Since the turn of the century, with the likes of Ronaldinho and Messi leading the charge, Barcelona have dominated the Clasico’s. Madrid have been embarrassed on more than one occasion. Tonight was another embarrassing performance from the team. I am normally one to support coaches even through tough spells, but Lopetegui is not the man for this job. Poor performance after poor performance, and there is zero reaction from the players. The attitude is all wrong. The mental side of the game is everything, and these players could not look bothered to track back nor believe in a game-plan. Madrid was overwhelmed, powerless, and dominated by a Barcelona team lacking Lionel Messi. Reports suggest Lopetegui won’t make it through the night. He will take the blame and rightly so, but blame must also fall on the players and the club hierarchy. It will certainly take a coach with “huevos” to take hold of the now poison chalice that is the managerial role at Real Madrid.
Thibaut Courtois—4: Threw the ball out of bounds on multiple occasions when trying to start a counter attack. Conceded five goals, with Luis Suárez chip being the most demoralizing of them all.
Nacho—2.5: Lopetegui opted for Nacho over the man who was brought in to replace Carvajal, €35M Odriozola, a statement of his intent or rather lack there of. Nacho had a nightmare. He was caught in no mans land for the first goal as Jordi Alba exploited the space behind him. Jordi Alba and Coutinho had a field day attacking down Madrid’s right side. Nacho offered nothing in attack and put out one of his worst displays in a Madrid shirt.
Raphael Varane—3: Played 45 minutes after being substituted for a reported groin injury, but 45 minutes was enough to play a major role in the concession of two goals to Barcelona. On the first goal, Varane got caught in two minds and rather than closing down Alba and cutting down the angle, he stood glued not pressing Alba and not really covering Suárez, leaving Sergio Ramos to scramble with no support from the midfield or Marcelo. The second goal, a penalty kick, was given away after a clumsy challenge on Suarez—rubbing salt into the wound.
Sergio Ramos—3: If Lopetegui cannot get the players up for it, then it falls on Ramos as captain to unite the team and get them into gear. Madrid were passive and just in shambles the second Barcelona broke through their initial press (if you even want to call it that). Luis Suárez made a mockery of Ramos and the backline.
Marcelo—6: Despite not tracking back on the first goal, the Brazilian was one of the few who had a decent performance. Improved dramatically once the team switched to a 5-3-2, keeping his composure to dispatch Madrid’s lone goal. Ran his heart into the ground and ultimately had to come off injured.
Casemiro—4: Casemiro is in the team simply for the skill set he has defensively. Yet, he was no where to be found when Coutinho rolled his one-time finish into the back of the net with enough time to take two or three touches. Barca’s midfield sliced and slipped through Madrid’s lines like it was nothing and Casemiro was not at his normal level. Moved to center back in the 2nd half, giving the ball away on a couple of occasions.
Toni Kroos—5.5: Kroos was superb in possession and as always kept his composure. Like the rest of Madrid’s midfield, could not be bothered to track back on the first goal.
Luka Modric—5: A better performance from Luka when he was on the ball, but still far below the level expected of him.
Isco—6: The best of Madrid’s attack. Found his way out of seemingly impossible tight angles and pressure and always had his eyes in search of vertical outlets.
Gareth Bale—3.5: The highest paid Madrid player and the apparent new leader of the attack is at least expected to win aerial duels against Jordi Alba. The Spanish full-back, not only kept Bale in his pocket but he was far more effective and productive than Bale in the attacking end as well.
Karim Benzema—3.5: Article after article was written on Managing Madrid about the need to replace Cristiano’s goals, not necessarily the left wing position, but you HAD to replace his goals. That never happened and we were left to rely upon an aging and declining striker, who in reality is more of a #10, to score your goals. Benzema created very little and never threatened Barcelona’s goal.
Lucas Vazquez—6: Was brought on at half time to play right wing back and performed decently well on the offensive end. Provided width and forced Jordi Alba to come out of position to press him. Played a great lead pass to Isco for Madrid’s lone goal.
Marco Asensio—3: Played 20 minutes and offered nothing to the team. Started out in a striker role, attempting to run off of Barcelona’s backline, but received little to no service. Then was forced to move back to a left wing-back role and was caught napping when Arturo Vidal scored Barcelona’s fifth off a header at the back post.
Mariano— N/A— Came on for the last 5-10 minutes and barely touched the ball.