alex Berenguer saw a free-kick miss narrowly at the other end for Athletic Bilbao as the scoreline remained intact at half-time.
The hosts forced Thibaut Courtois into a save early in the second half through Jon Morcillo while Luka Modric called Unai Simon into action soon after at the opposite end before Casemiro struck the crossbar with a header. And, Real Madrid finally managed to find a way though as Nacho Fernandez finished from close-range to put his team in front.
Even though Mikel Vesga saw an effort miss narrowly, Athletic Bilbao couldn’t muster up a comeback as Real Madrid held on to their narrow advantage for a huge win. However, Atletico Madrid’s late comeback against Osasuna at the same time meant that Zinedine Zidane’s men remain second in La Liga heading into the final day and will need their rivals to drop points while winning their own fixture against Villarreal next Sunday.
For now, here are our player ratings for the Real Madrid stars following the narrow win over Athletic Bilbao at San Mames.
Thibaut Courtois: 6.5/10
Wasn’t called into action at all in the first period but stayed focused and alert to thwart Morcillo soon after the break. Quiet again after that point with Bilbao not threatening much. Needed to do better with his kicking though.
Alvaro Odriozola: 6.5/10
Another step in the right direction for the Spaniard, who seems to be finishing the season strongly. Got forward regularly and hit in a few dangerous crosses, one of which could have led to a penalty in the first half. Not tested a great deal defensively. Made one key pass.
Eder Militao: 7/10
In control of things at the back for pretty much the entire game as there wasn’t much coming in the way of attacking threat from the home team. Distributed well from the back and headed over from a good position after the break.
7 – Real Madrid have won all LaLiga games when Nacho Fernández has scored at least one goal (seven games – eight goals on aggregate). Amulet. pic.twitter.com/vLcNRwH4SY
— OptaJose (@OptaJose) May 16, 2021
The match-winner for Real Madrid, the cantera stepped up when his team needed the most to flick home from close-range in the second half. Solid at the back, kept things tight and organised, finishing with a team-high four clearances and two interceptions.
Miguel Gutierrez: 7.5/10
Another hugely positive performance from the La Fabrica product. Making his second start for Real Madrid, the teenager was full of purpose as he got forward regularly on the left, completing four dribbles and made a key pass. Steady at the back as well, winning two tackles and an interception along with four aerial duels. Bright prospect.
📊 Miguel Gutiérrez vs Athletic Bilbao:
– 94 minutes
– 112 touches
– 89% passing accuracy
– 2 accurate long balls
– 1 key pass
– 4 dribbles successful
– 9/16 duels won
– 2 tackles won
– 2 clearances
– 1 interception
Second start with Real Madrid. What a talent! ⭐️ pic.twitter.com/HgF27q1Sei
— Real Madrid Fabrica (@FabricaMadrid) May 16, 2021
Federico Valverde: 7/10
Starting in the absence of Toni Kroos again, the Uruguayan put in a display full of energy and industry. Worked hard off the ball and kept things ticking along smoothly when in possession which allowed Real Madrid to stay on top. Misplaced just three of his 62 attempted passes on the evening.
Continues to step up when Real Madrid need him. Kept the ball well and looked to use it meaningfully, as he played two key passes. Came the closest to scoring with his header hitting the woodwork before he set Nacho up for the winning goal.
Luka Modric: 8/10
Looked in the mood yet again after his stunning display in midweek against Granada, with a dangerous delivery into the box in the first half causing some nerves at the back for Bilbao. Forced Simon into a save early in the second half and kept plugging away in search of an opening, making a game-high four key passes while he was no slouch off the ball either as he won three tackles and made two interceptions. Turned it around after a lean patch.
🎙| Zidane: "How is Modrić feeling? He is f****** awesome. What he does on the field is amazing. We always think that the next game will be difficult for him, but it never is. He recovers very well physically. He never loses the ball, it is impressive." #rmalive pic.twitter.com/LztFWOK4Td
— Madrid Zone (@theMadridZone) May 16, 2021
Rodrygo Goes: 6/10
An average display from the Brazilian who wasn’t able to build upon his performance in midweek. Was pretty accurate with his passing but hardly created a chance of note while he didn’t test the goalkeeper either. Made way for Eden Hazard.
Karim Benzema: 6/10
The Player to Watch in our match preview, Benzema endured a subdued night when compared to the lofty standards he has set this season. Wasn’t able to provide a big goal threat, although he did come close to scoring in the first half before he had a penalty shout waved away. That said, his link-up play in the final third was on point for the most part.
Vinicius Junior: 6/10
Another game where he displayed his positive attributes when he gets on the ball and runs at defenders, completing four dribbles. But as has been the case all season, the end product let him down yet again, which is starting to become frustrating. Needs to address the issue soon.
Only if we can mix Rodrygo and Vinicius together and form one player 😬
— You Guys Have Name? (@wyghhandle) May 16, 2021
Marco Asensio: 5/10
On for Vinicius for the final half hour. Completed most of his passes but didn’t threaten the goal.
Eden Hazard: N/A
Replaced Rodrygo with less than 15 minutes left to be played.