Atletico Madrid 1-2 Real Madrid: Player Ratings
Real Madrid moved back to the top of the La Liga standings with a hard-fought 2-1 win in the derby against Atletico Madrid. While Los Rojiblancos put up strong resistance early on, they completely crumbled later in the game.
There are only positives to take away for Los Blancos as they continue their nine-game unbeaten streak across all competitions. However, questions have to be asked about Atleti’s subpar performance despite a late fightback and Diego Simeone has a lot to think about in the upcoming international break.
Madrid Universal brings you the player ratings for both sides from the derby on Sunday.
Thibaut Courtois: 5.5
The Belgian was far from his best upon his return to the Civitas Metropolitano. Unnecessarily gave up what would have been the team’s first clean sheet of the league season with sloppy decision-making.
Ferland Mendy: 7
The left-back was resolute and solid in defence but lacked the X-factor in the final third. Nevertheless, did well to keep the likes of Marcos Llorente subdued on the night.
David Alaba: 7
The Austrian international did not do much wrong defensively, at the same time, did nothing extraordinary. Was not tested by Simeone’s side for most of the game.
Eder Militao: 8
Back from injury and back with a bang. Militao once again showed why he is so critical to Ancelotti’s plans and above the likes of Antonio Rudiger in the pecking order.
Dani Carvajal: 8
A defensive masterclass from Real Madrid’s veteran right-back as he schooled Atletico’s forwards in their own backyard. He finished with three interceptions, two tackles, one blocked shot, one clearance and five duels won.
Toni Kroos: 7.5
Once again, Kroos was the silent link that held Real Madrid’s structure together throughout the game. He recorded a pass completion rate of 93% against Atleti and completed seven out of seven attempted long balls.
Aurelien Tchouameni: 9
What a signing this young midfielder is turning out to be for Real Madrid. On Sunday night once again, he seemed to be everywhere on the field and topped off his performance with a lovely lobbed assist for the team’s opening goal.
Luka Modric: 7.5
The Croatian is ageing like fine wine and he once again ran Los Blancos’ midfield at the Metropolitano. In his 82 minutes on the field, he made two key passes and created one big chance.
Vinicius Jr: 7
The Brazilian was at the heart of Real Madrid’s second goal which was only made possible through his dribble into the box. However, he was very quiet in the latter part of the game.
Federico Valverde: 8
The Uruguayan was a machine in Atletico’s half, winning back balls and steamrolling them forward. His goal was the perfect cherry on the cake.
Rodrygo Goes: 9
With every game, the 21-year-old Brazilian is making a stronger and stronger case to be a regular starter under Ancelotti. He scored Real Madrid’s opener with a calm, yet rock-solid finish and was a constant threat in the final third.
Antonio Rudiger: 6.5
Did well to cover at left-back for the final 15 minutes but was clearly out of position.
Eduardo Camavinga: N/A
Played only eight minutes, does not warrant a rating.
Marco Asensio: N/A
Came on only for the final four minutes.
Dani Ceballos: N/A
Played less than five minutes after coming on for Rodrygo.
Jan Oblak: 4.5
Faced three shots, saved one and conceded two.
Made clear errors in defence but still was the best Atletico defender on the night. Had a couple of good chances in front of the goal but squandered them.
Axel Witsel: 5.5
The Belgian is not a natural centre-back and his latest performance was a testament to that. Made only three defensive contributions over the 90 minutes, but completed 100% of his passes attempted.
Came under severe pressure as he had to face the brunt of not only Daniel Carvajal but Luka Modric and Federico Valverde too.
Marcos Llorente: 6
Neither a complete defensive performance nor a free-flowing display in attack. The Spaniard completed a clearance, three interceptions, a tackle and won four duels
On a historic night for him personally, as he became the player with the joint-highest appearances for the club, Koke was one of Atletico’s better performers on the night and led by example. Made two key passes and nine defensive actions.
Geoffrey Kondogbia: 5.5
Struggled to contain Real Madrid’s potent midfield trio and spent most of the time running behind the ball in the hope of making a rare recovery.
Rodrigo De Paul: 7
Was one of the few good players on the field for Los Rojiblancos and put in a positive shift going forward. Completed six dribbles on the night with a 100% completion rate.
Yannick Carrasco: 5
The Belgian looked pocketed on the night and struggled to pose a threat in front of goal. Moreover, he just completed 18 passes in 72 minutes.
