Real Madrid Fall to Valencia: Post Match Player Ratings

09 Karim Benzema of Real Madrid reacts during the Spanish La Liga Santander soccer match between Valencia CF vs Real Madrid at Mestalla Stadium on February 22, 2017. (Photo by Jose Miguel Fernandez/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
09 Karim Benzema of Real Madrid reacts during the Spanish La Liga Santander soccer match between Valencia CF vs Real Madrid at Mestalla Stadium on February 22, 2017. (Photo by Jose Miguel Fernandez/NurPhoto via Getty Images) /

It wasn’t pretty for Real Madrid in the Mestalla Stadium Wednesday night as Los Blancos lost just their second league game of the 2016/2017 campaign in 22 games with a 2-1 loss to Valencia. Ben Sundock gives you a closer look at the Real Madrid player ratings.

(Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)
(Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images) /

Keylor Navas: 5/10

It was yet another poor performance from the Costa Rican keeper. After giving up a goal that shouldn’t have been a goal a week ago to the day against Napoli, Navas did it again today in the Mastella against Valencia. The first Valencia goal was nothing but a beauty from Simone Zaza.

However, the second goal from Valencia, off of the Raphael Varane turnover (which I will go in depth on later) was a shot that Navas should 100% save. The problem with Keylor right now is his confidence and positioning. Despite being one on one, Navas was in the right place and saw the ball go trickling through his legs.

Keylor needs to be given a few games off to regather himself, or a permanent switch needs to be made. Goals like last week against Napoli and today against Valencia shouldn’t be getting past a quality goalkeeper like Navas.

(Photo by Jose Miguel Fernandez/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
(Photo by Jose Miguel Fernandez/NurPhoto via Getty Images) /

Dani Carvajal: 7/10

Carvajal played another good game on the right wing causing havoc and drawing jeers from the home town crowd. In the defensive half, Carvajal was clinical in his challenges, making one tackle and winning 4 ariels.

The reason I give Carvajal a 7 instead of an 8.5 is because of his inability to link up with James on the wing and Gareth Bale too when he came in the game in the second half. Carvajal is a quality two way player but didn’t exhibit that trait in today’s match.

Sergio Ramos: 6.5/10

It wasn’t a pretty game for the staple man in the back line for Real Madrid as Sergio Ramos should receive part of the blame for both goals Los Blancos gave up within the first 10 minutes. On the Zaza goal, Ramos got caught out on the left wing trying to help Marcelo cover, leaving Varane one-on-one with Zaza in front of goal.

On the second goal, much like every defender on the pitch, Ramos was pushed too far up the field and the Valencia counter attack was able to catch Real out of position. Ramos did win 4 ariels and make a couple of good tackles but he struggled to make a true “Sergio Ramos” esque impact on the game.

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  • Raphael Varane: 5.5/10

    This was THE worst game I’ve ever seen Raphael Varane play in a Real Madrid uniform. From the start of the game on, Varane looked uncomfortable and at times very confused on where exactly he should be positioned.

    The first goal, while he was guarding Zaza when he scored, wasn’t his fault, Zaza scored a great goal and simply beat Navas in goal.

    The second goal is a completely different story as Varane was in the attacking third of the field (as a center back why he would be so far up the field this early in the game is a mystery) and turned the ball over, leading to an easy Valencia counter attack goal.

    Varane also picked up a yellow card in the 58th minute on a bad tackle and was soon after substituted. It is now being reported that Varane picked up a thigh injury and could miss a couple weeks after this poor performance.

    Marcelo: 7/10

    Unlike every othr defender that started, I have no complaints with the performance of Marcelo. He dropped a beautiful cross onto Ronaldo’s head for the only Real goal of the game and as usual, the Brazilian was a force down the left wing, who was called into action more on the defensive end then the attacking side.

    Marcelo passed the ball well, did a good job, did a relatively good job shutting down Munir El Haddadi, and made some good tackles. However, his good performance wasn’t enough to carry the entire team.

    (Photo by Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images)
    (Photo by Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images) /

    Toni Kroos: 8/10

    Toni Kroos never gets enough credit for his performances and this game was no different. The German midfielder is the glue that holds the Real Madrid starting XI together with his great passing and transitioning between the defense and the attackers.

