It took the last three minutes of the game for Real Madrid to put up any fight against Borussia Mönchengladbach as they crawled back from 2-0 down to 2-2 draw.
What started off as a strong match quickly dwindled once Los Blancos conceded their first goal after 33 minutes. The hosts were then able to exploit a down-in-the-dumbs team and double their lead. Goals from Benzema and Casemiro saved the match for Zidane’s side.
It was another game with little drive, despite the point See player ratings below.
Thibaut Courtois — 7: Once again let down by his defence but stopped a couple other shots from the counter-attacking Borussia Mönchengladbach. Could have done better to clear the ball leading up to the second goal but overall a good night.
Lucas Vazquez—6.5: In tonight for the injured Nacho (and Carvajal and Odriozola). His versatility helped keep Marco Asensio active but because he played so high up the wing, that left acres of space for the Germans to exploit.
Raphael Varane—5: Not the greatest performance from the Frenchman who looks far from his top form. Caught out on the counter attack a few times and left to work on his own by Ramos. Couldn’t handle the pace or physicality of other players.
Sergio Ramos —6: Turned off for parts of the match and cheaply gave away the ball to Mönchengladbach which in turn lead to their first goal. In attempts to get the team rolling, he left Varane to defend alone, too (but that’s the gamble you take, I guess). Assisted Casemiro’s tying goal.
Ferland Mendy—7: Played well on the wings and was one of the only defenders to make an impact on the game. Good speed, linked up well with Kroos and put in some good crosses. Needs to find more players in the box, though. Still earns the starting spot over Marcelo.
Fede Valverde—6.5: Nice to the see the Uruguayan back after being subbed off against Barça but did not have the best performance on the pitch. Gave the ball away multiple times in the first half and had misplaced passes. Second half came out stronger with more speed which was nice to see. Worked with Modric to move the team forward in the dying moments of the game.
Casemiro—7: MOTM performance from the Brazilian, who once again was Real’s driving force in the game on both ends of the pitch. Tracked back to help defence and intercepted balls to help the team re-gain possession. Also took care of the team’s defensive errors. Provided the assist for the first goal and scored the second. Clutch.
Toni Kroos—6.5: Decent performance from the German but nothing too noteworthy as he had to help his teammates in other positions. Dropped alongside the centre-backs to assist the defence. Had a few shots on target to try and test Sommer in goal. A few misplaced passes here and there. Subbed off after 71 minutes.
Asensio —6.5: Way more active than in previous games and looked decent with Vazquez on the right wing. Tested Sommer the most on the team and kept trying to finds ways to break through the defence. One shot hit the cross bar. Decent work rate, just not enough on the finishing end. Subbed off after 84 mins.
Karim Benzema —6: Stagnant today. Started strong in the first 10 minutes of the match but afterwards added nothing all game until the dying minutes. Doesn’t seem to be linking up well with Vinicius or Asensio so was often up top by himself. Scored the team’s first goal after 87 minutes.
Vini Jr. — 5: Not influential enough today, whatsoever. No passes or attempts were making any difference and he missed a basically wide open chance in the second half. Over recent games he proved he can be an influential player but when earning a starting spot, he needs to be consistent. Subbed off after 70 minutes.
Luka Modric — 6.5: First of the double substitution for Zidane at the 70 minute mark coming on for Kroos. Brought an added spark to the midfield which was needed. Most impressive substitution.
Eden Hazard — 6.5: The Belgian forward is finally back on the pitch for Real Madrid coming on for Vinicius Junior after 70 minutes. Got right in on the action to try and be influential in the match. Hit the side netting on a shot. Overall good performance.
Rodrygo — N/A: Came on in the 84 minute for Asensio but not enough time to really make an impression. Nice to see him on the pitch with some time but needs more of it to make any impact.