Sporting CP 1-2 Real Madrid – Player Ratings

(Photo by Gualter Fatia/Getty Images)
(Photo by Gualter Fatia/Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid eked out a victory at Sporting in the Champions League. Let’s review some individual performances.

(Photo by Gualter Fatia/Getty Images)
(Photo by Gualter Fatia/Getty Images) /

Starting 11:

Keylor Navas: 6/10 – Navas was rarely called into action. He can hardly be blamed for the penalty, and got a hand to the offsides effort following Ramos’ giveaway, but was barely tested otherwise.

Sergio Ramos: 7/10 – This was classic Sergio Ramos. Ramos was chaos in defense for much of the match, giving the ball away and nearly assisting Bas Dost for what would have been a certain goal, had Dost not passed the ball to an offsides player. Yet, in typical Sergio Ramos fashion, Madrid’s captain put in a crucial assist to Karim Benzema, snatching a victory when it counted the most.

Raphael Varane: 8/10 – Varane scored a rare non-headed goal, due in part to a rare moment of abysmal defending by Sporting. On defense, Varane had a solid match, registering 2 tackles and 5 clearances while making several crucial plays on the wings as well.

Daniel Carvajal: 7/10 – An uneventful but tidy performance from Dani. He connected well a few times with Vasquez on the right side, but did not have much of an offensive impact. He was, as usual, sturdy and industrious on defense.

Marcelo: 6/10 – Not Marcelo’s most notable game. While he was able to connect some impressive through balls to Bale on the left wing, he did not impose himself on the match the way he has the rest of this season. Marcelo picked up a yellow card just before the half on a poor challenge. He went down in pain after getting burned by a Sporting attacker, and was eventually subbed off as a precaution in the second half.

Mateo Kovačić: 7/10 – Kovačić continues to show tremendous potential in the middle of the park. With a 95% pass accuracy rate, Kovačić was crucial in helping Madrid control possession. He did, however, go down awfully easy following a punch (tap?) by Joao Pereira, who was sent off for the indiscretion.

(Photo by Gualter Fatia/Getty Images)
(Photo by Gualter Fatia/Getty Images) /

Luka Modric: 7/10 – Modric was charged with commanding the midfield in Toni Kroos’ absence last night, putting in some good defensive work and attempting to spray long balls forward. However, his passing was not as sharp as we have come to expect, registering only an 85% pass accuracy.

Lucas Vázquez: 5/10 – Vázquez struggled again to impose himself on the match. While he connected well with Carvajal early in the match for a Ronaldo shot, he mostly spent the 90 minutes getting kicked by Sporting players.

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Isco: 7/10 – Isco did not have as commanding a performance as against Atléti, but still played a key part in linking the midfield and the attack. He was dispossessed for a key breakaway by Sporting, but also put in lots of work on ball recovery as well.

Gareth Bale: 6/10 – Bale did well to connect with Marcelo on the left side and put in some good work getting back on defend, but failed to register a single shot. He was subbed off early in the second half for what appeared to be a serious ankle injury.

Cristiano Ronaldo: 7/10 – Ronaldo connected well with the other attackers and showed off lots of tricks, flicks, and fakes, but there was ultimately not a lot of end product. He did, however, register an assist on Varane’s goal.

Substitutes:

Fábio Coentrão: 4/10 – Coentrão is not going to win his place back in the squad with performances like these.  After coming on for Marcelo, his goofy, flailing handball in the box nearly cost Madrid 2 points this match.

Karim Benzema: 8/10 – A high rating for a crucial goal. The Frenchman came to Madrid’s rescue when they needed him the most. Good to see him on the goal sheet following his absence from injury, he will be well-needed in Bale’s potential absence.

Marco Asensio: 6/10 – Asensio came on for an injured Bale, and did not make much of an impression. He was barely noticeable, failing to register a single shot, key pass, or dribble the entire evening.

Man of the Match: Varane – While his goal was mostly down to defensive incompetence on the part of Sporting players, Varane was still in the right place at the right time to give Madrid the lead. While Benzema’s goal was ultimately the winner, Varane’s overall performance shutting down Sporting throughout the 90 minutes is what made his performance MOTM worthy.

(All statistics courtesy of Whoscored.com)