Real Madrid 1-1 Manchester City: Player Ratings
The glorious chimes of the UEFA Champions League anthem echoed around the Santiago Bernabeu for one final time this season on Tuesday night.
Indeed, it was just the first leg of the semifinal of the competition. Yet, one knew that irrespective of the result, it would be the team’s final European game at home in 2022-23.
The prospect of Real Madrid and Manchester City facing off has largely been talked of as the two best teams in the world locking horns. The game on Tuesday did not disappoint.
Vinicius Jr opened the scoring in the first half but it was the English side who maintained complete control for most of the game. The visitors stole level in the second half through Kevin de Bruyne to take home a 1-1 scoreline with everything to play for.
Madrid Universal brings you the player ratings from Real Madrid vs Manchester City.
Thibaut Courtois: 7.5
The Belgian goalkeeper was always going to have a busy day at the office going up against a team featuring the likes of Erling Haaland and Kevin De Bruyne. Yet, he shone against Pep Guardiola’s side.
Courtois made four saves on the night including two from inside the box and one remembers his big save against De Bruyne’s shot early in the second half as perhaps his biggest contribution. However, there was nothing he could do against the Belgian’s rocket equaliser later in the half.
Daniel Carvajal: 6.5
The Spaniard was minimally involved in the proceedings and did not enjoy his best in the goal third. Put up a brave face against Jack Grealish but will have to do far better in the second leg.
Antonio Rudiger: 7
With Eder Militao suspended on the night, the German took over as the team’s vocal leader in defence. Rudiger played the 90 minutes defending the crest with his everything and was a big part of the reason why Haaland was kept silent on the night.
David Alaba: 7.5
The German was pushed to the limit by Manchester City’s dynamic forward line but came up toe-to-toe in every situation. Alaba put his body on the line to deny Haaland at times at Santiago Bernabeu and proved why his return to the squad was a massive moment.
Eduardo Camavinga: 8
The Frenchman rightfully deserved to fight out the game against Guardiola’s side in midfield alongside the other greats in the business. However, Camavinga started the game at left-back and was once again forced to play in a foreign role.
He did exceedingly well to keep Bernardo Silva under control at Santiago Bernabeu by coming on top in the 50-50 duels. Moreover, Camavinga was integral in the buildup in the final third and even got an assist to his name.
Federico Valverde: 8
The Uruguayan delivered a top-notch performance with no flashy moments. Immaculate distribution, a perfect record in duels won and a constant threat with off-the-ball moments- Valverde’s display had it all.
Toni Kroos: 8.5
The German started as the pivot against Manchester City as called by many pundits. Through the 90 minutes, Kroos was Real Madrid’s best and most important player by some distance.
He completed close to 95% of his passes on the night, a whopping nine defensive actions and orchestrated the play with his composed distribution.
Luka Modric: 7.5
The Croatian risked relapse with his start against the Premier League champions. Yet, one could understand his decision considering the level of opposition that stared Real Madrid in the eye.
Modric’s experience was invaluable on the night against the likes of Kevin de Bruyne and Ilkay Gundogan. In fact, it was the veteran who pressed the team’s engine in the second half during Los Blancos’ period of pressure.
Rodrygo Goes: 6.5
The youngster did not have as much presence in the final third as he did in the cup final. Rodrygo tried to be creative with his movements and open up spaces for his teammates but appeared to meet his match in City’s defence.
Karim Benzema: 6
The Frenchman was underwhelming against the Premier League side and failed to register a single shot on target on the night. Benzema was far from clinical last night and could not make anything of the team’s prolonged spell of pressure in the second half.
Vinicius Jr: 9
The young protege was the difference maker at Santiago Bernabeu and belonged at the heart of every Real Madrid counter-attack.
Vini Jr opened the scoring from outside the box in just the 36th minute. The move began with a combination sequence between the Brazilian and Camavinga before Vinicius sent a rocket into the top right corner.
Marco Asensio: 6
Hardly involved after coming on but did not put a wrong foot or make any glaring errors.