Joao Felix: 2
It would require great focus and extra effort to spot Felix on the field against Real Madrid for the Portuguese international wore an invisibility cloak for the entire hour he spent on the field.
Antoine Griezmann: 7.5
Made his first start for the team this season and showed great promise. The Frenchman was a constant threat in and around the box and made three key passes in addition to his shot on target.
Matheus Cunha: 4
Came on for 30 minutes as a striker but failed to take a single shot and saw just ten touches.
Alvaro Morata: 4.5
Similar to Cunha, Morata had nothing to show for after his thirty-minute cameo.
Mario Hermoso: 6
For the second time in a month, Hermoso went from hero to zero in minutes. He scored Atletico’s only goal of the night but got himself sent off just six minutes later.
Angel Correa: N/A
No significant contribution.
Saul Niguez: N/A
Played just nine minutes, does not warrant a rating.
Real Madrid vs Athletic Club: End of an era, farewells, tight race for second place
Real Madrid will walk down the tunnel of Santiago Bernabeu one last time this season on Sunday night. The men in white are pitted against Athletic Club on their final match-day, and the game will not be an easy affair by any means.
The Basque side sit in seventh place on the league standings with 50 points in 37 appearances. However, their qualification for the UEFA Conference League is in danger with Osasuna lurking close behind with an equal number of points.
Anything less than a win could prove insufficient for the visitors and it is clear that they arrive at Santiago Bernabeu with nothing less than a win on their agenda. Madrid Universal brings you three talking points ahead of Real Madrid vs Athletic Club Bilbao.
1. The end of an era for the number 9 shirt?
The grey area around Karim Benzema’s future has only widened in recent days. From a situation where his continuity at Real Madrid was taken for granted, it did not take long for the Frenchman’s story to enter a steep deviation.
An economically tempting proposal from Saudi Arabia had Benzema seriously contemplating a move away from Santiago Bernabeu, and reports stated that his departure from the Spanish club was close to complete.
The world, thus, looked in anticipation of his next official interaction with the media. The Ballon d’Or winner publicly addressed the topic for the first time earlier this week, and it is safe to say that his words gave nothing away.
Benzema neither confirmed nor completely refuted the rumours of his exit to the media. His situation is balanced on the blade of a knife and could tip in either direction.
In that sense, there is a good chance that tomorrow’s clash at Santiago Bernabeu is Karim Benzema’s final game for Real Madrid. If the striker does choose to change loyalties, it would mark the end of an era for the team’s number nine position.
It has been over a decade since the Frenchman took over the prestigious kit. He has played 647 games for the club so far in his career, scoring a stunning 353 goals in the process. Of them, 98 have been match-winning contributions.
2. A day of farewells
Earlier today, Real Madrid announced the departure of Marco Asensio from the club. The Spanish winger appears set to sign for PSG for the 2023-24 season and will bid adieu on Sunday. However, he will not be the only player playing his final game for the club tomorrow.
Nacho Fernandez has been a critical part of Real Madrid’s success in recent years but is another name close to sealing an exit. The defender is not satisfied with the playing time under his belt at the club and has not yet responded to the renewal offer on his table.
With his contract running out in less than 30 days, he appears closer to leaving than staying. One can expect an announcement from Nacho on Sunday night after the game at the Bernabeu, which could be his final game in white.
The situation with Dani Ceballos is quite similar. The Spanish midfielder is still undecided on his future, although there is still a slight chance he could continue at the club. Staying on the subject of players making their final appearance, however, he could be one on the list.
Away from the stories of incomplete renewal negotiations, Mariano Diaz is one player whose departure from the club is confirmed. Ferland Mendy, Jesus Vallejo, Alvaro Odriozola and Eden Hazard are some of the other candidates well-placed to make departures, although nothing can be said for sure.
3. A tight race for second place
There is not much to play for on Sunday night except for the emotional tag of it being the season’s final game. Yet, the men in white will not be without an objective against Athletic Club.
Los Blancos sit on 77 points in 37 league appearances this season and just have a one-point lead over third-placed Atletico Madrid. Needless to say, they must be vary of their position on the standings for any complacency could see them drop down the ladder.
Diego Simeone’s men take on fifth-placed Villarreal at the same time as Real Madrid’s game against Athletic Club. Even if Carlo Ancelotti’s men settle for a draw against the Basque side, the second place would be Atletico Madrid’s to lose.
With both games kicking off simultaneously, there will be nerves throughout the ninety minutes in Madrid. One can only hope for action-filled games to keep the anxiety and adrenaline high.