The biggest test of the new season awaited Real Madrid on Sunday evening at the Wanda Metropolitano stadium against rivals, Atletico Madrid. There was plenty of pre-match controversy following the week’s discussion on Vinicius celebrations and trickery, plus Koke’s comments leading into the match. In addition to Koke’s comments, the head of the Spanish football player agency came out and racially abused Vinicius on El Chiringuito. That same racial abuse was seen by certain sections of the Atletico Madrid fanbase both prior to the game starting and during the match itself. Despite the multitude of horrid images and quotes that came his way, Vinicius was instrumental in the first half and as Ancelotti noted, “his talent created the second goal”. It was a hard fought, but well deserved victory for Real Madrid.
Full match player ratings below:
Thibaut Courtois—5: Not Thibaut’s best day at the office. Came out aggressively twice on Atletico’s corner kicks but missed the ball. Punished late in the match for the mistake courtesy of the Hermoso goal. Occasionally put his teammates in some difficult spots with his pass selection.
Dani Carvajal—9: Sensational performance from Real Madrid’s right back. Blocked passing lanes, contributed with goal denying interventions, tracked and hounded his mark, composed on the ball— this is the true Dani Carvajal that was missing for many months, if not years.
Eder Militao—8: Kept Joao Felix very quiet on the night. Was resolute at the back and hit some dangerous long balls into Rodrygo and Vinicius’ path.
David Alaba—7: Equaled Carvajal with a team high of 3 interceptions. For much of the night, was not tested by Atleti but was reliable whenever called upon.
Ferland Mendy—7: Battled hard with the likes of Marcos Llorente and Griezmann. Unfairly shown a yellow card for a crunching tackle on Llorente, where the Frenchman won the ball.
Tchouameni—8: Looks as if he has been part of the Madrid midfield and playing in the derby for decades. Produced a wonderful assist to Rodrygo with a chip over the entire Atleti defense.
Luka Modric—8: Look at the Croatian’s heat map in this game and he looked more like right back as he constantly provided an outlet on the flank to beat Atleti’s press and springboard a blitzing attack. Finished the match with 2 key passes, 6/6 long balls, and 1 big chance created.
Toni Kroos—8: Hardly ever put a foot wrong — what Modric brought in off ball movement to create space, the German matched via inch-perfect pass execution. The two ran the midfield again with Tchouameni by their side.
Fede Valverde—8: A third goal in as many games and four for the season — the Uruguayan is on fire. In addition to his goal, was vital to the initial creation of the Rodrygo goal by beating two players off the dribble before feeding the ball wide.
Vinicius Junior—7: First half rating would have been closer to an 8, but his second half was subdued and closer to a 6. Produced a brilliant one-two with Modric to create the second Madrid goal with his shot bouncing off the post and landing at Valverde’s feet. Felt like he was over-embellishing contact in the second half and making the wrong decision on the ball.
Rodrygo Goes—8: What a goal to open up the scoring. One of the first names on the team sheet at the moment. Both his movement off the ball and ability with the ball make him such a weapon. Earned the man of the match award from La Liga.
Antonio Rudiger—7: Played at left back as Mendy was on a yellow card and Ancelotti felt it best to replace the Frenchman in the 75th minute. Did well 1 v 1 with Angel Correa and made one of his characteristic attacking runs up the left flank.
Eduardo Camavinga—7: Drew multiple fouls in dangerous areas (each time conceded by Saul) which helped kill time and see out the match.
Dani Ceballos—7: Came into the match and started stroking the ball around with no qualms. As always, brought seemingly endless energy to the pitch. It was Ceballos who was fouled by Hermoso on the defensive corner kick resulting in a red card for the Atletico Madrid player.
Marco Asensio—6: Only had a few touches while on the pitch, but managed 1 key pass.