Real Madrid player ratings as they came back from a goal down to beat Villarreal 2-1 on Saturday, but that was not enough for them to retain their La Liga crown.
Knowing that they needed the three points at any cost to have a chance of pipping Atletico Madrid to their title, Real Madrid did not make the best of the starts at Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano. And it was Villarreal that took lead through teenager Yeremi Pino in the 20th minute. It spurred Los Blancos into action as they pushed forward in search of an equaliser and came close through Luka Modric and Casemiro while Villarreal never stopped posing a threat.
Real Madrid looked a much better team after the break as the hunt for a equalising goal continued, with Karim Benzema having a goal ruled out for offside then firing wide from a chance. The Frenchman, though, gave Zinedine Zidane’s side some hope when he eventually found the back of the net in the 87th minute to level things up before Modric scored the winning goal in stoppage time.
That, however, was not enough for Real Madrid as Atletico Madrid had pulled off a comeback win of their own against Real Valladolid, meaning that Los Blancos had fought valiantly to win the battle on the night, but had lost the war for the title. Here are our player ratings for the Real Madrid stars following their final game of the 2020/21 campaign.
Thibaut Courtois: 6/10
Not a lot he could have done about the goal as he was left exposed by the defence. Wasn’t called into action much thereafter and made one save, while being precise with his passing from the back.
Alvaro Odriozola: 6.5/10
A battling display from the Spaniard, who has shown signs of improvement in recent games. Got forward well and played in a few dangerous crosses while using his pace to track back well. Made one key pass and two dribbles.
Raphael Varane: 6/10
Back in the starting XI after close to three weeks, Varane, whose future remains uncertain, lacked that sharpness which was visible in the early stages as the likes of Carlos Bacca and Gerard Moreno caused problems. Improved with time though and looked steadier after the break, making two tackles and winning three aerials.
Real Madrid have failed to win a single trophy in a season for the first time since 2009-10.
A miserable season for Zinedine Zidane & co. pic.twitter.com/f6U5lO1f50
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) May 22, 2021
Eder Militao: 6/10
A bit of a mixed bag for the Brazilian, who was at fault for the goal scored by Villarreal as he failed to track Pino after a poor clearance had given away the ball. But there were times when he did well to keep Bacca in check and used his speed well. Distribution accurate as well.
Miguel Gutierrez: 6.5/10
Villarreal tried to target his flank but the teenager held his own defensively while looking to get forward whenever a chance presented itself. Wasn’t able to create anything of note but the energy and intent was there. Set for a bigger role next season, certainly.
Federico Valverde: 7/10
Getting another start in the absence of Toni Kroos, the Uruguayan was asked to play with more attacking freedom than usual and he made some purposeful bursts forward, making a game-high five dribbles and delivering one key pass as well. And while he did try hard to track back but there were times when the defence was left exposed.
Not one of his best displays, especially in the early stages when Villarreal seemed to get past him quite a bit. Got better and better with time and cut out a few attacks while also playing some good-looking forward passes. Had a headed effort saved on the cusp of half-time. Made way for the final twenty minutes or so.
Luka Modric: 8/10
🔎 | FOCUS
Luka Modrić vs Villarreal:
👌 102 touches (most)
⚽️ 1 goal
🔑 3 key passes (most)
🔭 7/11 acc. long balls (most)
👟 68/80 acc. passes
⚔️ 4/6 duels won
🧲 2 interceptions
📈 8.2 SofaScore rating
— SofaScore (@SofaScoreINT) May 22, 2021
Looked the most likely to make things happen for Real Madrid, although needed to do better with a chance in the first half when he hit the side-netting. Came close to equalising in the second half before winning it for his team in stoppage time with an accurate finish. Created a game-high three key chances as well, ending the season strongly after a bit of a slip-up against the likes of Chelsea.
Marco Asensio: 5/10
Preferred over Rodrygo Goes on the right-wing by Zidane, Asensio failed to repay the faith shown by the manager on the night. Failed to create anything of note and chose to play it safe, more often than not, when Real Madrid needed him to provide that guile and ingenuity in the final third. Subbed off early after a subdued display.
Karim Benzema: 8/10
With little support from his attacking partners, the Frenchman had to do it all by himself and he fought valiantly. Had an effort go over in the first half, then saw a brilliant headed goal ruled out by VAR for offside. Kept the fire burning though, with a lovely strike to make it 1-1 before setting Modric up for the winner. What a season it has been for Benzema. Shame that he has little in the way of quality support.
Karim Benzema ends Real Madrid season with 30 goals & 10 assists involving in 49% of the Club’s goals. Karim has also scored La Liga’s highest match winning goals!
Ballon D Or Candidate 2021! pic.twitter.com/eJUtpbzSjb
— Ashish (@RMadridEngineer) May 22, 2021
Vinicius Junior: 5/10
May have created the one chance on the night but was ineffective in an overall sense. Failed to link up effectively with Benzema, wasn’t always to make darting runs past his marker and when he did the end product was not there. Back to the drawing board for the 20-year-old after what has been a hit-and-miss season.
On for Asensio ten minutes into the second half. Added some energy and drive but could not impact the game in a huge way.
Rodrygo Goes: 6.5/10
Replaced Vinicius in the 56th minute and looked much sharper. Created a couple of chances for Benzema, one of which was the assist for the equaliser.
Mariano Diaz: 5/10
Came on for Casemiro in the 68th minute. Made just nine touches. Couldn’t get into the game whatsoever.
Surprisingly left out of the lineup, the Spaniard replaced Odriozola in the 68th minute. Not tested much defensively with his team controlling.
Sent on in place of Gutierrez with a little over 20 minutes left. Delivered one dangerous cross.