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Manchester City 4-3 Real Madrid: Player Ratings

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Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images

The Champions League returned with a mouth-watering clash as Manchester City hosted 13-time champions Real Madrid at the Etihad for the first leg of the semi-finals.

The game promised to be one for the neutrals, and certainly delivered as the hosts ran out as the winners in a seven-goal affair.

While City took a two-goal lead early on, the individual brilliance of Karim Benzema and Vinicius Jr. got Madrid back into the tie and in a fighting position ahead of the second leg.

Following this thrilling game of football, Madrid Universal runs the rule over Carlo Ancelotti’s men.

Thibaut Courtois: 6

Courtois made just the one save today, but could not be blamed for three of the four goals conceded. One would have expected him to heroically reach the fourth, one, though. Alas.

Daniel Carvajal: 7

Carvajal had some trouble dealing with the triple threat of Oleksandr Zinchenko, Kevin de Bruyne, but covered well by making an excellent goal-line clearance.

Eder Militao: 4.5

Far from Militao’s best game as he was run ragged by Gabriel Jesus and de Bruyne. Was careless while defending against Riyad Mahrez on multiple occasions in the second half and was dragged completely out of position for the second goal.

David Alaba: 4

Was at fault for Jesus’ goal in the 11th minute, and was fortunate that Zinchenko and Mahrez did not take their chances. Got subbed at half-time due to an injury scare.

Ferland Mendy: 7

Yet another Madrid defender who made careless errors tonight. The Frenchman rushed into a careless challenge while defending Mahrez, eventually leading to Phil Foden’s goal. Got two assists, though, which have to be credited.

Federico Valverde: 6.5

One of Valverde’s more average outings tonight. He was evidently uncomfortable against Zinchenko and de Bruyne’s duo, and, offensively rather invisible.

Toni Kroos: 6.5

Kroos started the game as the pivot and naturally was not sharp enough defensively. Not much can be made of his game, though.

Luka Modric: 7

By far and large Madrid’s best midfielder on the night, Modric was energetic throughout the 90 minutes and caused problems for Fernandinho and Bernardo Silva often.

Rodrygo: 5.5

Had a shot early on, but otherwise pretty passive.

Karim Benzema: 8.5

Benzema is the master of creating chances out of nothing, and the first goal stands proof of the same. Mendy’s cross was accurate, but on the volley, on his weaker foot, it was barely a half-chance. The ball did eventually roll in. The panenka penalty was just the cherry on the cake.

Vinicius Jr: 8

Vinicius was well controlled by Ruben Dias for the most part, but he got one chance to break through and ran more than half the length of the pitch to bury his chance.

SUBSTITUTES

Nacho Fernandez: 6

Could have probably done better for the Foden goal, but otherwise did well to cover for the injured Alaba.

Eduardo Camavinga: N/A

While he had nearly 20 minutes to make his mark, Camavinga did not do enough to warrant a rating.

Dani Ceballos: N/A

Did not do enough to warrant a rating.

Marco Asensio: N/A

Did not play enough to receive a rating.

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Features

Real Madrid World Cup Spotlight: Vinicius, Rodrygo, Militao advance to the Round of 16

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Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

The second round of group-stage fixtures in Qatar came to a close on Monday in what was a day of very high-quality football. The first two games alone accounted for 11 goals in what was the highest tally in a day in this edition.

The first game saw Serbia and Cameroon face off in an epic clash that saw no end of twists and turns. The game ended 3-3 with the teams sharing the points.

The next game saw South Korea go 2-0 down quickly against Ghana before coming back in the second half. However, the African side scored once again on demand to steer themselves to a win.

Brazil needed a late winner from Casemiro to break the deadlock against Switzerland in the third game and secured their spot in the Round of 16.

The last game between Portugal and Uruguay was expected to be a match of equals. That perception quickly changed when the Europeans produced a dominant performance and killed off the game with two goals.

Madrid Universal brings you an overview of the performances of Real Madrid players on Monday.

Vinicius Jr (Brazil vs Switzerland)

Over the past few years, Vinicius Jr has carved out a reputation for being a thorn in defenders’ feet, be it with his world-class dribbling or his antics. As one of the best young wingers in business, he stands out in chance creation even when faced against the best in the business.

However, it appeared like Silvan Widmer had Vinicius in his pockets for large parts of the game. The two created a fabulous battle down Brazil’s left-wing but it was often the Real Madrid player who came second best.

The youngster scored a goal in the 66th minute with a perfectly placed shot after beating his man. However, it was ruled out for an offside intervention after the VAR review.

Apart from sporadic moments of magic, Vinicius did not offer much. He had just one shot on target, completed just one of his five attempted dribbles and missed one big chance. Moreover, he did not complete a single cross accurately and lost more than 50% of his duels. But he was involved in the buildup to the goal.

Eder Militao (Brazil vs Switzerland)

After spending 90 minutes on the bench against Serbia, Militao received his first World Cup start on Monday night. However, the manager deployed him as the right-back as opposed to his usual position in central defence.

Despite playing in a foreign position, the Brazilian was convincing in defence and stopped the likes of Ruben Vargas and Ricardo Rodriguez.

Understandably, Militao did not look to burst into the final third and create chances like a traditional full-back but was still heavily linked in the build-up play. He completed 87% of his attempted passes, five out of eight long balls and even provided a key pass.

Rodrygo Goes (Brazil vs Switzerland)

Rodrygo impressed after coming on from the bench (Photo by NELSON ALMEIDA/AFP via Getty Images)

After Brazil’s underwhelming first half, the manager turned to Rodrygo at the start of the second period. The youngster came on for Lucas Paqueta at halftime in an attempt to ramp up Selecao’s threat in the final third and the decision paid off.

It was the young sensation who assisted Casemiro’s goal in the 83rd minute. Receiving the ball from Vinicius, Rodrygo just flicked the ball away from defenders and into the feet of Casemiro to set up an ideal half-volley.

Apart from his assist, the Real Madrid man came painfully close to scoring in the 94th minute only to be denied by Manuel Akanji. He had one shot on target, one blocked, and a key pass.

Federico Valverde (Uruguay vs Portugal)

Uruguay have perhaps been the most disappointing team in the World Cup this year. The squad is filled with quality players from Rodrigo Bentancur and Darwin Nunez to Luis Suarez, Federico Valverde and Diego Godin.

The South Americans once again dished out an average game against Portugal, but it was Valverde who seemed the most inspiring in the Uruguayan team.

The in-form midfielder did not pose much threat to the goal on the night but worked like a machine off the ball. He recorded three interceptions, and two tackles, and won two tackles against Fernando Santos’ side in addition to a key pass and a big chance created. 

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