The Copa del Rey round of 16 brought together Villarreal and Real Madrid less than 14 days after their last match-up in La Liga. Again it would be Ancelotti’s men who travelled to Villarreal. Despite Villarreal taking a two-goal lead, Madrid would produce an inspired remondata courtesy of a peak Dani Ceballos performance off the bench.
Full match player ratings below:
Thibaut Courtois—7: Managed 1 big save to deny Yeremy Pino with a long distance shot. Had little fault in either goal, as they came down to individual errors from outfield players.
Nacho—6.5: Madrid’s utility man was positioned at right back and provided a solid shift. It was Nacho that made two last ditch tackles on Alex Baena to deny Villarreal a further advantage in the first half. Did not get forward much, but was important defensively and active in executing high press.
Eder Militao—6: Aside from another rash step-up that led to a goal, was very strong in the tackle and aggressive on a elusive mark like Gerard Moreno. Score does get deducted due to goal conceding error.
Toni Rudiger—4: When will the real Toni Rudiger arrive at Real Madrid? Looks very frazzled under pressure and hoofs the ball up field to no intended target.
Ferland Mendy—6.5: Madrid’s best opportunites in the first half came from Mendy’s offensive forays: a right-footed shot after a Benzema key pass, an overlap to allow Vinicius to cut-in, and a cutback from the byline to a free Fede Valverde inside the box. More of that is needed from the Frenchman in future matches.
Eduardo Camavinga—8.5: Great game from the 20-year-old Frenchman. Unlucky to get a yellow card in the first half, but learned to manage it (as Carlo spoke to in the post-match presser). His energy and composure in a deeper midfield role were critical in the second half.
Toni Kroos—5: Underwhelming during his 56 minutes on the pitch. “Switched-off” on Villarreal’s early goal from a throw-in with Capoue, Kroos’ mark, getting free inside the box for a volley.
Fede Valverde—6: Missed a big chance inside the box after a Mendy cut-back in the first half. It was an opportunity Fede Valverde has to take at this point in his career. Improved in the second half after the substitutions, playing in a deeper midfield role alongside Camavinga.
Rodrygo—6: Put in a big effort from a defensive perspective: pressing every time he could. Aside from one dribbling sequence early on to beat 3 players down the right flank was quiet
Vinicius Junior—6.5: As soon as Juan Foyth left the match, Vinicius found his opening. Scored the first Real Madrid goal to start the remondata. For the 52 minutes Foyth was on the field, Vinicius struggled to make a material impact.
Karim Benzema—5: Only 1 shot from a player that averages 5-6 per game. Often dropped deep to help Madrid build-out from the back, but was not able to connect with Rodrygo and Vini.
Dani Ceballos—10: Definition of a game-changer. One of the most impactful substitution appearances seen in a long time. Guti 2007 vs Sevilla vibes, everything he touched turned to gold. Loan-tracker alum doing us all proud. A game-winning goal, an assist, and a critical hockey assist — involved in all three goal.
Marco Asensio—8.5: Beautiful assist, thread-of-the-needle pass to Ceballos for the game-winning goal.