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Real Madrid 3-3 Manchester City: Player Ratings

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Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images

There could not be many sights better than the Santiago Bernabeu on Tuesday night. A house-full stadium, uniformly carpeted in white under a closed roof and singing in unison, the stage was set for a banger of a clash.

Real Madrid and Manchester City took to the field and engaged in a thrilling battle with no dearth of goals. The game lived up to its hype and boasted of high-quality football from the initial whistle to the final one.

Bernardo Silva opened the scoring for the visitors early, but Real Madrid found two goals in three minutes to pull off a mini-comeback.

After half-time, however, it was City all the way through. Golazos from Phil Foden and Josko Gvardiol helped them take a 3-2 lead on the night. Fede Valverde, however, had other plans as he netted a stunner to equalise.

Madrid Universal brings you the player ratings from Real Madrid 3-3 Manchester City.

Andriy Lunin: 7

The Ukrainian star was caught off-guard by Bernardo Silva’s cheeky free-kick in the opening minutes of the game but did not allow it to affect his game.

Made two vital saves before half-time to keep Real Madrid in the game and followed it up with a solid showing in the second half.

Absolutely nothing he could do about the golazos from Foden or Gvardiol, needless to say.

Dani Carvajal: 6

Faced with the task of defending against Jack Grealish on the night, Real Madrid’s veteran defender showed good resilience. However, his contribution in the final third and distribution were far from his best.

Aurelien Tchouameni: 6

Carlo Ancelotti opted to deploy the French midfielder in central defence over Nacho on the night, and the player did not earn any favours by jumping into a rash foul seconds into the game.

Booked early, he was not only forced to spend the 90 minutes with caution but will also miss the second leg.

Antonio Rudiger: 7.5

Bossed Haaland. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

The German defender had an extraordinary first half, completely pocketing Manchester City’s Erling Haaland and barely allowing him to breathe in the Real Madrid area.

Just like his teammates, he struggled to keep up steam with City in the second half but still completed the game with 12 defensive actions.

Ferland Mendy: 6

The Frenchman was put to a stiff challenge against Bernardo Silva on the night, and it is safe to say he came out second-best more often than not. Struggled to keep up with the Portuguese star’s magic and did not conjure anything in the final third either.

Eduardo Camavinga: 8

The French prodigy was a lively presence in the Manchester City area from the get-go and helped was the force behind Real Madrid’s equaliser just 12 minutes into the game. Taking a shot from a distance, his strike found a lucky deflection and beat Stefan Ortega in goal.

Toni Kroos: 8.5

The German maestro was Real Madrid’s engine as always, dictating the play and ever so reliable on the ball. Played a massive role in the team’s pressure off the ball, coming up with vital tackles to recover the ball.

Completed a staggering seven of seven attempted long balls and 52 of 54 attempted passes.

Federico Valverde: 8

Fede scored a stunner. (Photo by PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP via Getty Images)

A standard run-of-the-mill performance from Valverde as he did the so-called ‘dirty work’ off the ball. Struggled to keep up with City’s tempo in the second half, as was the case with his teammates.

Came up with a peach of a volley in the 78th minute to level the score once more, pulling back the deficit.

Jude Bellingham: 7

The English talisman was far from his best on the night, struggling to even knit together passes at times. Did well with dribbles on a couple of occasions but was one of Real Madrid’s weaker links in midfield.

Rodrygo: 8.5

Deployed surprisingly on the left flank with Vinicius, the Brazilian attacker stood out with his dribbling prowess and ability in the opposition box.

Netted the team’s second goal of the night, with a well-worked solo run and calm finish after being sent through by Vinicius.

Rodrygo on the scoresheet. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Vinicius Jr: 8.5

Switching between a relatively central role and a place on the left side, Vinicius adapted to a new role with relative ease. Connected brilliantly with Rodrygo to assist his compatriot, threading the ball through City’s defence and setting him free.

Came painfully close to scoring in the 55th minute but failed to hit the target. Secured a second assist of the night with a lovely lobbed pass to Valverde in the 78th minute.

