Well, that was...pretty much, yeah, let’s call it what it was - a dumpster fire.
I don’t even know where to begin, but the really scary thing? Ramos makes his first penalty and that abomination was a draw.
I know Kiyan disagrees with me, and Twitter was definitely all a-flutter with the usual over-reactions, but this very same “B team” was playing some really terrific football earlier in the season.
No shortage of blunders and poor play today, but I’ll try to keep my criticism succinct.
Casilla - 5
Kiko got scored on 3 times. But it could have been more. He didn’t play poorly, but was monumentally let down by his back line. Got lucky with his only real poor play of the match late on when he gifted Sevilla the ball at the top of the box.
Nacho - 4.5
Nacho is most certainly not fully fit. Looked sluggish and lethargic, and barely moved up most of the first half. Understandably, needs more time to recover, but could have played much smarter since he wasn’t able to play harder.
Vallejo - 3.5
I really like me some Vallejo, i really do. But he had a real stinker today. Gave the ball away needlessly a number of times, and aside from a few key interceptions the second half, allowed Sevilla to wreak havoc up the middle. He, and we, will all be looking to forget today’s terrible performance.
Ramos - 4
Oh, captain...between he and his center back partner today, they really made Sevilla look better than they are. Let his man run the crease and get goal-side on several occasions, particularly the first goal, and then topped it off with an unlucky O.G. Tried to bomb forward late for some last ditch heroics, and scored his second penalty attempt, but not a good match at all from El Capitan.
Theo - 3.5
I was actually cautiously optimistic for the first 15 mins of the match, but then again, the whole team looked fairly decent to start. Theo actually looked somewhat calm and composed on the ball, his runs were calculated and smart, but then...he reverted back to the train wreck/wrecking ball that we know and...kind of sort of like, maybe? Gotta give the guy credit for hustle, but he can’t hang on to the ball to save his life.
Casemiro - 5
Case did his Case things. Lots of tackles and a few interceptions. Actually possessed the ball pretty well. Tried to cover for Ramos when he started playing striker. Nothing too terrible to say.
Kovacic - 4
Mateo may have completed a decent percentage of passes, but he didn’t do anything with them. Both he and Ceballos must have had a competition in the first half to see just how ineffective they could be vertically. Also, until Mayoral came on, was notably absent dropping back to help on defense.
Ceballos - 4
I already mentioned above how ineffective he and Kovacic were in connecting lines, and he definitely was lazy as hell getting back to over Sevilla’s counters. I would have like to see more from Dani, but a whole lotta running and passing didn’t amount to anything productive..
Vazquez - 3.5
If Lucas hadn’t come alive a bit late on with some decent dribbles and a won penalty, i was absolutely going to pan him for this match. The vast majority of the game he looked lost and disconnected, and I lost count of how many bad passes and lost dribbles he had. One of the worst games I’ve seen him play.
Asensio - 6
The bright spot for me by far today, but not for the usual reasons. Marco must have read my tweet after the last Champions League game where I couldn’t fathom how Zizou picked Asensio over Bale based on his lackadaisical performance and then finished with “Run, lad, Run!” I saw more life and pep from Asensio in this game than I think I’ve seen in his last 10 combined. That part is good, the sad part is the reason I think why - it became blatantly apparent that he and Benzema weren’t going to get any service up front at all (witnessed by the first 15+ minutes) so he just flat out got pissed and started dropping deep the whole rest of the game. And you know what? He pretty much single-handedly created the transition opportunities. The downside...with all that running, he didn’t actually accomplish much until his dandy of a cross to Mayoral for the first goal.
Benzema - 4
I give Benzema a 4 because at least he hustled and tried, and then, well, as we say in our house affectionately when my son misses the goal by a mile, “Benzema!” He just wasn’t on his game today. Lots of sloppy dribbles, poor shots, got caught in congestion many times, and wasn’t able to effect any real build up play. In his defense, Sevilla sat deep in two compact lines of four so there wasn’t much wiggle room, but still.
Mayoral - 5
Not much playing time, but his well-taken header for the first goal along with some quite nice ball handling and link up play give the energetic youngster a decent rating in my book.
Zidane - N/A
I don’t know what to say about Zidane today. I get he needed to rest some guys, and maybe he is actually ok with 3rd place despite his claim to take 2nd from Atleti, and maybe he didn’t think Sevilla was going to be as hard as they were (which I don’t believe), AND his guys just played like crap, but short of fielding some of the starters, I’m not sure what he could have done differently. I kinda give him a pass because the team just played that bad - i don’t see it as a tactical error (again, outside of playing starters).