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Real Madrid youngster puts in a coming-of-age performance in 4-0 win over Barcelona

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Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Real Madrid’s makeshift left-back Eduardo Camavinga put on a stunning show against Barcelona in the Copa del Rey semi-final second-leg clash as Los Blancos cruised to a 4-0 win at Camp Nou.

Manager Carlo Ancelotti was forced to give him a special mention in the post-match conference after the way the youngster carried himself under pressure at Camp Nou.

“He’s very young and he’s in really impressive form, whether he plays at the base of midfield or left-back,” said the manager. 

“He played really well up against Rapinha and he’s getting used to that position. He played a top-class game, like all the others. I still think he’s a left-back in emergencies and he gives us another option there,” the Italian added.

For someone who was only used as an ‘emergency’ left-back, a return of 27 defensive actions against league leaders FC Barcelona speaks volume. The story of Camavinga’s dominance against the Blaugrana certainly does not end there. 

Camavinga dominates against Barcelona

A deep dive into the statistics of the 20-year-old reveals he was, in fact, the most accurate passer in the game, having finished with an accuracy of 100% (33 passes).

Playing in front of a vocal Camp Nou crowd is always a thing of worry for the opposition, but Camavinga made sure he leaves his mark by winning each of his eight attempted tackles. To put things in perspective, the next player to attempt the most tackles on the night was Toni Kroos (4).

Furthermore, he also won the most duels (10/14) than any other player on the field across both teams. Above all, he also made one last-man tackle that denied Barcelona a goal. 

During one of the instances, Raphinha found himself clear on goal, ahead of Camavinga with the ball arriving from the left. As it turns out, the 20-year-old Frenchman somehow got ahead of the Brazilian to make the clearance. And that was one of the seven clearances he made during the game.

No way past Camavinga. (Photo by Eric Alonso/Getty Images)

A brief look at his heatmap explains that he was not involved in the attack much but despite that, he had a wonderful combination play with Vinicius Jr. on the wing.

In fact, he somehow managed to play five line-breaking passes last night, which was the joint-most return alongside Toni Kroos.

“How good is this Camavinga kid, seriously! I’m lost for words watching him play. The best player on the pitch,” raved BT SPORT pundit Glenn Hoddle (h.t Madrid Xtra).

“He is not even a left back… this is ridiculous he dominated that side. Benzema scored a hat-trick, Vinicius created two goals yet I’m sat here talking about Camavinga, that says a lot,” he added.

Camavinga’s influence can be understood by the fact that Barcelona could not really do much from the left side. Be it Raphinha or Ferran Torres, Camavinga dealt with the threat with relative ease by blocking everything that the Blaugrana tried from the flank. 

As a result, he ended up with 66 touches, which was only three fewer than Dani Carvajal and two fewer than Toni Kroos. Given his absolute dominance, Barcelona were forced to move their game centrally, but Madrid’s defence managed to handle the threat.

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MU Shorts

Best starting XI from the Champions League quarter-finals, four Real Madrid players included

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Photo by Florencia Tan Jun/Getty Images

The UEFA Champions League quarterfinals were thrilling this season. Real Madrid showcased their dominance with an impressive victory over Manchester City, proving their status as a top contender in this competition. 

Bayern Munich’s experienced team taught Arsenal a tough lesson in play, while PSG observed Barcelona’s collapse in their own backyard. 

Meanwhile, Borussia Dortmund battled hard against Atletico Madrid to secure their spot in the next round. 

Now that we have our final four teams, it is time to take a look at the best XI that featured during the final eight.

Goalkeeper – Andriy Lunin

While Manchester City were better on paper, they could not do much to breach Real Madrid keeper Andriy Lunin. The Ukrainian made clutch saves and even denied Bernardo Silva and Mateo Kovacic during the all-important shootout.

Andriy Lunin saved two penalties against Manchester City. (Photo by DARREN STAPLES/AFP via Getty Images)

Right-back – Joshua Kimmich

The Bayern Munich right-back was key to their success against Arsenal, especially in the second leg where his goal decided the fate of the teams. Overall, he locked down Arsenal’s left flank with relative ease and his move back to defence proved to be a masterstroke.

Centre-backs – Eric Dier and Antonio Rudiger

The 30-year-old Bayern Munich defender won four tackles, three interceptions and two aerial duals against Arsenal in the second leg alone, which warrants him a place in this setup.

Secondly, Antonio Rudiger was simply unplayable for a certain Erling Haaland across both legs. Although a substandard clearance allowed Man City to equalize in the second leg, his overall performance was excellent.

Left-back – Josko Gvardiol

Gvardiol made a notable impact in the first leg against Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu, scoring his first goal for Manchester City in style. Between the two legs, he had five tackles, four interceptions, three clearances, and three key passes to his name.

Right midfielder – Federico Valverde

Real Madrid midfielder Federico Valverde never missed an ounce of energy across the two legs. After having scored the equalizing goal in the first leg, his tireless strides at the Etihad were key to Madrid’s qualification.

Federico Valverde was key to Real Madrid’s success. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Defensive midfielder – Rodri

The Man City midfielder won five tackles between the two legs against Manchester City and was arguably their best player on the field across the two matches.

Left midfielder – Vitinha

Vitinha’s performance in the matches against Barcelona over the last two weeks has impressed many observers. The 24-year-old scored in both games and had a strong impact on the field with five shots, five key passes, and two successful dribbles.

Right winger – Ousmane Dembele

Before facing Barcelona last week, Ousmane Dembele had only scored one goal for his new club.

However, in the two games against his former team, he scored a goal in each match. Additionally, he made a significant impact with four key passes and five successful dribbles.

Centre-forward – Rodrygo

The Real Madrid frontman has always been Manchester City’s doom and even this season, he scored two goals across both legs, deserving a place in this XI.

Rodrygo scored in both games vs Man City. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Left winger – Raphinha

Raphinha put in a strong performance in both matches against PSG, trying to lead his team to the semi-finals.

Although his efforts were admirable, they weren’t enough to secure victory. In the first leg at the Parc des Princes, he scored twice. In the return match in Spain, he opened the scoring. 

Over the course of both games, Raphinha took eight shots, made four key passes, and completed three successful dribbles.

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