Real Madrid Player Ratings as Los Blancos barely survive vs. Athletic Club

Real Madrid, Thibaut Courtois (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Thibaut Courtois (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid, Thibaut Courtois
Real Madrid, Thibaut Courtois (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images) /

If you were looking for a beautiful exhibition of #CarloBall, then, surely, you had to know you would not witness such an occurrence against Athletic Club. The best defensive team in La Liga lived up to their reputation and were as physical and frustrating as ever, whereas Real Madrid were a disorganized mess defensively, reminiscent of the outfit that drew the league’s cellar-dwellers Levante 3-3 earlier this season.

But in the end, Real Madrid did what they needed to do. They survived behind another excellent performance from the ever-consistent Thibaut Courtois in goal.

Here are the player ratings from Los Blancos’ 2-1 win over Athletic Bilbao at the Santiago Bernabeu.

GK Thibaut Courtois

Thibaut Courtois made two massive saves to keep a clean sheet against Athletic Club, as his goal faced a constant onslaught of shots and clear-cut chances. There was so much chaos in Courtois’ box, so what’s even more impressive than the two saves is the fact that the Belgian never made a mistake nor allowed a second-chance opportunity for the visitors. Eighth-best goalkeeper in the world? Nonsense. Absolute nonsense.

Rating: 8.0

LB Ferland Mendy

A solid, if not unspectacular performance from the left back. Ferland Mendy did his job defensively and made accurate, safe passes offensively. He didn’t make any huge plays, but he didn’t make any mistakes either. And avoiding mistakes is his main job.

Rating: 7.0

CB David Alaba

Meanwhile, David Alaba made the most embarrassing mistake of the match, completely losing track of an aerial ball that led to a chance that Inaki Williams somehow missed. Alaba has been one of the best center backs in Europe this season, but this was not his finest 90 in a Real Madrid kit. The No. 4 had three interceptions, three clearances, and 98 percent of his passes completed, so all was not bad. However, there was something lacking in this performance in terms of his progressiveness on the ball and his solidity defensively.

Rating: 6.0

CB Eder Militao

Like David Alaba, Eder Militao had a couple of gaffes and misjudgments defensively that Athletic Club really should have punished. However, he more than made up for those mistakes with a whopping nine clearances and three blocked shots, actively roaming and putting his body on the line to meet Athletic Club attack after Athletic Club attack. Militao showed a heart of a lion against the Lions of the Basque Country, and we should remember his performance for the positives. Specifically the play where he cut across to block a header around the six-yard box!

Rating: 7.5

RB Lucas Vazquez

Speaking of having a lion’s heart, Lucas Vazquez had THE stop of the game, sliding in to prevent a shot that was certainly headed for the back of the net and a loss of two points for Los Blancos. Vazquez led the team with 86 pass attempts and completed 90 percent of them, but his attacking influence was minimal. He avoided mistakes and made that key block, but Vazquez did not make good enough decisions on the ball.

Rating: 6.0