After a truly unusual game that saw Real Madrid spend a hefty amount of the play on top, dreams of a Copa Del Rey final were disintegrated after Barcelona scored three unanswered goals out of nowhere. There have been some difficult games to distinguish ratings in the past, but this one may have turned it up a level. The finished batch of ratings can be viewed below!
Keylor Navas: — 5.5: Couldn’t necessarily do much about any of Barcelona’s three goals. Perhaps his positioning for Suarez’s first can be queried, and he was totally fooled by the penalty technique for the Uruguayan’s second. Elsewhere he did make a couple of simpler saves, but on the whole he didn’t get up to much.
Dani Carvajal: — 6.5: Heavily involved throughout the game, and joined in on attacks regularly down the right, although the quality of his crosses ranged from poor to decent. Looked good on the ball and made numerous challenges. Dani did begin to get overrun by Dembele as the game progressed, leading to two of Barcelona’s three goals.
Sergio Ramos: — 5: Scarcely noticeable on his return from suspension. When Madrid were on top his positional discipline went out the window at times, but he managed to get away with it due to the team’s sheer dominance. Went missing when the game turned.
Raphaël Varane: — 5.5: Slightly more involved than Ramos. The Frenchman saw plenty of the ball and looked fine with it, and also cut out most of the few Barcelona chances in the first half. Was not so effective when it came to the goals however, even notching an own goal whilst trying to stop a Dembele cross.
Sergio Reguilón: — 7.5: One of Madrid’s best players today. At times he was performing at a level previously unseen. This was Sergio’s first Clásico, but that was easily swept under the carpet with his confidence. He and Vinícius terrorised that left hand side, and Sergio was very unlucky not to register an assist or goal. His headed effort was only stopped by a world class Ter Stegen save, and he constantly demonstrated his top of the range crossing abilities. A more than reassuring performance.
Casemiro: — 6: Looked convincing in the first half, doing his thing with the added bonus of some excellent ball circulation. His long pass through to Vinícius was deserving of an assist. Like many, in the second half his game did take a turn for the worse, as Barcelona began to gain strength. He ended up giving away a penalty for a foul on Suarez before being taken off for Fede Valverde.
Toni Kroos: — 6: You can imagine the role this man had to play whilst Madrid were steamrolling ahead, and he certainly was at the middle of a lot of the proceedings. Although when the scoreline turned he was another one to back down, often resorting to fouling opposition players if they were too quick for him. Tried a couple of long shots but never troubled Ter Stegen.
Luka Modrić: — 6.5: I thought Luka was pretty fluid during this game. The midfielder floated around with the ball and was an important figure in transition from one half to the other. He did naturally tire as the game passed by, but never shied away from receiving the ball and trying to make things happen.
Lucas Vázquez: — 7: Another one of Real Madrid’s bright sparks today. Defensively he imposed himself as much as anyone, doing a fine job on Messi and co, triggering multiple counter attacks in the process. Further up-field, despite being shown up by the heavy presence of his fellow winger, he was still a danger and caused the visitor’s a whole host of problems. Lucas was the first player to be taken off as he was replaced by Gareth Bale shortly before Barcelona hit Los Blancos for a further two.
Vinícius Júnior: — 8: When I was informed that I’d be on player ratings duty for this game, I was dreading having to cover Vinícius. A bad performance from this one would be sure to book me a one way ticket to the gallows. That’s why I’m over the moon to report that the Brazilian was exceptional! This was by no means a perfect performance, but unlike last time out - even when his efforts did not succeed, he was still giving the Barcelona defenders a hell of a lot to think about. If he brought his shooting boots then Real Madrid would have won this tie regardless of the three goals conceded. It does have to be said that many of the chances missed were pretty reckless, and will certainly be playing on his mind in the coming days. Whilst his finishing comes across as shocking from this display, it really isn’t as deficient as portrayed, so shouldn’t serve as a concern to anyone. A lot like Sergio Reguilón, at times Vinícius Júnior took his game to new heights tonight. Real Madrid’s man of the match.
Karim Benzema: — 5.5: Certainly not a disastrous performance, but one that Karim Benzema will be willing to forget after some of his recent showings. He did look just as dangerous at times, running dangerously with the ball and linking up with Vinícius effortlessly. He should have grabbed a goal too, as he could only aim an effort at the keeper from close range.
Gareth Bale — 4.5: Came on for Lucas but proved inadequate. Did forge himself a chance after a good run, but somehow spooned his effort miles wide of the target.
Fede Valverde — 5.5: Fede was thrown in for Casemiro after the third goal. Whilst he didn’t try anything out of the ordinary, he was given a lot of the ball and moved it around nicely keeping possession. Fired a shot over in the last seconds via a free-kick.
Marco Asensio — 5: Came on for Vinícius for the last ten minutes. Got a couple of shots in but never looked like grabbing a consolation. Did look to attack whenever the ball came to him, doing just enough to earn a rating.
Is is always beyond disheartening to lose an important game against a rival side, but Real Madrid will have to dust themselves down and begin preparations for the next two critical fixtures. The final Clásico on the weekend could see the last flame of Madrid’s league dream blown out, again at the hands of Barcelona. Three days later they will have to fight for a result in the Champions League against a team that outplayed them in the first leg. Spare your feelings, Madridistas - as they will either be amplified or reborn in the coming week...