LW Vinicius Jr.
Though Vinicius Jr. was a bit wasteful in the final third and made a few bizarre decisions, including his lifted shot on his last action late in the game before being subbed for Marco Asensio, he made up for all those inconsistencies with a sublime bit of skill to dust Fernandinho and score a wonderful solo goal.
Vinicius is capable of the sublime from nothing, just like his other world-class attacking teammates Luka Modric and Karim Benzema. Close to truly putting all the pieces together, Vini is already a top player in his own right, and he was Madrid’s most dangerous presence in this 4-3 defeat on the road.
CF Karim Benzema
Karim Benzema seemed to struggle with getting involved in the game and had a few wayward passes, just not quite on the same wavelength as Vinicius Jr. to take advantage of a few sloppy backpasses in the first half from Manchester City.
Of course, it was Karim who delivered the goods first for Real Madrid, giving Los Blancos hope and a route back into the game after they went down 2-0 early, scoring on the slightest of opportunities. It was a brilliant finish.
And then in the second half, Karim made up for his missed penalties against Osasuna, cutting the deficit to 4-3 with a Panenka. It was a confident move from a striker who had missed aiming to the same spot in recent weeks, instead watching Ederson and calmly chipping the ball down the middle for a statement-making goal. Yet again, Real Madrid would have been embarrassed in the Champions League without their legendary No. 9. It is also no surprise that he led the team with three key passes.
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RW Rodrygo Goes
Rodrygo Goes worked hard, but he seemed to be out of his depth at times, thinking he had more time and space than he truly did against Manchester City. He was important in supporting Dani Carvajal against the talented left side of City’s formation, sitting deep and defending the flank as well as the right back could have.