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RB Leipzig 3-2 Real Madrid: Player ratings



Photo by Maja Hitij/Getty Images

Real Madrid’s first defeat of the season was always coming, and destiny had it that it came in Germany against RB Leipzig. Carlo Ancelotti fielded a rotated team at the RB Arena and the men in white paid the price by going down 3-2 to Marco Rose’s men.

Los Blancos needed just one point against Leipzig to seal the first spot in their UCL group. However, it was not to be and that mission carries forward to the next matchday.

Vinicius Jr’s header and Rodrygo’s late penalty gave the visitors consolation, but it was clear from the first minute that the hosts were the team in control and with the better chances. Christopher Nkunku, Timo Werner and Josko Gvardiol were all on target for Leipzig and pioneered a special win for the German side.

Madrid Universal brings you the player ratings from Tuesday’s clash.

Thibaut Courtois: 6.5

It is not often that one sees the Belgian shot-stopper concede three goals in one game. Cannot be held directly responsible for any of the setbacks, but could have done slightly better on the second goal. He also made three saves on the night to save Real Madrid’s blushes.

Lucas Vazquez: 4

A very poor outing for the makeshift right-back as he struggled both in defence and attack. Looked helpless when Leipzig broke on the counter and managed just six defensive actions.

Eder Militao: 5

While the Brazilian was involved in nine defensive actions including three vital clearances, it was not his best showing. Militao’s poor marking opened the way for Leipzig’s second and third goals on the night and had a direct impact on the final result.

Nacho Fernandez: 4

Started the game as a centre-back but was soon swapped to the left-back position after he struggled to cope with Leipzig’s pacey attacks. Looked like a fish out of water even at left-back and failed to control Mohamed Simakan’s run that resulted in Werner’s goal.

Antonio Rudiger: 5

A disastrous performance from the German international who made just two defensive contributions in the entire game. Started as a left-back but soon swapped with Nacho to take over as the centre-back. Yet, he saw no respite in his favoured position.

Aurelien Tchouameni: 7

Began the game with a few nerves and made a blatant error leading to Leipzig’s second goal of the night. However, he came out with a fresh mind in the second half and delivered a strong performance. Real Madrid’s dominance in the opening period of the second half was predominantly because of Tchouameni’s orchestration and hard work off the ball.

Toni Kroos: 7

The German international had one of his routine top-class nights, as has been the norm with him throughout his career. Made over 100 touches on the night with close to 90% pass accuracy. He completed nine of his twelve attempted long balls and was strong in defence.

Eduardo Camavinga: 5.5

Camavinga failed to impress. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)

The hype around Camavinga seems to be a sinking ship for the youngster and he is barely giving the manager any reasons to start him. The game last night was amongst his better performances, but that is not saying much. The Frenchman tried to break the lines and get into advanced positions but his passing often let him down.

Marco Asensio: 6

The Spaniard made his first start of the season in Germany but failed to make the most of it. It was his ball that opened the door for Vinicius Jr’s goal. Even though he recorded a game-high of three key passes, Asensio’s involvement in the game constantly fluctuated between the two extremes.

Rodrygo: 7

The Brazilian youngster started the game as the centre-forward in Karim Benzema’s absence and did a reasonable job as the striker. He had three shots on target, attempted six dribbles and worked hard off the ball. Eventually won the penalty in the final minute and scored it with a calm head.

Vinicius Jr: 6.5

The youngster was a constant threat on the left wing and had a big role to play in the buildup. Scored Real Madrid’s only open-play goal of the night with a well-worked header but also missed a couple of clear chances in the second half.


Dani Carvajal: 4

Had just 14 touches in 21 minutes of action with a poor pass accuracy of 70%.

David Alaba: 4

Insignificant contributions on the field in his limited time.

Eden Hazard: 6

The only noteworthy moment in the Belgian’s cameo came when he combined with Vinicius and Asensio in the closing minutes of the game to create a big chance. Nevertheless, the best of the three substitutes on the field.

