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Player Ratings (2016/17 UEFA Champions League Quarterfinals, 2nd Leg): Real Madrid 4 - 2 Bayern Munich

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Marcelo is the MOTM.

Real Madrid CF v FC Bayern Muenchen - UEFA Champions League Quarter Final: Second Leg Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Starting Eleven

Keylor Navas

Rating: 7/10

Keylor Navas did little wrong the entire game and was solid in all of his decision making. He claimed crosses well, timed his runs off his line to perfection, and made solid saves when called upon.

Dani Carvajal

Rating: 7.5/10

Carvajal put in another top performance vs. Bayern Munich. On defense, he was immense at times, as he was often forced to deal with a 2v1 overload as Zidane’s diamond was exposed in the 1st half. He managed this while also bombarding forward on every occasion, displaying an incredible physical capacity and mental willingness to affect both ends of the game for 120 minutes. However, he should’ve passed the ball off to a free man in a superb 3v2 situation instead of shooting straight at a defender.

Key Stats: 4/4 tackles, 1 interception, 1 clearance, 1 blocked shot, 1 key pass, 1 dribble.

Nacho

Rating: 7/10

Lewandowski’s match-up with Nacho was a worry for many Madrid fans, but Los Blancos’ loyal servant put in a strong enough performance after an iffy past couple of games. The reason for this worry was because of Nacho’s lack of aerial prowess. While he did lose 2/2 aerial duels in the box, he also managed a crucial interception that denied Lewandowski a far-post free header in the 2nd half. He also managed 2 tackles, 3 more interceptions, 2 clearances, and 1 blocked shot. It wasn’t a perfect night from Nacho, but he did what was needed.

Key Stats: 2/2 tackles, 4 interceptions, 2 clearances, 1 blocked shot, 22/26 passes.

Sergio Ramos

Rating: 6.5/10

Ramos had a pretty good game for most of the ninety minutes. Instead of acting as a stopper like he usually does, he played a more reserved role, as he looked to sit deep in order snuff out crosses and passes into the box. This meant he executed no tackles, but managed 2 interceptions, 7 clearances, and 1 blocked shot. It was all pretty solid, until he made a horrible mistake and knocked the ball into his own net.

After that, he looked rather shaky and was bullied by a couple Bayern attacks that saw the ball trickle into the box when it had no right to.

Key stats: 1 own goal, 2 interceptions, 7 clearances, 1 blocked shot, 47/56 passes.

Marcelo

Rating: 9.5/10

The undoubted man of the match was Marcelo Da Silva Vieira. It’s in games like these where you really see how fortunate Real Madrid are to have the greatest attacking fullback of his generation. All of Madrid’s successful counters and attacks in the 1st half seemed to flow through Marcelo’s side and as the match progressed into the 2nd half and into extra time, Marcelo became a sheer force of nature.

He completed: 8 key passes, 9 dribbles, and 1/2 shots on target. I repeat, 8 key passes and 9 dribbles. If that’s not impressive enough for you, get a load of this:

On the defensive end, Marcelo was less stellar. Arjen Robben consistently managed to cut inside and deliver chips into the channel and absolutely no one stopped him. However, Marcelo was initially the victim of a poor tactical scheme that saw him consistently exposed in 2v1 overloads as Kroos struggled to make the box-to-box movements that would’ve protected him. Once Asensio came on and Madrid changed to a 4-5-1, Marcelo began stopping attacks to the byline with greater regularity. Also, who can forget that epic goal-line clearance?

Key Stats: 1 assist, 1/3 tackles, 4 interceptions, 1 clearance, 2 blocked shots, 3/7 crosses, 8 key passes, 9/10 dribbles, 1/2 shots on target.

Casemiro

Rating: 7/10

Casemiro had a really strange game. In the 1st half, Modric struggled heavily when trying to transition to defense from his position as an interior in a diamond midfield. As mentioned before, this often left Carvajal exposed. In this period, Casemiro was crucial in covering for Modric’s duties and preventing Alaba and Ribery from totally taking over Madrid’s right-wing.

However, as the match progressed, we began to see the reckless side of the Brazilian. He committed unnecessary fouls that probably should’ve seen him sent off and he gave away a foolish penalty.

On the offensive side of the game, Casemiro was just as polarizing. In the 1st half, he was a black hole in possession, as he often gave the ball away cheaply and thus allowed Bayern to counter dangerously. But in the 2nd half, he showed excellent grit to win a fifty-fifty duel before delivering an excellent assist onto the head of Ronaldo.

As things wore on into extra time, Casemiro withdrew from the game to avoid a second yellow card, but it probably would’ve been smarter if Zidane had just taken him off instead.

Key Stats: 1 assist, 6/7 tackles, 4 interceptions, 3 clearances, 3 blocked shots, 5 fouls committed, 1 key pass.

Luka Modric

Rating: 7/10

The diminutive Croatian put in an impressive performance with the ball at his feet, but he looked out of place for a large portion of the game due to a system that didn’t suit him. Initially forced into diamond, Modric lacked the engine to successfully shuttle from the center of the pitch to the flanks, meaning he left Carvajal exposed too often. It got to the point where you could see Modric asking Casemiro to cover for him because Luka knew he simply didn’t possess the physical ability to execute his defensive duties in time. In all he completed only 1 tackle, a poor defensive return considering his role.

