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Sevilla 2 - 1 Real Madrid, 2016/17 La Liga: Player Ratings

Assessing the players’ performances as the undefeated streak comes to an end.

Sevilla FC v Real Madrid CF - La Liga Photo by Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images

Navas 5/10

Did not have much to do in the first half but effectively dealt with the shots that he faced such as Nasri’s left footed drive from inside the box. Showed composure when he was on the ball with good passing and relatively accurate clearances.

In the second half, he was challenged a little more as he had to be alert for Vázquez’s tricky shot a minute into the half. He made a really good save (though one that was expected) on Ben Yedder’s shot inside the box from one of the few clear chances that Sevilla had.

However, he could’ve been more assertive and claimed Sarabia’s cross and should’ve done better with the second goal conceded as Jovetic’s shot was not placed perfectly. These two instances proved very costly for the team.

Carvajal 7/10

He was his typically active self and, like Marcelo, enjoyed the added offensive freedom the tactical system afforded. He struggled to create in one-on-one situations due to Sevilla’s defensive solidity but his combination passing and channel support were excellent.

He played the low cross/pass into the heart of Sevilla’s defense wreaking havoc and ultimately ending up with a good chance for Benzema. Followed that up with another good play as he beat his man and got to the ball before Sergio Rico took him out inside the box earning the team in purple a penalty which Ronaldo converted.

Varane 7/10

Formed part of an intimidating three man defense along with Nacho and Ramos. He showed good awareness in defense reflected by several blocks made. He took a little bit of time to find footing in his slightly foreign role in terms of offensive support and balance in possession but was great once he did. Although not the main culprit, he was a little slow to close down Jovetic after Benzema lost the ball giving the Montenegrin forward enough time and space to test Navas.

Ramos 8/10

Thrived as the commander of the backline and coordinated excellently when Real Madrid had the ball. His focus in defensive situations led to little to no errors for the majority of the game. In addition, his patience and selectiveness with the ball meant he was able to play space optimizing passes and long balls from the back adding much needed diversity and verticality to the team’s game.

Unfortunately undid all his good work and the team’s when his miscued defensive header sent the ball past Navas into Real Madrid’s net. This moment was unlucky but Ramos should’ve been expected to deal with the situation a little better. He commendably did not let the own goal affect his game and made two crucial blocks before Real Madrid conceded the second goal.

Nacho 7/10

Performed well in the first half as his composure on the ball shone again. He was not overwhelmed by Sevilla’s press and worked well with Ramos, Navas, and Varane to offer relief to the midfield as needed. Did not do enough to cover Ben Yedder at the beginning of the second half as a Sevilla counter attack resulted in a great chance for the forward. Beyond that, he did fine to withstand Sevilla’s increasing pressure as the game wound down.

Marcelo 6/10

He showed drive and intensity in his attacking plays and attempted to disrupt Sevilla’s shape from the onset. He constantly tested the opposition backline and played a more balanced game due to his midfield responsibilities. He created space for a shot with his right in the 52nd minute – the shot was off-target but he has scored from identical occasions in the past. His high intensity caught up to him eventually as his positional discipline and support loosened leaving Nacho exposed on a few occasions.

Casemiro 7/10

He had a fantastic first half as he stifled Sevilla’s plays and made several key interceptions and tackles. He supplemented his reliable defending with good on-the-ball strength and decision-making working well with Kroos and Modric to establish rhythm and flow.

His performance dropped as the second half progressed likely due to tired legs but also poor marking and focus. This was highlighted by his dispossession in Real Madrid’s box around the 88th minute. Ramos cleared the cross that followed but it could’ve turned out much worse.

Kroos 6/10

Played generally well in the first half although he visibly struggled with the intensity of Sevilla players as he was unusually dispossessed on more than one occasion. Except for those instances, his possession play was advantageous as he helped link the team horizontally through effective switches of play and supported more direct penetration with good balls to attacking zones including a magnificent ball to Ronaldo in the 27th minute.

Continued to help steady play and break-down the Sevilla defense before he was substituted in the 75th minute. Overall, the performance continues a slight trend of subpar showings for the German in recent matches which will hopefully be reversed soon.

Modric 8/10

The Croatian had a brilliant game showcasing his ball retention and astounding maneuvering ability. His beautiful turn to create space in the 9th minute was a great example of how his subtle touch and agility were used to great effect. Unfortunately, his cross was not precise and what should’ve been an easy opportunity for Ronaldo to score went to waste.

One (in the 62nd minute) of several of his direct runs down the middle lane directly into Sevilla’s defensive zone led to a huge chance for the team that unfortunately Benzema couldn’t put away. His general play was stellar overall and a clear step above his teammates.

Ronaldo 6/10

Ronaldo was a little unsettled at the beginning of the match and that theme continued throughout as his actions were sloppy and inconsistent. Nevertheless, he unsurprisingly manufactured most of Real Madrid’s best openings starting with an excellent run in the 27th minute that he could have done a little better with (albeit from a relatively difficult position). His great movement and positioning saw him come inches from scoring after Benzema neatly picked him out in the box. In the second half, he did not manage to fully capitalize on a Kroos interception as his poor pass to Benzema (who was in a great position) was blocked. He later on held his nerve to confidently convert from 12 yards in the 67th minute.

Benzema 6/10

Similar to Ronaldo, the number 9’s performance lacked sharpness. His movements and passing weren’t decisive but he managed to instigate good attacking plays and influence proceedings. The incredible pass he played to Ronaldo in the 40th minute was the best chance of the game and if not for some misfortune should’ve been the game’s opening goal. He combined well with his midfielders but did not end up with too many great chances. Ended the night on a very sour note as he lost the ball that led to Sevilla’s winning goal.


Kovacic 6/10

Replaced Toni Kroos with under half an hour left and immediately improved Real Madrid’s attack and defense as his fresh legs allowed him to provide higher intensity. However, he wasn’t game changing as he tended to hold on to the ball when quicker releases could have served the team better.

Man of the Match

Luka Modric - special performance from the Croatian who pushed from the very beginning to the end.

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