Real Madrid Player Ratings: Benzema, Casemiro, shine in Clasico thriller

Federico Valverde of Real Madrid (Photo by Stringer/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Federico Valverde of Real Madrid (Photo by Stringer/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images) /
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What a game. Real Madrid defeated Barcelona 3-2 in extra-time in the Supercopa semi-final in a game that honestly could’ve gone either way. I did not expect Barcelona to play as well as they did, and they managed to put Real Madrid to the test but they couldn’t break down Real’s defensive line in the final 12 minutes or so.

Goals from Vinicius Jr, Karim Benzema and then a thrilling winner from Fede Valverde in the second half of extra-time made sure that Real Madrid advance to the final of the Supercopa de Espana.

Here are the player ratings from the victory.

Real Madrid’s French defender Ferland Mendy (Photo by FAYEZ NURELDINE / AFP) (Photo by FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP via Getty Images)
Real Madrid’s French defender Ferland Mendy (Photo by FAYEZ NURELDINE / AFP) (Photo by FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP via Getty Images) /

GK Thibaut Courtois

To be honest, even though Barcelona created a bunch of chances, they really didn’t test Courtois until very late in the game. He had a couple of saves in the first half, but then a few more in the second and in extra-time, and all that made me appreciate his greatness even more than I already do. Overall, he did struggle to deal with the press from Barcelona sometimes, which led to a few misplaced passes, but honestly, the positives far outweigh the negatives. Courtois is sensational, and I wouldn’t trade him for any other goalkeeper in the world.

Rating: 8.0

RB Dani Carvajal

Dani Carvajal returned from injury and gave in a good performance defensively. He tried his best to deal with Ousmane Dembele on the right, and even though the Frenchman got past him sometimes, he was able to hold his own. He had a few crucial interventions, and also had the cross which led to Karim Benzema’s goal. Carvajal was subbed off before the start of extra-time.

Rating: 7.0

CB Eder Militao

Eder Militao had a few sloppy passes, had a couple of weird shots, and also had a very weird clearance attempt in the build-up to Barcelona’s first goal which led to Luuk De Jong finding the net very easily. After that, though, he had a solid performance. His defensive presence was felt, he had a bunch of very good tackles and kept most of the attackers from posing danger to Thibaut Courtois, especially in extra-time. Good game, but not his best, by any means. His rating would’ve been less if not for those amazing 30 minutes.

Rating: 6.5

CB Nacho Fernandez

I was really surprised to see Nacho’s inclusion, but as we know now, it was solely because of David Alaba’s muscular problem. Nacho had a decent game. I was very worried before the game, but I think he played well. He had a couple of his gambles which left spaces in the defensive line, but thankfully nothing dangerous happened in those sequences. But, they did show that Nacho can’t really be relied upon if either Militao or Alaba get injured. So there’s that.

Apart from that, he had a game-saving tackle on Pedri in the second half. He passed the ball well, and yeah, just a good game. Nothing special, but it didn’t have to be. Alaba’s press resistance and passing range were sorely missed though, but that’s not taking any points off of Nacho.

Rating: 6.0

LB Ferland Mendy

If I had to sum up Mendy’s performance in one word, I’d say it was bold. I could’ve also used nervy, given his history of not being comfortable with the ball, and sometimes he wasn’t, but the rest was just really, really surprising. Mendy was balling. Mendy channelled his inner Zidane and got past two players and ran through the press like it was a piece of cake. He took his time in letting go of the ball, sometimes too long, and it generally worked.

Of course, it had my heart racing, but all’s well that ends well, right? He was also solid defensively, he made sure Ferran Torres’ debut start for Barcelona was one to forget, and was also heavily involved in the build-up to Benzema’s goal.

Rating: 7.5