Having drawn their last two games with Osasuna 0-0, Real Madrid knew they needed a much better attacking performance in Pamplona on Wednesday night. And though they have about a week until their massive Champions League semifinal first leg tilt at the Etihad Stadium against Manchester City, Carlo Ancelotti made a refreshingly surprising decision to rotate.
The rotations, as Madridistas urged before, did not hurt the team. Far from it. Dani Ceballos supplied a great deal of class in midfield, Eduardo Camavinga put in more good work, and Rodrygo Goes was unstoppable again on the left-hand side of the attack.
Here are the player ratings from Real Madrid’s 3-1 win over Osasuna, as they survived an early scare from the home side after Ante Budimir’s first-half equalizer.
GK Thibaut Courtois
Thibaut Courtois could do nothing about the goal Osasuna scored, and he was not involved much thereafter.
LB Nacho Fernandez
Nacho Fernandez improved in the second half when he moved to center back, but he was woeful at left back, giving up far too much space on the cross that led to the goal. He was often caught out, once again being too slow to track back at left back and too aggressive to make challenges far away from his own box when they were unnecessary.
CB David Alaba
David Alaba scored the opening goal and made several important contributions to the attack, pushing up the pitch with the game tied at 1-1, even forcing another good stop from Osasuna goalkeeper Sergio Herrera. But he had to be taken off at the half with an injury. We can only hope the all-important central defender will be OK for the Champions League battle with Manchester City next Tuesday.
CB Eder Militao
Another below-average performance from Eder Militao, though he did, again, improve somewhat in the second half. I do not blame Militao for the goal that Osasuna scored – that was on Nacho – but he was far from convincing defensively as a whole. He is just shaking off the mistakes before Manchester City, though. I will chalk it up to that.
RB Lucas Vazquez
The best of the defenders in the back four. Lucas Vazquez scored another left-footed goal to add to his season tally, just as he did a little over a week ago against Getafe – another team Real Madrid struggled against earlier in the season. The Galician led the team with 77 passes attempted, completing about 91 percent of them. Vazquez also had a team-high four tackles. You can always count on him to put in a hard-working shift.