Player ratings are a tricky thing to get right. We all approach a match with our own preconceptions and biases and they can often shape how we perceive a player’s performance, this makes them largely. In cases such as Real Madrid’s 3-0 loss to PSG on Wednesday, player ratings are next to impossible to write.
Football tactics, at their most basic form, are about playing to your strengths and countering your weaknesses to the best of your collective ability. These fundamentals were completely absent from Real Madrid’s “game plan” against PSG. They were headless from the first minute to the last and no player with no one player was truly set up to succeed in this system. It was akin to the performances we saw during the summer where Zidane’s priority was fitness rather than the result.
So, though the player ratings will be harsh, it’s important to state that Real Madrid’s failures in this game were systematic and that’s largely down to the manager.
Thibaut Courtois — 5: Conceded from his near post once again and looked nervous across the first half. Improved in the second and could do nothing against Thomas Meunier’s goal towards the end.
Dani Carvajal — 4: A complete non factor after an encouraging performance against Levante over the weekend. Dani was beaten on countless occasions down the right and offered nothing in attack. A really poor game from the full back
Eder Militao — 5: The youngster couldn’t have been given a much harder place to make his debut and his lack of first team experience with Madrid was ruthlessly exposed against PSG. Though he had some good moments, he and Varane were on completely different wave lengths for the entire game and the spacing between them cost Madrid at least two goals.
Raphael Varane —5.5: Fared marginally better than his young partner with the one v one duels, stopping Icardi from scoring in the second half. Outside of that, no other positives for the Frenchman, he offered little guidance to his centre back partner and was helpless defending the waves of PSG attacks on the right.
Ferland Mendy — 5.5: Mendy was one of the only part of the first half that I actually enjoyed. It was a perfect demonstration of how different a left back he is to Marcelo and watching his defensive workrate in particular, is quite refreshing as opposed to what we usually get on the left. The offensive side of his game needs some work, however, and his performance suffered as Madrid pushed forward in the second half.
Casemiro — 4: The first half completely washed by Casemiro. He looks tired from the international break and his off-the-ball game really lacked any energy because of it. He was his usual inconsistent self in possession and despite some good tackles in the second 45, his game was poor overall.
Toni Kroos — 6: Another player the first half coasted past. He was one of the few who managed to break PSG’s press effectively with some laser-marked diagonal balls. Completely lackadaisical in defensive transition and will be disappointed by his lack of urgency to close down Angel Di Maria for the second goal.
Eden Hazard —5.5: The story of Real Madrid’s offensive quartet was that they didn’t get enough of the ball to make an impact. This certainly rings true for Hazard, who only got some decent possession in the second half but even with the ball, the Belgian is still a long way from his brilliant best. He was slow, ineffective and a little clumsy, all signs of rust thanks to a difficult start to the season.
James Rodriguez — 5.5: I feel a bit sorry for James because it was clear from his performance that he tried his utmost to create something. His driven ground passes into the feet of Benzema were the best offensive sequences Madrid made in the first 45. However, the Colombian was a victim of a bad system and we just didn’t see enough of him across the entire match. As a result, his errors stand out in the memory rather than the good.
Gareth Bale — 6.5: Undoubtedly Real Madrid’s best player in Paris. The Welshman put the team on his back for stretches of the first half and seemed to have gotten Los Blancos back in the game with a fantastic volley, though it was later ruled out for handball. Once again, didn’t get enough of the ball overall and he had slipped into irrelevance when Zidane took him off during the second half.
Karim Benzema — 6: Starved of posession, Benzema made the most of the time he had on the ball. Creating some good chances from deep and was unfornate not to have gotten on the scoresheet. He and Bale will be among the few to have taken positives from the game.
Lucas Vazquez — 3: Naturally if Real Madrid’s starting attackers were unable to have an effect on the match then it was going to be highly unlikely their replacements would fare any better. Vazquez’s only contribution to the game was getting Benzema’s goal ruled offside with an inexplicable run across the goal before the Frenchman shot.
Vincius Junior —N/A: He upset Di Maria. Guess that’s something.
Luka Jovic—N/A: Came on midway through the second half and that was the last I saw of him, I’m not even sure he touched the ball.