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Osasuna 0-2 Real Madrid: Player Ratings



Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

Real Madrid were pushed to the limit by Jagoba Arrasate’s Osasuna at Estadio El Sadar on Saturday night. Late goals from Federico Valverde and Marco Asensio, however, helped Carlo Ancelotti’s side seal three points.

Not for the first time this season, the scoreline is kind on Real Madrid who struggled to get the better of Sergio Herrera until the 78th minute. Yet, it is that very ability to find goals on need that makes the Merengues a force to reckon with.

The win takes Ancelotti’s men within five points of Barcelona, albeit having played one extra game. Madrid Universal brings you the player ratings from the magical night in Pamplona.

Thibaut Courtois: 8

Returned to the starting lineup after over two weeks and made a strong early save against Moi Gomez’s shot to put a brake to Osasuna’s short dominant spell. Finished the game with four saves including three from inside the box.

Nacho Fernandez: 7

The captain on the night was the Merengues’ defensive full-back with a very limited role in the final third. He did well to hold up against the versatile Ez Abde, but often required the support of his partners to do the same.

Completed two tackles, a clearance and won nine out of nine attempted duels before coming off for Carvajal.

Eder Militao: 7.5

The better of Real Madrid’s two centre-backs at El Sadar and did well to contain Osasuna’s threats in the final third. Made a whopping 13 defensive actions on the night including three vital clearances.

Antonio Rudiger: 7

A mixed bag from the German defender who struggled to contain Ante Budimir’s clever play in the box. Improved his positioning towards the end of the game and came up clutch with some vital interceptions.

David Alaba: 7

Alaba played a primarily defence-centred role in the first half which he executed well. However, his role changed slightly after the break when he pushed higher up the field with Vinicius drifting centrally.

Completed five defensive actions and won 100% of his duels attempted.

Luka Modric: 7

While most of the men in white were focused on playing a solid game with textbook combination play, Modric played the role of an innovator.

The Croatian brought an element of disorder to Real Madrid’s organised play in an attempt to crank open the opposition’s defence through his long balls and crosses.

Eduardo Camavinga: 8

Camavinga solid yet again. (Photo by CESAR MANSO/AFP via Getty Images)

The youngster went down after a painful challenge by Lucas Torro early in the first half but did not allow the setback to deter his performance.

Camavinga was Real Madrid’s best and most involved midfielder in the first half, once again perfectly executing the role of a pivot. Did exceptionally well to combine with Vinicius in the Osasuna box midway through the opening half but the chance came to nothing.

Dani Ceballos: 6.5

A relatively off night for the in-form midfielder who just managed the one key pass in his 66 minutes on the field. Had the most number of passes at the time of his substitution but could not help unlock the Osasuna defence. Came off for Marco Asensio after the hour mark.

Federico Valverde: 8

On a night when Real Madrid’s tactics were clearly to attack down the left flank and capitalise on Jagoba Arrasate’s lack of a right-back, Valverde had a silent first period. However, his defensive contributions throughout helped his side regain possession quickly.

Came up clutch with 12 minutes to go when his late run into the box was rewarded with an inch-perfect cross that he buried.

Rodrygo Goes: 4

Quite simply the visitors’ worst player in the first half with just 11 passes. No real involvement in the buildup or in front of the goal. In all honesty, the Brazilian was invisible throughout the opening 45 minutes.

Came to life in the first minute of the second half and fared a little better, but an underwhelming display overall.

Vinicus Jr: 9

The Brazilian was Real Madrid’s brightest light in the final third, right from his first 1v1 chance against Sergio Herrera in the tenth minute. Up against a makeshift right-back in Jon Moncayola, the youngster had his work easy.

He found the back of the net with a smart touch in the 51st minute but saw it ruled out for a clear offside. Came up short against Herrera once again in the 73rd minute with the goal at his mercy.

Star man. (Photo by CESAR MANSO/AFP via Getty Images)

Five minutes later, it was the Brazilian who sliced open the Osasuna defence with a perfect assist for Valverde. Scored a goal in the period that followed but had it ruled out for offside.


Marco Asensio: 8

A solid cameo from Asensio who wrapped up the game for his team in the dying minutes with a neat finish. Also completed 100% of his attempted dribbles and was defensively resilient.

