How quickly things can change in football. Who would’ve thought Barcelona would lose in the first match day? Who would’ve thought Gareth Bale would start today for Real Madrid? He, and most of the team, looked very good. It was a great opening result in La Liga after playing 30 minutes with ten men away in Vigo. Zidane’s men start their La Liga campaign with some much needed positive vibes. Full player ratings below:
Thibaut Courtois—8.5: Made some crucial saves to keep Madrid in the match. Looks confident after being selected as Zidane’s clear #1.
Alvaro Odriozola—3.5: Rough match for the former Sociedad player. Dragged out of position on countless occasions by Denis Suarez. Made a massive mistake just before halftime where he tried to beat his marker 1v1 near Madrid’s eighteen. Ended up losing the ball and Celta scores but VAR called it back for offsides to save his blushes.
Raphael Varane—6.5: Formed a solid partnership with Ramos and Casemiro just in front — very little got through the three of them.
Sergio Ramos—8.5: Great performance from the captain — 2 tackles, 4 clearances, and 1 interception. Kept Aspas very quiet.
Marcelo—8.5: Team high 4 key passes, the Brazilian was at his best today. His first touch was immaculate and he combined well with Vinicius, Kroos, and Isco.
Casemiro—8.5: We saw the best of the Brazilian tonight, arguably man of the match. Stuck to his role and sat just in front of Ramos and Varane, sweeping up all counters and breaking up and play between the lines. Offensively, did a great job at switching the field and finding the weak side full back, as Celta played very narrow.
Toni Kroos—8.5: Another contender for man of the match. The Germans performance actually improved after Luka’s red card. Scored an incredible goal from outside the 18 yard box with the ball dipping at the last minute and hitting the underside of the cross bar before hitting the net.
Luka Modric—6.5: Shockingly received a straight red card for a challenge that was worthy of a yellow. Had one opportunity in the first half from which he nearly scored.
Gareth Bale—8.5: This was Alpha Bale— he was everywhere. Causing chaos in the offensive third with his runs in behind and his direct dribbling at the oppositions full back then coupled with his relentless work ethic defensively. Nabbed an assist on the opening goal after turning his defender inside and out and then driving a ball across goal. This is the Gareth Bale we want to see week in and week out.
Vinicius JR—7: The Brazilian, like Bale, did tremendously well to work on both sides of the ball. Never neglected his defensive duties and was a constant outlet on the counter attack with his blazing speed.
Karim Benzema—8: Scored the go-ahead goal and the first half after connecting with Bale’s low driven cross. Had 2 key passes and did well to hold up the ball and bring his teammates into play as the transitioned into attack. His assist on the final goal was a thing of beauty.
Lucas Vazquez —7: Came on to provide defensive solidity and energy after Luka’s red card. Scored the team’s third and final goal and it was arguably the best of the night as it involved an incredible team build-up.
Isco—7: Looked really good after coming on combining well with all his teammates. Managed a key pass and 95% PA from his 18 passes.
Luka Jovic—4.5: Only had 10 minutes to play and wasn’t very involved — 6 touches total.