Real Madrid traveled to the north of Spain to take on bottom of the table Huesca. In what was a dull first half, Gareth Bale finally ended his La Liga drought, scoring in the seventh minute with a first-time instep volley. The second half would not be any better for Los Blancos, as Huesca piled on the pressure. Without Courtois, Ramos, Varane, or Llorente the game likely would have had a very different outcome—Huesca had an xG of 1.23 vs Real Madrid’s 0.49. Full ratings below:
Thibaut Courtois—7.5: Very good game from the Belgian, who saved everything he needed to (4 saves total) and helped the team keep a clean sheet after a lot of pressure in the second half.
Alvaro Odriozola—7: Grabbed an assist after barreling down the right flank and whipping in an in-swinging cross for Gareth Bale to match on to at the back post. Defensively was mediocre—no tackles or interceptions in this match.
Raphael Varane—8: Despite being put in some tough positions by Odriozola on a few back passes, Varane’s technique and composure got him out of trouble. Was a rock at the back with 3 interceptions and a team high 9 clearances and team high of 3 aerial duels won.
Sergio Ramos—8: A strong performance from the captain, made some crucial interceptions (2) and a joint team high if 4 tackles. One of those tackles on Cucho Hernandez was crucial in breaking up a dangerous counter.
Dani Carvajal—7: Due to injuries, Carvajal was positioned at left back. Was very subdue in the attack and Madrid missed the threat usually posed by Marcelo or Reguilón. Defensively, Carvajal and the whole back line were solid. Finished the game with a team high (joint with Ramos) of 4 tackles as well as 1 interception and 1 clearance.
Marcos Llorente—8: Another consistent and strong performance from Llorente. Puts himself in the right positions at the right time to cut off passing lanes and brake up counter attacks. He had 2 tackles and 8 clearances while being efficient in his passing with a 90% accuracy rate.
Luka Modric—5.5: Still we wait for the “real” Luka Modric. Did not see enough of the ball with only 42 touches and 28 passes.
Dani Ceballos—5.5: Was industrious in the first half and helped Llorente cut out loose scraps, but was sloppy in possession with a 72% passing accuracy—the worst of the starters.
Lucas Vazquez—5.5: Created very little in the attack and had a quiet performance after his good recent run of form.
Gareth Bale—8: The only attacking threat for Real Madrid in this match. Scored a nice goal in the seventh minute—volleying the ball into the back of the net off a first time finish from an Odriozola cross. Had a couple of nice opportunities from long range and nearly scored a second in the 70th minute after a brilliant through ball from Isco.
Karim Benzema—4: A ghost all game long. Did not register a single shot on goal.
Fede Valverde—6: The first substitute for Solari, as Dani Ceballos was replaced and the Uruguayan formed a double pivot with Marcos Llorente. Was likely brought in for his physicality and fresh legs, but struggled to make an impact. Did have 2 interceptions and 2 clearances.
Isco—6.5: Replaced Modric and had the opportunity to play in his preferred #10 role—the advanced central midfield spot. Picked up a poor clearance from Huesca and a first time through ball found Gareth Bale who nearly scored. Finished the match with 1 key pass and 2 completed dribbles.
Marco Asensio—4: Came on in the 75th minute, and only had 6 touches of the ball. Nearly gifted Huesca a goal with a horrendous long ball back pass that the opposition pounced on.