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Player Ratings: Real Madrid 2-0 Athletic Club; Primera Iberdrola

Esther, Athenea, Kaci, and Nahikari stood out, alongside a few others.

Real Madrid v Athletic Club - Primera Iberdrola Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images

Real Madrid Femenino started a crunch month with an important league game against Athletic Club, coming out victorious in the end thanks to goals from Athenea and Nahikari. The victory sees us move to fifth position with 38 points, 7 points behind Atlético Madrid in 3rd while having two games in hand.

Las Blancas face Atleti, Barcelona, Granadilla Tenerife, and Levante in the next four league fixtures, with a double header against Barcelona in the UWCL sandwiched in between.

Here are the player ratings from the game.

Starting XI

GK: Misa — 6.5/10

Misa wasn’t called into action a lot but made an incredible save right at the death to keep a clean sheet. She also made a couple of heart-in-mouth sweeping actions. Her distribution didn’t provide much value to Madrid.

LB: Sofie Svava — 7.5/10

Svava had a solid game overall. She often formed a back 3 in the first phase of buildup. and provided good support when moving forwards. She defended her flank quite well and was attentive to threats in the box. Svava delivered a couple of good crosses into the box.

LCB: Rocío Gálvez — 6.5/10

In the opening five minutes, when the game was a lot more direct, Rocío did well to deal with some balls in behind. She was a threat on set-pieces as well and defended the box quite well, recovering from precarious situations. Her ball distribution wasn’t the best.

RCB: Ivana Andrés — 7/10

Ivana read play and closed down opponents quickly and helped in carrying the ball out from defense. She was composed on the ball and with her distribution.

RB: Kenti Robles — 7/10

Kenti covered the flank quite well and was good going forwards with the ball. She delivered a couple of solid crosses while being quick to close down the opposition, not allowing them space to turn.

CM/DM: Aurélie Kaci — 7/10

Kaci created a brilliant chance in the opening five minutes, as she threaded an excellent through ball for Asllani. Overall, Kaci had a good game, as she recovered possession and covered ground well for Madrid. She had a dangerous giveaway near Madrid’s own box but also had a very important interception inside the area.

CM: Claudia Zornoza — 6.5/10

Zornoza picked up an assist for Nahikari’s goal when she slid a good pass in behind. Claudia continued to attempt high-risk, high-reward passes and pulled some off well on occasions. Her lofted balls in behind for Athenea and her deliveries from set-pieces created some danger. She tried her luck from range but nothing came from it.

LW: Athenea del Castillo — 7/10

Athenea continues to be one of Real Madrid’s primary threat-creation options. She is a menace to come up against, helps carry the ball forwards, and works extremely hard without the ball, as was showcased in the first goal; she pounced on a loose pass from Valdezate and slotted it home to break the deadlock. Her ability to go inside or outside created a lot of crossing opportunities.

AM: Kosovare Asllani — 6.5/10

Asllani had an early chance after being fed by Kaci but she took her time to get off the shot and the opportunity disappeared. Kosse had another chance before the half hour mark but it was blocked as well. She pressed really well and her of when understanding to drop off or occupy the backline in tandem with Esther was good.

RW: Maite Oroz — 5.5/10

Maite was strangely positioned on the right wing in this game and her impact on the game was thereby diminished. Playing in a new position, she struggled to get on the ball. She drifted inwards, operating from the half spaces and creating room on the touchline for Kenti. Maite did get back and help defend and had a shot, but it was well over the bar.

ST/RW: Esther González — 8/10

While Esther didn’t manage to get on the scoresheet, she had a couple of opportunities. It was her movements dropping deep that enabled the pass to Zornoza, who played a brilliant ball to find Nahikari in behind. Esther’s pressing from the front also created a shooting opportunity for Madrid in the opening half. Her roaming out wide created a lot of problems for Athletic Club. She later moved to RW after the introduction of Nahikari.

Substitutes

CF: Nahikari García — 7/10 (replaced Asllani; 68’)

Nahikari scored an audacious goal, playing a perfect chip over the GK — who had to come off her line — from outside the box. Her overall performance was encouraging. She linked up well with short exchanges and made some good runs.

CM: Teresa Abelleira — 7/10 (Replaced Maite in 68th min)

Teresa could have had a goal after coming on, as Athenea played a dangerous cutback, but she fired wide. Tere was good under pressure and her presence in midfield helped create some useful connections for short passes.

RB: Lucía Rodriguez — N/A (replaced Kenti; 90’)

CB: Claudia Florentino — N/A (replaced Ivana; 91’)

LW: Olga Carmona — N/A (replaced Esther; 91’)