    Kroos completed 98% of his passes in the match, made 3 tackles, and took most of the corners for Real Madrid in the match with seven. Kroos also took three shots and drew a few fouls from Valencia defenders while on the ball. Kroos was by far the best starter in the midfield and played the most consistent game of maybe anyone on the pitch.

    Next: Nightmare in the Mestalla: 3 Key Takeaways from the Loss

    Casemiro: 7/10

    The defensive midfielder was no where to be seen in today’s match. The man who is charged with supporting the defensive line didn’t do that in this match, as Casemiro was hesitant to drop all the way back into the Real Madrid box to help on defense.

    On the goal from Zaza, Casemiro was in no man’s land just outside the box unsure if he should help Varane or leave him to take care of the Valencia defender, choosing the latter Zaza scored. The uncertainty from Casemiro is a rarity in his game and it might have cost Los Blancos the game.

    Luka Modric: 6/10

    This wasn’t a normal game for Luka Modric. In his time in Madrid, it has seemed like the Croatian plays flawless games week in and week out but, this game showed that no one is perfect, not even the great Luka. His passing was good, at 94% successful, but he was dispossessed a couple times and struggle to win ariels while not getting many touches on the ball.

    Modric was too far out wide several times and this cost Los Blancos when Valencia would hit them on the counter attack. The blame doesn’t totally fall on Modric, but he obviously should’ve played a better game. That’s what the fans expect from him.

    (Photo by fotopress/Getty Images)
    (Photo by fotopress/Getty Images) /

    Ronaldo: 8.5/10

    My player of the match for Real Madrid would have to go to the “Dark Invader” himself for a very good performance all match in the attacking third. Ronaldo was on the ball frequently, making crosses, good passes, or trying to get in the six yard box to receive a cross for a header, like he did from Marcelo for the only goal.

    He took 9 total shots, and had several good opportunities to score in the second half as he was in the right position on several of the crosses that came his way. While he may have missed several of these shots, I still put him as the highest rated player because he was doing the most work and putting in the most effort up front to get Real back in the game.

    He brought them within a goal but was unable to get a second. Ronaldo has strung together several good performances in the last couple of weeks and hopefully, his run of good form will continue.

    Karim Benzema: 6.5/10

    If anyone has seen Karim Benzema, tell him Real Madrid need their striker back because it didn’t look like the Frenchman made the trip to Valencia for Wednesday’s match. With just 2 total shots, 71% success on his passes, and dispossessed three times, Benzema did nothing all game to help his team.

    Ronaldo was getting the ball fed to him but Benzema in the middle couldn’t seem to make an impact on the match all day. The boo birds will likely be out in force again at the Santiago Bernabeu when Real returns and the boos and whistles will all be pointed at number 9.

    James Rodriguez: 6.5/10

    James, like Benzema, was missing in action in Valencia. He only took one shot and his passing wasn’t where it needed to be. It’s a shame to see such a bad performance from James after playing great in the same right wing position just a week ago. This could be a problem for James as he has to make his minutes on the pitch count if he’s going to one day be a starter again.

    This match is not one he will point to.

    (Photo by fotopress/Getty Images)
    (Photo by fotopress/Getty Images) /


    Gareth Bale: 7/10

    Of all the substitutes, Bale probably had the biggest impact on the game, not missing a pass in just under a half hour of play, taking one shot on goal, and making two tackles. Bale looks to be getting back to 100% physically and his performances on the pitch are getting better and better the more he comes on as a sub.

    Bale is close to being a starter again and once that day comes, the rest of the league should beware.

    Nacho: 7/10

    It was nothing special from the Spanish center back Nacho who replaced Varane in the 73rd minute. However, it was a lot better than the performance by Varane who played terrible. Nacho didn’t have to deal with much of an attack from Valencia as they were trying to defend the lead at the end.

    Expect to see some more playing time from Nacho with reports that Varane picked up an injury in the game forcing him off.

    Lucas Vasquez: 6.5/10

    Part of the reason I rate Vasquez so low is because of the manager, Zinedine Zidane, and the way he subbed off Luka Modric to replace him with Lucas. Despite playing a poor game, this was a bad move from Zidane to put Vasquez in as a midfielder.

    Vasquez has been playing on the right wing in Gareth Bale’s absence, so, to put him in the midfield when a better attack is needed up front, was pretty dumb.

    Alvaro Morata should’ve come on fro Karim Benzema as Real looked to push for the tying goal. Instead, Vasquez came on and made little to no impact on the outcome of the game.