Rayo Vallecano 0-1 Real Madrid: Player Ratings as Thibaut Courtois spares humiliation

Real Madrid, Thibaut Courtois (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Thibaut Courtois (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid, Thibaut Courtois
Real Madrid, Thibaut Courtois (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images) /

Real Madrid can thank their lucky stars that they come out of LaLiga’s Matchday 26 with all three points. And by “lucky stars”, I mean Thibaut Courtois, Karim Benzema, and Vinicius Jr.

The forwards combined once again for the winning goal, while Courtois was the true standout of the evening with a trio of top-class saves to make sure Los Blancos would not lose to upstarts Rayo Vallecano at the Vallecas.

In truth, Real were fortunate to win, as they gave up so many great chances to the opposition. Their defense was awful in transition, the team looked tired and frustrated again, and the attack was out of ideas in another poor managerial display from Carlo Ancelotti.

Here are the player ratings from Real Madrid’s narrow 1-0 win at Rayo Vallecano.

GK Thibaut Courtois

The best player on the pitch, by far. Luca Zidane was the standout in goal in the first half, but the former Madridista was outshone by the best goalkeeper in the world in the second. Thibaut Courtois made three world-class saves in the second stanza to keep Real Madrid in the match, including one double-save. Without Courtois, Real absolutely would have lost this rivalry match. And that’s not the first time Courtois has bailed Los Blancos out in a big, big way.

Rating: 9.0

LB Ferland Mendy

Ferland Mendy had two dribbles completed, five fouls drawn, six tackles, two interceptions, and three clearances in this match. Those look like phenomenal stats, but the truth is, he really didn’t do much. Mendy helped create nothing for his team offensively, and defensively, he allowed too many crosses from Rayo. Now, Mendy did a fantastic job of defending one of Rayo’s best players, the familiar Bebe, but this wasn’t a true masterclass from the left back.

Rating: 6.0

CB Nacho Fernandez

On paper, Nacho had a good day with three interceptions, but the stats do not tell the whole story here. One of those interceptions was amazing and probably saved a goal, but there were so many other times where Nacho was lucky not to have conceded, as Sergi Guardiola just could not get the better of Courtois with his head.

The veteran center back allowed too many headers in the heart of the penalty area. His marking was a problem, and there was something lacking in his ability to pull the team together on and off the ball. David Alaba was missed.

Rating: 5.0

CB Eder Militao

An average performance from Eder Militao. He is human, after all. Perhaps Militao also missed the presence of David Alaba alongside him, because this was not his typical dominant performance in defense. Whereas he usually bullies forwards, Rayo’s attackers did not seem deterred by the 24-year-old central defender.

Rating: 6.0

RB Dani Carvajal

Dani Carvajal completed about 90 percent of his passes and did whatever he could to help the team from an attacking perspective. The Real Madrid right back had two passes for Marco Asensio that merited assists. He finished the match with three key passes, four tackles, and two interceptions, fighting hard for his team on both ends of the pitch. This was the kind of performance Carvajal needed, as fans are still questioning him after that rough night in the Champions League Round of 16.

Rating: 7.0