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Real Madrid 1-1 Atlético Madrid, 2017 La Liga: Player Ratings

Zidane makes a questionable substitution.

Real Madrid CF v Club Atletico de Madrid - La Liga Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Real Madrid drew with Atlético Madrid. It wasn't the result we all hoped for and it was a bit disappointing to see the way we drew the match. There are few golden rules for managing Madrid and one of the most obvious rule is that you don't sit back unless you have a two goal cushion. Real Madrid aren't build to sit back and absorb pressure. Yes, in some rare instances we can pull it off, but as a general rule, no.

Another rule is that you don't take off Kroos in the big games. The only acceptable explanation is that he received a serious knock or that he's injured. Otherwise you keep him on the pitch. I hoped that Zidane learnt from his mistake from Milan, but today he proved me wrong. Once again he took off Kroos and our control of the match went out of the window. I'd like everyone to watch the Milan game and any other game without Kroos. You'll see the difference and his influence. And then you're realise that those who wanted Kroos to be dropped (at some point of the season) were simply wrong..

Keylor Navas - 8

This is the version of Keylor that I know and like. He made a couple of really great saves. He was spot on with his reflexes and he almost saved Griezmann's goal. I couldn't ask more from him in this match. The only thing I would wish is that he keeps this level for the rest of the season.

Dani Carvajal - 8

Dani was tirelessly running up and down the right flank. He linked nicely with Benzema and Bale. Dani's biggest upside is that even though he's a very attacking fullback, he doesn't neglect his defensive duties and he's quick to track back.

Pepe - 8.5

Pepe was rock solid at the back and his header was a thing of a beauty. There were some that suggested that Nacho should start instead of him. However, Pepe's performance speaks for itself. In each game Pepe is making his case for contract extension. His absence will be sorely missed in the coming weeks, especially against Bayern and Barcelona.

Sergio Ramos - 7

It wasn't Sergio's finest afternoon. He gifted Griezmann his first chance, but later he recovered from this mistake. And even though at times he was a little bit off positionally, he completed a decent performance in the end.

Marcelo - 7.5

Marcelo had his usual game. He was very influential in the attack, but at times he lost his man in defence. However, in the last 10-15 minute he focused more on defending and made couple of crucial tackles.

Casemiro - 7

Overall, it was a solid game from Casemiro. His distribution was decent and as usual he made some good and crucial tackles. I'd partially blame him for the conceded goal. Casemiro went AWOL and left a big gap in the centre and behind him, which Correa exploited. This must not happen against Bayern, because Thiago has mastered exploiting this space and we will pay for it.

Modric - 7.5

Whenever there is a big game, Luka always steps up his game. This season hasn't been the best for him. I don't know if it is down to his age and natural decline or if he's just having an off season. But Luka has always delivered in big games - Atletico and Barcelona in November - and it was the same today.

Kroos - 7.5

Kroos is a absolutely crucial player for Real Madrid and a lot of the calmness and sharpness that this team has is thanks to Toni. Yes, he will never wow you with dribbling, bursting runs or spectacular sliding tackles, but his composed passing and intelligence gives Real Madrid's attack purpose and rhythm. And, Zizou, for the love of God please never ever take him off in these games.

Bale - 6

There are only a few big stars willing to sacrifice themselves and defend like Bale. Bale covered well for Carvajal, when the full-bacl ventured forward. Nonetheless this is Bale and we all expect him to also influence the attacking phase. Sadly, this wasn't the case today. Bale needs a lot of time to get back to 100%, but there is no time. Bayern are around the corner and Bale is the only one who can make 60m transition look like a piece of cake. He will be much needed and he needs to produce.

Benzema - 7.5

It was a lively performance from the Frenchmen and he was unlucky not to score. Jan Oblak made two astonishing saves to deny him his goal. Karim linked nicely with Ronaldo and their one-twos created a couple of chances.

Ronaldo - 8

Another great big-game performance from Cristiano. He moved nicely from the left wing to the centre and only a last ditch tackle on the goal line from Savic prevented him from scoring a beautiful goal. He had another chance, but Oblak was in an excellent form and did his best to keep a clean sheet.

Lucas Vazquez - 7

Lucas came on for Bale and Zidane wanted to solidify the team and switch to 4-4-2.

Isco - 7

Isco came on for Kroos, but he couldn't provide the same control as Toni. He did try to calm things down.

Nacho - 6

Nacho came on for injured Pepe and it wasn't his day. He lost Griezmann and let him through on goal, which Griezmann calmly converted. Now that Pepe is out for a long time and Varane is still injured it's clear that Nacho will play against Bayern. And I'm not confident at all. Lewandowski is super hot right now (45 games 46 goals) and the thought of Lewandowski going against this Nacho is very very scary...

Man of the Match: Pepe

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