On offense, Luka was magical in his press-resistance work. His little back-flicks to break Bayern’s defensive lines, his superb ball control, and good decision making, nullified much of Bayern’s press and allowed Real to counter-attack on numerous occasions. However, his influence receded as the match went on due to the exhausting work he was forced to put in before Asensio came on.

Key Stats: 2 key passes, 76/86 passes, 1/2 crosses, 3/5 long balls, 3/4 dribbles, 4 fouls drawn, 1/3 tackles.

Toni Kroos

Rating: 7.5/10

Kroos had a similar performance to Modric, but found himself having a greater influence in the final third. As mentioned before, many of Madrid’s best counters went through Marcelo and that was because Kroos had formed an excellent connection with him.

As Real advanced up the pitch thanks to the duo, Kroos would lurk outside the box to wait for cutbacks and deflected crosses. This put him in a position to take quality shots from range on several occasions, but his accuracy let him down.

On defense, he was less troubled than Modric thanks to Isco originally shifting to the left to create a 4-4-2 in defense. But once Zidane moved the Spaniard to the right to protect Carvajal, Ancelotti instructed his men to begin penetrating Madrid’s left flank. Needless to say, Kroos didn’t have the best of times trying to defend against Arjen Robben, as he allowed the Dutchman to cut inside and attempt creative passes on nearly every single attempt.

Key Stats: 4 key passes, 69/72 passes, 9/10 long balls, 4/7 crosses, 1/3 shots on target.

Isco

Rating: 7/10

Due to Isco’s roaring performance vs. Sporting Gijon in Real’s latest La Liga match, Zidane was desperate to stuff him into today’s lineup. Tactically, it was a poor decision, as the resulting 4-4-2 diamond (that was used just to incorporate Isco) allowed Bayern to reign free on the flanks. In order to adjust, Isco began moving to the left and then to the right when Real lost the ball. He executed this duty fairly well and Bayern soon chose to avoid penetrating the flank Isco was on in favor of attacking first Modric and then Kroos.

With the ball, Isco was his usual self. He was uncatchable, provided a good link to Ronaldo and Benzema, and shifted over to combine with Marcelo. However, it was a relief to see him come off for Lucas, as it finally allowed Madrid to resume their 4-3-3 with natural personnel in each position.

Key Stats: 0/2 shots on target, 1 dribble, 3 fouls drawn, 38/43 passes, 2/2 long balls, 1/2 tackles.

Karim Benzema

Rating: 6.5/10

Benzema had a rather innocuous performance. He provided a decent link from midfield to attack and made excellent runs into the left-wing, but his final third product was missing. Subbing him off for Asensio was a good move.

Key Stats: 0/1 shots on target, 1/2 dribbles, 22/24 passes, 1/1 tackles.

Cristiano Ronaldo

Rating: 7/10

A 7/10 might seem harsh for a player who scored a hat-trick, but today wasn’t one of Ronaldo’s best games.

Acting as Madrid’s foremost offensive outlet, Ronaldo saw himself get on the end of several counter-attacking moves, only to waste them with a poor finish or some poor decision making (he had an opportunity to pass to Karim Benzema in a 2v1 situation and chose to shoot instead). Nevertheless, he contributed when it mattered most and headed home a Casemiro cross to briefly give Madrid the lead.

In extra time, he netted two goals, but both were offside. The first was blatantly so and the second was marginal and probably difficult to adjudge in real time.

So overall, the hat-trick was a bit flattering on Ronaldo, but there’s no denying his big-game potency. Let’s not forget that he scored a brace at the Allianz arena and headed in a crucial goal in the return leg before the two offside strikes.

Oh yeah. There’s also the small matter of his hat-trick moving him onto 100 UEFA Champions League goals.

Key Stats: 3 goals, 5/9 shots on target, 1 key pass, 1/2 crosses, 2 interceptions, 1 clearance.

Substitutions

Marco Asensio

Rating: 8.5/10

Zidane brought on Asensio for the quiet Benzema in the 64th minute, allowing Madrid to revert to a 4-3-3. This brought balance to the team and finally allowed Madrid to defend the flanks without engaging in exhausting transitional defense. Beyond the tactical positives that Zidane’s sub created, Asensio shone on offense.

As a left-winger, he did everything that one could’ve hoped for. He dropped deep to receive the ball and help circulate possession, he drilled crosses into the box, he ran at players, he shot at goal, he defended, and he scored a golazo.

Just how good is this kid?!

Key Stats: 1 goal, 3/3 shots on target, 1 key pass, 2/3 dribbles, 1/1 tackles, 1 interception.

Lucas Vázquez

Rating: 8/10

Lucas was another sub that had a very solid game. With Isco clearly out of place on the right-wing, Zidane brought on the hard-working speedster to provide Real with width, pace on the counter, and better protection on defense. Despite Lucas’ supposed ineptness on offense, he created 5 key passes, only one of which was a cross.

Key Stats: 0/1 shots on target, 5 key passes, 1/3 crosses, 3 tackles, 2 interceptions.

Mateo Kovacic

Rating: N/A

Didn’t play enough minutes to be properly judged.


(All statistics taken from whoscored.com)