Most of the players in this Madrid team are the same and the story is the same as last season — Real Madrid drop points when provided with the opportunity to distance themselves from Barcelona and gain ground on rivals, Atletico Madrid. The team continues to leak goals at an alarming rate while failing to generate enough quality chances to warrant the disregard for their defensive duties (xG of 1.8). Luka Jovic and Ferland Mendy were some new faces given their first starts for the club tonight and both impressed in an otherwise disappointing result.
Thibaut Courtois—4: 11 straight matches without a clean sheet for the Belgian, this Madrid team has a serious problem leaking goals. Was left out to dry on the first goal after Ramos mistake, but arguably could have done better to parry the ball to the side.
Dani Carvajal—5.5: Provided a great assist for Bale on Madrid’s equalizer before the half, but otherwise was quiet. Struggled to deal with the threat provide by Ontiveros once he entered the match for Villarreal.
Raphael Varane—6: The Ramos - Varane partnership is brining more questions than answers. The space between the two left glaring gaps at times. The Frenchman maybe should have reacted quicker on the second goal scored by Villarreal, but had no help from Casemiro or Mendy.
Sergio Ramos—4: The captain’s major blunder within the opening 15 minutes put Madrid behind early. From there it was an uphill battle. Ramos did little to make amends and the defense continues to leak goals.
Ferland Mendy—8: One of the bright spots in the team, Mendy was impressive. Tasked with the difficult job of marking the pacey Samu Chukwueze and kept him in his pocket. Won nearly all his 1v1 defensive duels and showed off both his speed and strength throughout the match.
Casemiro—7: In a two-man central midfield pairing, Casemiro was deployed in a box-to-box role. Oftentimes, he would be the most advanced player on the pitch looking to clear space and create options for Toni Kroos who acted as the quarterback in a deeper position. Won 5 aerial battles and had 3 tackles.
Toni Kroos—6.5: The German, like most of the Madrid team, was better in the second half. Nearly scored the game-winning goal and produced a team high 4 key passes.
Lucas Vazquez—5.5: As always, is a willing worker, and was placed in the XI to whip in crosses to Jovic and Benzema. Wasn’t the Spaniards best night, who couldn’t earn a call from the referee when fouled yet was called for the most fouls (6) on the defensive side.
Gareth Bale—9: The Welshman saved Madrid’s blushes — two goals on the night and another good performance.
Karim Benzema—5.5: Hit the post, but brought little else to the Madrid attack.
Luka Jovic—7: Some nice touches and flicks, including the deft cruyff pass for Carvajal on the goal. His quick, one or two touch, link-up play was crucial to most of Madrid's good attacking play.
Luka Modric—7: Won the ball in midfield and then drove at the Villarreal backline before dishing the pass, and ultimately the assist, for which Gareth Bale scored the second equalizer.
Vinicius JR—5: Did not see much of the ball and made no real impact on the game.
Fede Valverde—N/A: Substituted late on for Toni Kroos.