FC Barcelona Vs Real Madrid, Liga 2013-2014: Player Ratings

David Ramos

Ancelotti's substitutions were Real Madrid's best players.

It wasn't an easy match for the players, but yet some worrying performances should concern Ancelotti. Here are Managing Madrid's player ratings for Saturday's 2-1 loss in the first Clásico of the 2013-2014 season.


Goalkeeper:

  • Diego López: B Didn't have much work, but still saved a good shot by Neymar in the second half. His positioning in Alexis' goal could have been better, although the goal was good enough that the blame should not lie on Real's keeper.

Defenders:

  • Carvajal: B Carvajal struggled a lot against Neymar throughout the whole first half. He should have prevented the Brazilian player from shooting in Barça's first goal. Still, he improved a lot in the second half and his match wasn't bad all things considered. A decent Clásico debut for him.
  • Varane: D+ His speed wasn't there. Neymar and Alexis destroyed Varane on two runs. This is Real's most worrying performance of the match since everybody will be wondering whether this has to do with his knee injury or not. Last year's Varane would have won both runs, and he should not had given that much space to Alexis Sánchez in Barça's second goal. He's young, and he will improve. But this wasn't good enough.
  • Pepe: B Last season, Pepe's form showed that maybe he would never be his former self. And yet, he's been Real Madrid's best defender so far. Another good game for the Portuguese centerback.
  • Marcelo: C- Marcelo's defensive awareness can always be improved, but he's always a reliable player on the ball. He wasn't that against Barcelona. His pass accuracy should have been much better and he never troubled Dani Alves.

Midfielders:

  • Sergio RamosB- Yes, this is not his natural position. He has not played there since the López Caro days. And still, it's hard to ask more from him. Yes, he picked up a yellow card that was not necessary, and he could have been sent off if the referee pulled the trigger, but his commitment was great and you can't ask more from him after just one session practising the defensive midfielder position.
  • Luka ModricB- His influence should have been bigger when Real Madrid dominated throughout the second half. His match wasn't that bad, though, and it's hard to shine against Barcelona's midfield. Decent game for Luka Modric.
  • Sami KhediraB- Good work-rate, but he stops Real's rhythm when the team is controlling the match. Iniesta played really well against him but Khedira still helped Carvajal a lot. He's a useful player for these kind of games.

Forwards:

  • Ángel Di María: C- Bad game by the Argentinian winger. He didn't work as much as in other games and his pass accuracy wasn't there neither. He should have had some rest against Juventus in order to be in better shape for El Clásico.
  • Gareth BaleC Bale is obviously out of rhythm. The Welsh player didn't look entirely bad but he still has a lot of work to do. His chemistry with the rest of the teammates is not there yet. Maybe he should not have started this match.

Substitutions:

  • Asier IllarramendiB+ Illarra was arguably Real's catalyst. Alongside Karim Benzema, he changed the game for los blancos. Ancelotti said that he had some problems after the match against Juventus and that's why Ramos started on his place, but Illarramendi showed everybody that he should be trusted for these kind of games. Brilliant.
  • Karim Benzema: B+ Benzema put up one of those performances that makes you keep faith on his future with the club. He deserved the goal on that unbelievable shot. And he deserves more chances. Yes, more.
  • Jesé Rodríguez: B+ His contribution wasn't as big as Illarra or Benzema's, but he did score. He joined Cristiano Ronaldo when everything was lost and even though he kind of lost controlwith his first touch on the ball, he managed to find the back of the net, something that Cristiano Ronaldo, Sami Khedira and Karim Benzema couldn't do. He's going to be a star and he should be ahead of Morata in Ancelotti's rotation.

Coach:

  • Carlo Ancelotti: B- A terrible starting XI but good decisions with the substitutions. Some could have selected Isco, but he decided to go with Illarra, Benzema and Jesé. If he had chosen a better starting XI, we would be talking of a great Clásico debut for Carlo. But he decided to experiment.

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