With six injured players, Zinedine Zidane was forced to prepare a very unlikely starting XI to face Huesca at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu. It only took three minute for Real Madrid to go down a goal but with the talents of the veteran players (plus a little bit of that black magic) the team fought back to win 3-2 over LaLiga’s last placed team.
See the player ratings below.
Luca Zidane - 5.5: It was odd seeing Zidane’s name on the scoresheet given Keylor Navas was available and tonights game suggested maybe the youngster isn’t quite ready for the first team yet. Let it the two goals and found himself in some scary situations a couple times, simply needs more playing time to improve.
Marcelo - 6: With Solari out, Marcelo is looking to re-affirm his place in the squad but he only showed his age on the pitch. Didn’t really keep up with the pace of the game and was playing rather predictably.
Sergio Ramos - 7: Somewhat at fault for some of the errors along the backline but certainly put on a captains performance when motivating the team. Took up a lot of responsibility at the back which helped keep the scoreline as low as possible.
Nacho - 6: Not as good as he could have been especially with Raphael Varane out and Eder Militao soon joining the club. Got better as the game progressed but again was one of the few players who is responsible for Huesca’s tying goal.
Alvaro Odriozola - 6.5: In contrast to Marcelo, Odriozola was doing lots of tons of work down the right and gave Huesca a run for their money with his speed. His defensive duties though were lacking much like his teammates. Will be interesting to see how he develops under Zidane.
Dani Ceballos - 7: Played the game very rushed, which at times meant a loss of possession at some parts. Could have been better because he has a lot more to give but scoring the second goal boosts his rating.
Marcos Llorente - 7: Good performance given he was out for a few matches due to injury. Was really effective when tracking back to help defence and Ramos when needed plus was also able to help Isco and Ceballos in the midfield. A solid replacement for Casemiro.
Isco - 7.5: One of the best players in the first half for Real Madrid. Since returning to the line up he has been a strong force in the midfield. Was persistent in moving the ball forward when his other linemen had to track back and that lead to him scoring Madrid’s first goal. Very influential addition to the lineup.
Brahim Diaz - 7: Calm cool and collected during his first start for the club. Worked really well with Isco when he dropped back and quickly understood how Benzema plays. Great preview for the future and will be key to setting up more goals for his teammates.
Karim Benzema - 8: Man of the match for this game. Benzema was a leader up front and set up the goals for both Isco and Ceballos. He always understood the movement of the ball and played a really good individual game. Scoring the winner was the icing on the cake.
Gareth Bale - 6.5: Definitely not performing to the best of his abilities and looked somewhat lost in the first half. Came back for the last 45 minutes ready to prove he’s a first team player and provided a beautiful assist to let Benzema set up the second goal and then Ramos for the third. Just needs to be consistent throughout the entire match and re-gain his confidence.
(64’) Lucas Vazquez - 6.5: With Brahim getting tired during his shift, Zidane brought on Vazquez and he did well when working with Bale and Benzema, much like he has this season. Would have liked to see him push a little more though.
(75’) Fede Valverde - 6: Came on for Isco but had little impact besides drastically changing the dynamic of the midfield. Had some good moments on the ball yet often found himself doing defensive duties rather than helping the team more forward in search of the winning goal.
(78’) Mariano Diaz - 5.5: When the game was tied 2-2, Zidane looked to put everyone forward and brought on Mariano in replacement of Llorente. As the teams No. 7, he was the responsibility to step up and score goals when most needed. This could have been his time to shine but he failed to influence the game.