Dani Carvajal: NA

Played only 14 minutes on the night with little noticeable contribution.

Alvaro Rodriguez: 8.5

The 18-year-old made his La Liga debut in the 87th minute, coming on for Rodrygo. Made an instant impact, providing an unselfish assist for a goal that was eventually overruled for offside.

Having his assist taken away, the youngster just required seconds after the restart of play to assist Asensio for the game-sealing goal.

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Three talking points from Barcelona 2-1 Real Madrid | La Liga



Photo by JOSEP LAGO/AFP via Getty Images

Carlo Ancelotti’s Real Madrid fell to a 2-1 defeat against Barcelona on their first trip to Spotify Camp Nou after more than a year.

The Catalans had not won against the Merengues at home since 2018 ahead of the game but a clutch goal from Franck Kessie helped them turn around the record.

Vinicius Jr opened the scoring early in the game by forcing an error and own goal from Ronald Araujo. The hosts levelled the score in the 45th minute through Sergi Roberto, before the winner arrived in stoppage time.

The game was not without its share of controversy as Real Madrid had a goal disallowed for offside that Ancelotti felt was unfair. Madrid Universal brings you three talking points from the fourth Clasico of the season.

1. Quality of full-backs

Real Madrid have etched their names into history as one of the most deadly counter-attacking teams in world football. Their pacey transitions and shifts of play have traditionally progressed through the wing with unreal speed to catch the opponent off-guard even in a momentary lapse in concentration.

Needless to say, the full-backs have always worked in tandem with the team’s wingers to make such speedy counters possible. The glaring problem at Real Madrid currently is that their full-backs do not provide half as much as they need to.

Los Blancos’ counterattack now seemingly consists of only Vinicius Jr on the left wing making a quick transition to find Karim Benzema. With just one outlet, it is difficult for the men in white to be effective.

The story at Spotify Camp Nou was very similar. Dani Carvajal started as the right-back and had a good showing defensively. Yet, he was virtually absent in the final third and left Real Madrid’s right-wing lifeless. In ninety minutes, he managed no crosses or long balls and had just one key pass.

The story at left-back was equally, if not more abysmal. Nacho Fernandez was the candidate deployed in the position and could also not manage a single cross, long ball or key pass on the night. He was eventually substituted for Ferland Mendy but the Frenchman could not do much either.

The difference in the quality of full-backs between Barcelona and Ancelotti’s side is gaping. The Catalans blazed through the wings on the night with Ronald Araujo and Alejandro Balde who constantly got forward in attack to stretch the men in white. In response, Real Madrid had nothing.

2. A dead right-wing and lack of intensity

Carvajal had a forgettable game (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images)

It is imperative for any top football team to have the resources to attack both wings, for it is the constant switching of play that triggers errors from the opposition. For a club like Real Madrid to not have such resources is criminal.

The game against Barcelona was completely predictable given that the Merengues’ right wing was nonexistent. Any attack, almost surely, had to come down Vinicius’ wing and this made Barcelona’s defensive work easier.

Dani Carvajal was barely involved in the final third against the Catalans. That, coupled with Federico Valverde’s atrocious showing as the right-winger removed one side of the field from Real Madrid’s game.

Valverde made just 27 passes in 76 minutes and failed to make a single cross on the night. Further, he recorded just one key pass and one accurate long ball in El Clasico.

When Marco Asensio came on for Los Blancos, the equation completely turned around. The winger came on as a direct replacement for Valverde and happened to score the disallowed goal that was millimetres from giving Real Madrid three points.

More importantly, the move for the aforementioned goal was completely down the right flank, a testament to the alarming situation.

3. Goodbye La Liga?

When the clock at Spotify Camp Nou struck 81 minutes, the race for La Liga seemed to be on. Real Madrid had just scored a possible winner and had cut short their deficit with Barcelona to just six points.

Ten minutes later, the scoreline read 2-1 in favour of the hosts. Their lead atop the league standings was suddenly twelve points with just 12 games to go.

History is witness that counting out Real Madrid does not fare well. However, it is difficult to surpass the supposition that the 12-point gap is too wide to bridge.

Los Blancos will continue to fight in the league, but Ancelotti will likely preserve his weapons for the UEFA Champions League where they face a bigger chance at glory.

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