This has proven to be a very tough piece to write. In preparation for it I’ve stalled the publish by a day to let tempers cool, and spent my entire morning re-watching the game to solidify any statements made. I’m still not 100% sure on most of them... Apologies for bringing all the bad memories flooding back, but here are the Real Madrid player ratings from last nights 1-0 defeat to CSKA Moscow:
Keylor Navas — 6.5: Not a bad performance by Real Madrid’s cup goalkeeper. Of course he conceded within the first 2 minutes but that couldn’t be pinned on him. Made a couple of good saves during a quiet night in which his team came out heavily dominant in possession. Was probably one of the teams best performers on the night.
Dani Carvajal — 6: Was pretty stable during his shortened appearance, but never reached his best. Came off towards the end of the first half after picking up an injury.
Raphaël Varane — 6: Was caught out for the opening goal but to be fair from him nobody woudl expect that pass from Kroos. Still one of his poorer games. Didn’t look to be on the same wavelength as his teammates, and missed an absolutely huge headed chance in the last second to equalise. A blip I’m sure.
Nacho — 6.5: Back in centre-back for this one, and made it count with a standard performance. Did everything he tends to do well, in-spite of a few shaky moments.
Sergio Reguilón — 7: In my opinion, Sergio was the teams best player. Provided plenty of quality service out wide, and was switched on defensively. He looked the the bright spark for Madrid. Hopefully this reassuring performance can only be good for Sergio, and he will see some more minutes on the back of this going forwards. I think we all need to collectively agree on the pronunciation of his surname, too. So far we only have the dismal examples from Kiyan’s unreal attempt on the podcast yesterday, and the commentators during the game. Get practising!
Casemiro — 5.5: Hit the post after a quality touch set him free, but apart from that was pretty poor overall. Gave the ball away carelessly on multiple occasion, and . Defensively made some good challenges, but even struggled in that area at times. He was replaced by Modrić in the second half.
Toni Kroos — 5: Had a stinker of an opener as he gave the ball away for the only goal of the game with a horrific pass. I’m not sure what he perceived the best outcome of that pass to be, but it was truly awful. He was very uncharacteristic with his passing on the whole, and although it did calm down a bit after time, he still had one of his poorest games I’ve seen in a Madrid shirt.
Dani Ceballos — 6: I’m always pretty happy to see this mans name on the team sheet these days after some impressive performance of late, but today he was kept pretty quiet. He occasionally took some decent touches, but had little impact on the proceedings.
Marcos Asensio — 5.5: Average at best on the night. Often formed part of the attack, but with little end product. Games like this are a good opportunity to arise and take some responsibility, but as it stands Marco is becoming accustomed to bleak performances.
Lucas Vázquez — 5: This was the Spaniards first start of the season, and provided him with the opportunity to do a little bit more than just provide width from the bench. He worked hard throughout, but I’m not actually sure he did provide more than that. He was taken off for Mariano to come on in the second half.
Karim Benzema — 6: Better from Benzema, but not great. Was available to link up with teammates, and looked more dangerous in front of goal than in past weeks. He still failed to find the back of the net, or even a shot on target. Didn’t really create much either.
Álvaro Odriozola — 7: Came on for the hurt Dani Carvajal and had another decent showing. Worked tremendously hard to get up and down that right hand side, and I thought he was one of Madrid’s better performers not that that means much.
Luka Modrić — 6: Not sure Luka should have even been in Russia to begin with. The tired magician was brought on try and save the game but couldn’t make much of an impact. Feels a lot like a wasted opportunity to give him a much needed rest. Probably should have started this one in the first place.
Mariano Díaz — 6.5: Mariano came on and looked a whole lot more dangerous than the majority of Madrid’s attackers. Skied a powerful shot over the goal from a tight angle at one point, and hit the post with a headed effort the next. In reality this man deserves a few chances at starting a game now.
A terrible result. What’s worse is that it was an opportunity missed to field some young and hungry talent, and give other players a much needed rest. Either way, this result isn’t as important as people are making it out to be, and there are still plenty of games left in this group to put things right. There are certain changes I would like to see within the team during the next few games, but as of now it’s best to remain calm... That being said please do leave your thoughts in the comments... Thanks for reading guys!