Substitutes

Luka Modric: 7

The veteran brought energy to Real Madrid’s midfield and made a useful cameo, creating chances with several clever touches.

Brahim Diaz: 5

The youngster was barely involved despite playing over 15 minutes off the bench, minimal impact.

Joselu: NA

Came on too late to make an impact.

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Features

Three talking points ahead of Villarreal vs Real Madrid

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Photo by OSCAR DEL POZO/AFP via Getty Images

Jude Bellingham, Vinicius Jr, Federico Valverde and Arda Guler were all on target when Real Madrid demolished Deportivo Alaves by a 5-0 scoreline midweek.

The win at the Santiago Bernabeu took the team to 93 points in La Liga, with the champion status already earned. The target now, however, is to reach the magical number of 99 points.

Tomorrow, Los Blancos step on the field for their penultimate league clash of the season as they lock horns against Villarreal.

Their opponents, currently placed eighth in the league, are fighting for a place in Europe and must win tomorrow at Estadio de La Ceramica if they are to remain in the race.

Madrid Universal brings you three talking points ahead of Villarreal vs Real Madrid.

Can Bellingham maintain the steam?

Jude Bellingham’s dip in form towards the end of the season raised many concerns in the Real Madrid offices over his fitness and physical state. A mini ‘pre-season’ was said to be in the manager’s plan, especially keeping Bellingham’s recovery in mind.

The young midfielder, however, started the team’s game against Deportivo Alaves once more despite rumours of him being rested and dished out a classic on the night. His performance, in many senses, was one that announced his return to form.

In 90 minutes against Alaves, Bellingham scored one goal and provided two assists as the game ended 5-0 in Real Madrid’s favour.

Furthermore, the former Borussia Dortmund star recorded a staggering 121 touches, 99 passes, six key passes and created one big chance. He also completed four dribbles on the night and participated in eight defensive actions.

It thus becomes a serious question ahead of tomorrow’s clash as to how Carlo Ancelotti plans on managing Bellingham’s minutes.

The obvious approach would be to field the youngster from the start and reward his improved performance at the weekend. Concurrently, however, there is concern over the midfielder being overused which inhibits the manager from such a move.

Will Bellingham start against Villarreal or will the likes of Brahim Diaz or Arda Guler get a deserved start? Only time will tell.

Lunin’s heroic exit

Thibaut Courtois’ injury before the commencement of the new season left Real Madrid with a crisis in goal. The repercussions of the blow, however, were not as dire as expected courtesy of Andriy Lunin’s exceptional performances.

Lunin could play his final game of the season vs Villarreal. (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)

Despite starting the campaign behind Kepa Arrizabalaga on the pecking order, the Ukrainian international has done enough to become the team’s primary goalkeeper across all competitions.

Only Courtois’ return last month displaced him from the starting lineup as the manager prioritised bringing the Belgian superstar back to full fitness.

Real Madrid now plan on starting Courtois for the big UCL final at Wembley next month.

While unfair on Lunin who deserves the start, one cannot blame Ancelotti for relying on the player who single-handedly kept the team in the game the last time they featured in a European final.

With Courtois set to start against Real Betis and Borrusia Dortmund, tomorrow could well be Lunin’s final game of the season for Real Madrid and the 25-year-old will look to depart with a bang.

Momentum is paramount

Real Madrid have already been crowned the champions of La Liga, and every game that remains in the competition at this point only serves as a practice encounter for the big challenge that lies ahead.

Los Blancos take on Borussia Dortmund in the finale of the UCL early next month, and only two games remain before the season-defining encounter. A lot, needless to say, will depend on how Ancelotti manages his squad for the two matches that lie ahead.

Considering that the calendar is no longer as hectic as it was a month ago, the manager could well field his best XI against Villarreal aiming to keep the momentum going for his side. After all, it is paramount at this stage in the season.

At the same time, however, the manager must rotate his squad ahead to give fringe players some deserved minutes and balance the playing time of regular starters.

Los Blancos, at this point, are unbeaten in 23 games across all competitions and have the momentum fairly on their side. Maintaining it with a positive result tomorrow irrespective of the final decision on the extent of rotations will thus be crucial for the Merengues.

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