There was one clear winner in the Madrid derby and it was Real Madrid. Goals from Karim Benzema and Marco Asensio sentenced the match, but in truth Madrid went through large stretches of the match coasting. At times it felt like a training game with “Ole’s” raining down from the Bernabeu stands. Luka Modric was at his imperious best, Vinicius Junior continues to produce, and Thibaut Courtois proves once again that he is one of the best goalkeepers in the world. Full match player ratings below:
✅ Our starting XI @atletienglish! #RealMadridAtleti pic.twitter.com/AAG8FDlPpZ— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadriden) December 12, 2021
Thibaut Courtois—9: Only had to deal with one shot on target in the first half, but denied Atletico with four saves from inside the box in the second half. Up to four clean sheets in a row and drawing praise from teammates, media, and fans alike.
Dani Carvajal—6: More conservative with his offensive forays, but did well defensively against Greizmann, Lemar, Carrasco, and Felix.
Eder Militao—7.5: Neither Cunha or Greizmann had any success up against the Brazilian brick wall. His form over this difficult stretch of games has been second to none.
David Alaba—6: Supported Ferland Mendy with any overloads provided by Marcos Llorente and consistently denied space for the likes of Rodrigo de Paul and Angel Correa.
Ferland Mendy—7: Had a fun physical battle with Marcos Llorente and supported Vinicius in the attack.
Casemiro—7.5: Did most of his work near Madrid’s left side, by closing down and limiting space for Atleti’s danger men (Correa, RdP, Greizmann, and Llorente). Won 7 of his 9 ground duels and completed 7 of 8 long balls.
Toni Kroos—8: A resounding 111 touches, Kroos was critical to the team’s dyanmic, switching the field of play to the weak side with ease.
Luka Modric—10: What a player. The Croatian is to be enjoyed, he is a legend of the game and one of the greatest to ever wear the white shirt. Modric did not score nor assist in this match yet was far and away the best player on the pitch. Nothing and no one could stop Luka Modric tonight, both offensively and defensively. He is the total player.
Marco Asensio—7.5: Played Vinicius through down the right on Madrid’s transition play for the first goal. Missed a great opportunity at the start of the second half, taking too long to shoot, but made amends when he scored his second goal in as many games. Could Ancelotti be rediscovering the best of Asensio?
Vinicius Junior—8.5: So mature in his decision making, it seems every part of his game has improved since the start of the season. Did not manage to score, but provided both assists including a cut back and semi-lofted cross from the right for Karim Benzema to volley home.
Karim Benzema—7.5: Played 45 minutes, but that was all that was needed to make an impact. The Frenchman latched on to a Vinicius cross from the right and volleyed home his 13th La Liga goal of the season.
Luka Jovic—7: One of the architect’s of the second goal, bringing down a difficult pass, shielding Kondgobia using his stocky frame, turning and freeing Vinicius down the left — that type of hold up play and link-up has been a driving force behind Jovic’s recent good performances.
Nacho—N/A: Played at right back for the final 10 minutes.
Rodrygo—N/A: Played on the left wing, replacing Vinicius Junior, for the final 7 minutes.
Fede Valverde—N/A: Plugged in on the right wing for Marco Asensio for the last 10 minutes of the match.