Real Madrid 3 – 3 Las Palmas: Player Ratings

(Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
(Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images) /

A short-handed Real Madrid fought back to a 3-3 draw against a scrappy Las Palmas team after Gareth Bale was sent off for a red card. Alex McVey breaks down some individual performances following yet another disappointing match for Los Blancos.

Keylor Navas –  4

Navas’ season has gone from less-than-perfect to downright abysmal. While there was nothing Navas could have done about the penalty, he shares at least some of the blame for the other two goals Madrid conceded. For the first, it must be said that it was a great shot from Tana, and Ramos is more proximally responsible for the goal, but Navas probably shouldn’t have let it in on the near side regardless.

His real shocking error came from his absolutely abysmal decision-making coming out to try to claim the ball against Boateng and completely missing. While Marcelo certainly shares some of the blame, it’s hard to justify Navas’ recklessness on that play. To his credit, he did make some clutch saves that prevented the match from being even more disastrous, but it doesn’t justify his overall level of play. 

Dani Carvajal – 7

Carvajal put in one of the few decent performances on the back line, marshaling his former La Fabrica counterpart Jesé for most of the match.  However, he did get burned by Jesé near the 30 minute mark, but Kevin Prince Boateng fluffed his shot so the error ended up being inconsequential. Overall a good shift from Carvajal at both ends of the pitch.

Nacho – 6

Ultimately an anonymous performance from Nacho, which might not be the worst of problems in a match otherwise marked by tragic defensive errors. Early in the match he was showing some smart passing through the middle of the park, and was not as mistake-prone as his counterparts in the back line.  In a night defined by defensive chaos, no news was probably good news from Nacho.

Sergio Ramos – 4

It was Sergio Ramos’ mistake over-committing that caused an equalizer immediately after going ahead. Real Madrid has been bad about being composed after scoring, and Ramos needs to provide more leadership. Also, he has to take some of the responsibility for committing the penalty.

While I sympathize with him that it might have been difficult to get his arms out of the way, it almost looked as if he was trying to block the shot with his elbows. The handball in the box has been a bad habit from Ramos this season, and one that he needs to break sooner rather than later.

Marcelo – 4

While Marcelo has been showing some signs of improved defense throughout this season, those signs were noticeably absent against Las Palmas. It’s difficult to tell how much of this is down to Zidane’s tactical deployment of Marcelo up the pitch and how much is due to Marcelo’s own unwillingness to get back to defend, but Marcelo’s flank was a constant source of danger to Madrid’s goal. While Marcelo can’t be blamed for Navas’ rash decision-making, he really should have done better to contain Boateng on the break.

Next: Real Madrid Will Have to Pay Record Fee to Acquire Aguero

Toni Kroos – 6.5

The German cyborg seems to be having some minor technical difficulties, putting in another relatively anonymous performance. This might be because without Casemiro on the pitch, Kroos is forced to track back to do more defensive work.

Nevertheless, even despite failing to impose himself significantly on the match, it’s hard to say the German wasn’t at least tidy; he managed to register an 89% pass completion rate, 3 key passes, and 9 accurate long balls.

Mateo Kovačić – 6

A mixed bag from Kovačić. He played an excellent through ball to Isco for the first goal. We also got to see some of his awesome lung bursting dribbles through the lines. However, this was not the same quality that we’ve seen from Kovačić in the past.

The Croatian midfielder showed that although he has the potential one day take the mantle from Luka Modrić, he is not quite there yet.

Isco – 8

Isco demonstrated great composure to stay onside and then burst through the line, and then patiently wait for the keeper to come out and slot it around him for the match’s opening goal. Isco really seized the opportunity granted to him by Zidane, and commanded the midfield throughout much of this match.

(Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
(Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images) /

Cristiano Ronaldo – 9 – Man of the Match

Ronaldo was invisible for the opening 25 minutes of the match, but gradually grew into the game and ultimately saved a crucial point for Madrid at the death. Ronaldo has been coming up clutch for Madrid in crucial moments throughout the season, and the match against Las Palmas was no exception.

CR7 is showing real leadership skills, and providing Madrid with some crucial fight when they need it the most. His two goals seal a man of the match performance.

Alvaro Morata – 6

A difficult performance to judge from Morata. Putting the ball in the back of the net three times demonstrates that Morata does have a clinical touch, but the fact that all three goals were ruled offside indicates Morata needs to work on his timing and positioning.

There is some doubt, however, about whether these offside decisions were legitimate. Regardless of whether Morata’s poor night is down to bad luck, bad refereeing, or bad positioning, he ultimately failed to impact the match in the way he would have hoped.

Gareth Bale –  3

What an incredibly frustrating match from Bale. Despite putting in a tremendous first half performance, Bale saw red after shoving Jonathan Vierra to the ground following an altercation.  In the first half, Bale had been showing off his pace, and his patience, dragging defenders all over the place and tossing pinpoint crosses into the box.  Bale’s piercing cross to Morata early in the match was almost a goal but Morata was ruled just a bit offside.

The red card, however, was monumentally stupid. Bale went from being one of Madrid’s most potent attackers, to jeopardizing their title race because he couldn’t control his temper. This was totally unacceptable, and it’s good that he apologized to his teammates, because they certainly deserved it.


Karim Benzema – 6

 Benzema only got twenty minutes to influence the match, but he did not put in a bad shift. The most noticeable difference after Benzema came on the pitch was the extra space afforded to Ronaldo, who tends to play better when Benzema is around. Benzema did manage to put in two shots and one key pass, despite his short stint in the match.

James Rodriguez – 7

How incredibly lucky are Madrid to have a substitute of this quality waiting on the bench. James also only got a 20 minute run-out, but was able to influence the game substantially, providing Ronaldo with a crucial assist to help Real’s efforts in the remontada.

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Lucas Vázquez – 5

Vázquez, despite having more time to influence the match, failed to provide much of note for Madrid. He demonstrated his usual high energy, but without much impact. He really needs to improve if he’s going to hope to be anything more than a substitute player for Zidane in the future.