And we’re back (again). Forty-four days since their last competitive match, Real Madrid return to the pitch. The defending La Liga champions opened their 2020/21 campaign with a 0-0 draw against Real Sociedad.
See player ratings below.
Thibaut Courtois— 7.5: Didn’t have much to do this match but stepped up when he needed to. His save with his foot against Isak’s attempt just before halftime is a big talking point, not many keepers could’ve pulled that off. It could have went downhill for the club if that ball went in. Clean sheet is a good way to start.
Dani Carvajal — 7: A few poor touches in the first half but overall put on a reliable performance today. Did well to push up and play with the attackers along the wings and send crosses in. Vintage Carvajal.
Raphael Varane— 8: Strongest defender of the night and deserved man of the match. Bounced back well after the catastrophe against Manchester City in August (are you surprised? No). Made three interceptions in the first half, sacrificed his body against David Silva’s attempt in the second. Covered ground well when other defenders were out of position.
Sergio Ramos— 7: Showed his versatility tonight with strong defensive and offensive outings but sometimes left Varane alone at the back. Still an overall good match. Finished with two shots, one key pass, three aerials won and pass completion rate of 96.6 per cent.
Ferland Mendy— 6.75: Looks physically stronger than last year and it showed tonight. Overall decent performance. Booked for bulldozing Portu, lucky not to get a second yellow early in the second half.
Luka Modric—7.25: Played with a spring in his step and was the gear moving the team forward in attack. Made three key passes and often spotted open lanes but teammates couldn’t capitalize. Surprised to see him subbed off after 69 minutes as team lacked creativity afterwards.
Toni Kroos— 7: Decent performance, really wouldn’t expect anything less. Played a deeper role for most of the match ahead of Ramos and Varane. Did well to help the team maintain possession. Had some misplaced passes but finished with three shots, one on target and three key passes.
Martin Ødegaard— 7: There was lots of uncertainty whether the Norwegian would start but Zidane was confident in his abilities and Ø stepped up to the opportunity. Took some time to get into his groove. Played very centrally and often made one/two touches before laying off the ball. Helped drive attack forward and linked well with Benzema. Subbed after 69 minutes.
Vinicius Junior—6.75: Initial reports had Vinicius Jr. on the bench but he started this match and played with confidence. Looked hungry to work with ball but couldn’t make the most of any opportunities. Had decent defensive efforts. Recorded highest passing accuracy on the team (97.5 per cent). Subbed after 90 minutes.
Karim Benzema— 7: Grew into the match today. Had a great opportunity to score after a mistake from Real Sociedad but couldn’t capitalize. Total of four shots with two on target, unfortunate not to have any hit the back of the net. Once again the focal point of Real’s attack, still looks to be in good form.
Rodrygo—6: A couple nice touches but some questionable decision making from the 19 year old. Read plays well but was often a second or two behind any goal scoring opportunities, lost him on the pitch a few times. Room for improvement. Subbed after 69 minutes.
Casemiro— 6: One part of the triple substitution in the 69th minute, replacing Ødegaard. Came on and helped Real maintain possession but didn’t add too much to the game.
Fede Valverde— 5: Came on for Modric in the 69th minute. Had one or two bursts of speed to try and help team find a goal but couldn’t make the most of anything.
Marvin Park—5: Made his debut and played the last 20 mins, replacing Rodrygo. Was open to getting the ball at his feet but lacked confidence (though you can’t blame him for that).
Sergio Arribas — N/A: Subbed in 90th minute for Vinicius Jr.