The 2022/2023 season has officially begun! In a rematch of the historic 1960 European Cup final — where Real Madrid won 7-3 courtesy of goals from Puskas (4) and Di Stefano (3) — the 2022 Champions League winners took on the 2022 Europa League winners. Eintracht Frankfurt had to dust themselves off after a mauling by Bayern Munich to open their Bundesliga campaign. The German side sat in a mid-block, stayed organized, and looked to surprise Real Madrid on the counter. Outside a big Kamada chance for Frankfurt, Real Madrid were in control. Goals from David Alaba and Karim Benzema secured the victory.
Full match player ratings below:
Thibaut Courtois—8.5: Three saves, all from inside the box, including a massive stop vs Kamada when the Japanese playmaker got slipped through 1 v 1 with the Belgian.
Dani Carvajal—7: Never really challenged by Christopher Lenz or Daichi Kamada. Constantly overlapped to provide an outlet on the right flank.
Eder Militao—8: Swept up any and all Eintracht Frankfurt attacks. It didn’t matter how many strikers Frankfurt threw on, between Borre, Muani, and Alario, they all failed to get the better of the Brazilian.
David Alaba—8: Opened the scoring by slotting the ball into the open net after a well worked set-piece.
Ferland Mendy—5: Struggled on the ball— lost possession a team high of 16 times.
Casemiro—9: An absolute monster on the night - man of the match. Took no prisoners, putting bone crunching tackle after bone crunching tackle. Even hit the cross-bar with a long distance shot off his left foot.
Luka Modric—6: Not an imposing Luka Modric match, but it did not need to be — the Croatian never had to click out of first gear.
Toni Kroos—7: The midfield metronome constantly switched possession with long diagonal passes.
Fede Valverde—7.5: A live-wire who helped set the tone for the team early on with his intense pressing. Started to make that right wing his own, but needs to add goals and assists to his game.
Vinicius Junior—8: The Brazilian picked up right where he left off last season. Had a goal cleared off the line, nearly scored from just inside the 18 yard box with a bullet shot after cutting on to his right foot, and set-up the goal for Karim Benzema in what felt like a copy-paste moment from the previous season.
Karim Benzema—7: Only one shot on target, but that was all that was required for the Frenchman to open his tally for the new season.
Rodrygo Goes—6.5: Made some productive runs off the ball, but his teammates failed to find him. Had one break-away moment, where he chose to cut in centrally and combine with Benzema, but the attack fizzled out.
Eduardo Camavinga—6.5: Only played 14 minutes, but had one change of speed in a ball carrying sequence that broke Eintracht’s pressure and drew an important foul for Madrid.
Dani Ceballos—N/A: Entered in the 85th minute for Vinicius Junior.
Antonio Rudiger—N/A: Entered in the 85th minute for Dani Carvajal and played at right back to close out the match.
Aurelien Tchouameni—N/A: Entered in the 85th minute for Toni Kroos, playing alongside Camavinga and Casemiro as a #8.