Three posts and countless golden opportunities later, Real Madrid leave the Santiago Bernabeu empty handed. The team played well, so well that the lack of a goal makes the result even more frustrating. An xG of 2.95 for Real Madrid vs Atheltic’s 0.42 tells the true story. If Madrid cannot find alternatives to Benzema’s goals, they will only continue to drop points this season. Full match player ratings below:
Thibaut Courtois—8: Once again, a good performance from the Belgian and another clean sheet. Made a crucial save in the 95th minute against a Villalibre header.
Dani Carvajal—5: Far too many sloppy passes and heavy touches.
Eder Militao—7: Battled well with Inaki Williams as Ray Hudson said, it was like two Rams battering horns. Unfortunately got an injury and had to come off early in the second half.
Sergio Ramos—7: Pushed the line high and nullified the threat of Williams and Kodro.
Ferland Mendy—7: The Frenchman was more involved in the final third and provided 2 key passes. Locked down Raul Garcia and Lekue.
Fede Valverde—7: Placed in the defensive midfield position as Casemiro was suspended and played well. Broke lines with his 3 completed dribbles and was composed under pressure. His energy and attitude are always exemplary.
Luka Modric—7.5: The Croatian did everything he could to try and find a breakthrough. Was often the most advanced midfielder for Madrid and connected well with Rodrygo, Bale, and Benzema in particular. His touch and deft shoulder fakes were back to elite world class levels.
Toni Kroos—8: Three shots including one driving run through the heart of Athletic’s defense to hit the crossbar. Had 2 key passes and a team high 119 touches. The German was great, as he has been all season.
Rodrygo—6: Despite not being his best game, the 18-year-old still produced 3 key passes. His crossing is underrated, and he provided two which Benzema nearly scored from.
Vinicius JR—7: Clearly still so very raw, but such a fun player to watch and few defenders can compete with him in a 1 v 1 battle. His decision making and finishing, as we all know, still leaves a lot to be desired.
Karim Benzema—7.5: So unlucky not to score tonight. 4 shots on target, 3 key passes, and 3 completed dribbles.
Nacho—7.5: His first touch was nearly a goal, after hitting the crossbar from a corner kick. He outpaced Inaki Williams and did not put a foot wrong while on the pitch.
Gareth Bale—5.5: His first touch of the game was probably his best- a deft Cruyff to Luka Modric at the top of the box. Aside from that he was rather anonymous and didn’t make the impact expected. Did have one shot outside the box which nearly rippled into the upper 90.
Luka Jovic—7: Produced an incredible header from 15 yards out which hit the post in the dying minutes of the game.