Aurelien Tchouameni: 7
Replaced Kroos in the 84th minute and came close to scoring a wonder goal in the penultimate minute.
Nacho Fernandez: NA
Came on for the closing minutes. Does not warrant a rating.
Three talking points ahead of Sevilla vs Real Madrid
Real Madrid’s 2-1 win over Real Valladolid was far from convincing. They may have been the more effective side, but the Merengues were far from being the better team against Andoni Iraola’s men.
Saturday brings with it the team’s penultimate game of the campaign as Real Madrid take on Sevilla. The Andalusian side have not been impressive in La Liga this season but have always been one to turn up against the big teams. Tomorrow’s game is expected to be no different.
Carlo Ancelotti is expected to make drastic changes ahead of kickoff, especially given the incomplete squad travelling for the game. Madrid Universal brings you three talking points ahead of Sevilla vs Real Madrid.
1. Final game on the road
The 2022-23 season has flown by in the blink of an eye. It may have been a rocky campaign and could have ended with better results, but there is a feeling that the squad has a lot to take away from the season as it is.
From the highs of completing a special Copa del Rey comeback win over Barcelona to the lows of losing three successive Clasicos, the men in white have seen it all. As the season now approaches the curtain-closing phase, Carlo Ancelotti and his men will be eager for a strong finish.
Sunday night will see the Merengues‘ final away game of the season as they travel to Ramon Sanchez Pijzuan to take on Sevilla. The 2021-22 champions have not had the best of seasons on the road in La Liga this season and a statement finish would go a long way in boosting the morale.
Sevilla have been far from their best this campaign domestically. Though they are well placed to taste glory in the UEFA Europa League once again, they languish in tenth place on the league standings with just 13 wins in 36 games.
Los Blancos boast a fine record at Ramon Sanchez Pijzuan and are unbeaten at the stadium in their last eight appearances. Their last defeat at the venue came back in 2018, and the objective tonight will be to extend the aforementioned streak.
2. Tchouameni’s point to prove
As much as Aurelien Tchouameni’s initial months at the club were called paradise, the Frenchman has not had life easy at Real Madrid in his first season.
The Frenchman initially stepped in as a more than able replacement for Casemiro in the middle of the park. His astute reading of the game and defensive awareness made him a monster in midfield and his position in the starting lineup appeared safe.
Tchouameni’s situation, however, took a steep turn after the FIFA World Cup. Coming back from a fatiguing World Cup and a minor niggle, the defensive midfielder no longer found his name on the starting lineup as he became second fiddle to Eduardo Camavinga.
The entry of Toni Kroos as an option for the pivot role further reduced the Frenchman’s involvement.
The youngster thus has a point to prove on Sunday night. He is expected to start at the Ramon Sanchez Pijzuan and will look to orchestrate the team’s play from deep in midfield whilst holding the fortress simultaneously. After all, it could be his final chance to prove his worth ahead of the new season.
3. Only three forwards
Real Madrid’s squad list only names three forwards making the trip to Seville to take on Jose Luis Mendilibar’s side – Rodrygo Goes, Eden Hazard, and Alvaro Rodriguez.
The manager does have a fourth option in Federico Valverde and could look to mix and match his options on the night. However, Carlo Ancelotti maintained a low profile on the starting lineup ahead of Sunday’s clash, especially when asked about Eden Hazard’s chances of participating.
Given that it is the team’s penultimate game of the season, Ancelotti could well look to start all three pure forwards on the night. After all, each has their own special reason to participate.
For Hazard, the game against Sevilla could well be his final away game in a Real Madrid shirt. The Belgian is reluctant to leave the club at the moment, but everything could change in June if he begins to attract interest.
In Alvaro Rodriguez’s case, tomorrow’s game presents itself as an audition to seal a place in next season’s dynamics. The youngster has impressed whenever given the chance so far and will look to keep his high level going.
Rodrygo Goes, arguably, needs the game the least of the three candidates. Yet, with Ancelotti publicly asking him to take more prominence, he has a point to prove.