Zidane fielded a starting XI with little balance, hedging on attacking talent rather than balance. Mallorca were able to take advantage early on with poor defending from Odriozola and Eder Militao — two players lacking game rhythm and chemistry. Zidane’s gamble did not pay off and the lack of balance meant Madrid struggled to create any clear opportunities as represented by their xG of 0.5. Full match ratings below:
Thibaut Courtois—5: Iago Junior curled his shot to perfection and it’s hard to find much blame for the Belgian. Perhaps he could have been closer to his line and hedged slightly to the left. Distribution was wonky, rushing his passes and sometimes placing his teammates in tough situations. As of the last 14 months, he hasn’t filled Madrid fans with confidence.
Alvaro Odriozola—3.5: Was a bright spot from an attacking perspective in the opening 20 minutes, but ultimately lost the battle vs Iago Junior. Drew a needless second yellow and forced Madrid to play with 10 men in the final 20 minutes.
Eder Militao—6: Rough first half, but improved in the second. In the first 45, there was no chemistry between himself and Odriozola with large gaps between the two. Should have shifted over to support Odriazola and double down on Iago Junior on the goal. In the second half, had a few strong tackles which helped build his confidence. Looks to be a player, but still has plenty of room to improve.
Sergio Ramos—6: Very aggressive in his pursuit of a goal in the second half and did well to push the line higher and mitigate the threat from Mallorca on the counter.
Marcelo—4.5: Far too many wayward crosses and long balls. On the field for his offensive ingenuity, but provided very little for the Madrid attack.
Casemiro—5: Zidane did the Brazilian no favors, placed in a midfield two with Isco after a long international break and no rest in his recent club matches. The defensive midfielder had a lot of heavy touches and sloppy passes in the opening 45 minutes. Improved in the second half, but it wasn’t enough to pull the team out of their hole.
Isco—4: Zidane placed Isco in a deeper role, alongside Casemiro in a double pivot, and the Spanish playmaker failed to show his ability. The player has been a shadow of himself over the past few seasons, will we see the real Isco again?
James Rodriguez—5.5: The Colombian worked tirelessly, but his role was unclear. Started on the right flanked but roamed throughout and ended up a deep lying playmaker by the end of the game. Most of Madrid’s best opportunities came from James and he had a few inch-perfect long balls that released Vinicius 1 v 1.
Vinicius JR—4.5: A 19-year-old with good and bad moments, it’s to be expected. Created a lot of dangerous opportunities and unbalanced the Mallorca defense with his 1 v 1 ability, but lacks the final ball.
Luka Jovic—5: Can’t help but feel for Jovic, whenever given the opportunity he hasn’t been placed in a system that would allow him to thrive. Jovic is a player that relies on the right system and the right service. He got neither tonight and looked fairly anonymous. That being said, at the rare moments he got on the ball, looked good with quick one-two touch passes.
Karim Benzema—6: So unlucky not to score after a beautiful dinked shot that hit the crossbar. Like Jovic, was too isolated but looked good when he did get on the ball.
Rodrygo—5: His match was impacted by Odriozola’s sending off as he had to play as a right wing-back. That being said, had a golden opportunity to help level the score after breaking through past the Mallorca defense but he squandered his pass to fellow Brazilian Vinciuis.
Fede Valverde—6.5: Should have been brought on sooner. Every time he touched the ball he went vertical and caused the Mallorca backline problems.
Brahim Diaz—N/A: Brought on for the last ten minutes and didn’t have many opportunities to show his quality.