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Goals, energy, leadership: Three things Bellingham can offer to Real Madrid



Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images

Real Madrid have been notoriously heavy spenders in the summer transfer market in the past but have not spent an awful lot over the last few seasons due to financial restrictions and their team finding its peak at the right time.

Real Madrid did shell out close to €100 million for Aurelien Tchouameni last year, and got Eduardo Camavinga in the summer of 2021 for around €400 million, too.

It does seem like they have a huge summer planned ahead of them, though. The club plans to splash some cash on multiple positions, including centre-forward, right-wing, central midfield, and across the defence.

Some targets are laid out for these positions, with Kylian Mbappe naturally being on the list.

However, one definite target for Madrid that’s been well-established already is Borussia Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham. His price tag is set at around €100-140 million, and Los Blancos are among the teams leading the race for his signature, alongside Manchester City and Liverpool.

The Englishman has an obviously high ceiling and is already among the best players in his position in Europe. Moreover, he adds depth across various skillsets and attributes that Real Madrid currently lack or will lack as the clock marches on.

Madrid Universal explores three different things Bellingham can bring to the table for an already talented Galacticos side.

Goals from midfield

Despite not playing an advanced role, Bellingham is a rather experienced poacher in the box. This comes with his thorough understanding of offensive routines, and timing his runs to perfection in the box.

Being 6’1″ and physically gifted, the teenager can attack crosses and passes into the box with ease. He boasts of a rather impressive leap as well, which was more than visible during the World Cup, when he opened the scoring against Iran.

The English midfielder has scored four goals in the league for Dortmund, and has accumulated an xG of 5.25 across the season. That is nearly two more than Madrid’s highest scoring midfielder – Luka Modric.

Currently, Madrid’s goals are rather lopsidedly dependent on the forward line, with Toni Kroos and Modric just chipping in with a combined six goals in the league out of a possible 51.

While both players, and Camavinga, are adept at shooting from range, neither quite provide the box threat or the third-man runs Madrid are currently craving for.

Goal machine. (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)

Once Karim Benzema or Vinicius Jr are boxed out of the game, Carlo Ancelotti’s side struggle with ideas, and are often stuck in a pattern of crossing and hoping for the best.

And even with that, Bellingham could prove to be an excellent solution to their problems, coming up with late runs into the box and attacking crosses and loose balls.

Youthful energy

Far too many times this season, Ancelotti has been criticised for using Modric and Kroos in the same midfield. Especially when their bench holds the likes of Camavinga, Dani Ceballos, and sometimes even Federico Valverde.

However, it is clear that these players have been delegated to certain roles in midfield. Camavinga and Tchouameni shuffle as pivot options, while Ceballos is called upon add more creativity in the centre of the park.

Bellingham, while far from the best ball retainer, certainly has energy and lungs for days. He can run from box to box, receive and turn in a crowded midfield, and chase the ball till the 90.

While they have Valverde in a similar mould, the Uruguayan has been tasked with running the right-wing more often than not, at least under Ancelotti. It will be interesting to see how another coach would utilise both players to their respective strengths should the transfer go through.

Long-term captaincy candidate

At 19, Bellingham has already shown signs of becoming a captain for any side he plays for, for years to come. He has donned the armband for Dortmund several times this season already, and was first awarded with it in October, becoming the youngest captain in Bundesliga history.

Captain material. (Photo by INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images)

Currently, he holds the position of third captain for Dortmund, behind Marco Reus and Mats Hummels, but has already held the armband multiple times, including twice in the UEFA Champions League.

While Madrid have a fair few leaders in their ranks, including and not limited to the likes of Karim Benzema, Luka Modric, Toni Kroos, and David Alaba, Bellingham has clearly proved that he is not only capable of taking on a leadership role, but also spearheading any side for years to come.

If all works out, the price tag of €120+ million will soon start to pale in comparison to the attributes he brings to the table alongside his unbelievably high ceiling and longevity.

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