Real Madrid laboured their way to an undeserved 2-0 victory over Real Valladolid, failing to convince despite picking up the points.
Marco Asensio and Gareth Bale continued to struggle and were substituted, but did anyone else play well?
Let’s find out with our player ratings.
Courtois 6. Didn’t look particularly comfortable and made a couple of saves with difficulty but just about managed to keep a clean sheet.
Odriozola 5. Showed willingness to attack down the right flank but couldn’t find an end product. Looked vulnerable defensively and struggled throughout.
Nacho 6. Troubled by the movement and power of Unal and was sometimes dragged out of position. Not convincing in the heart of defence.
Ramos 7. A captain’s performance, taking responsibility with wholehearted defending. Secured the win with a cheeky ‘Panenka’ penalty.
Reguilon 7. Perhaps Real’s best player on his La Liga debut. Defended solidly and got forward well, delivering some good balls into the box.
Modric 5. Continued his poor form with a pedestrian performance. Looked slow and was often easily bypassed by Valladolid’s passing.
Casemiro 7. Came close with a couple of headers from set pieces, and had a long-range curler well saved. Surprisingly substituted before the hour.
Kroos 6. Steady but passive, offering little creativity or penetration. Filled a deeper role after Casemiro’s substitution and was fine but not great.
Bale 4. Had an early header saved and sent another just wide. Offered nothing in general play and was substituted to whistles from fans.
Benzema 5. Saw an early shot deflected wide and sent a weak header straight at Matip. Won the late penalty but did not play well.
Asensio 5. Generally quiet but did create two decent chances with an excellent cross to Bale and a through ball to Benzema.
Isco 5. Introduced early in the second half but had very little impact other than some silky touches in harmless midfield areas.
Vazquez 5. Came on for Bale and was full of endeavour but lacked quality, failing to deliver anything worthwhile into the box.
Vinicius 6. Given a chance to impress and inadvertently took it with a wildly mishit shot which was deflected home for the opener.
Matip 7. Made a handful of routine saves and a tougher stop from Casemiro. Got a hand to the opener and probably couldn’t have done more.
Moyano 6. Did a diligent job defensively on the right, but he was pinned back by Reguilon and rarely ventured forward.
Olivas 7. Hugely unfortunate to see Vinicius’s shot hit him and take a wicked deflection into the net. Generally excellent.
Calero 7. Made two great blocks on shots from Benzema but spoiled his day with a poor foul on the Frenchman to concede the penalty.
Martinez 7. Solid defensively and got forward occasionally, including a great run and pass to set up a chance for Villa.
Antonito 6. Sent a great chance over the bar and could have done more with in possession. Made a good clearance to deny Casemiro.
Michel 6. Didn’t always make good decisions with his passing but helped knit things together in the centre of the pitch.
Alcaraz 7. Busy, active and efficient in the centre of midfield, coming close with a thumping long range strike against the bar.
Villa 7. The game’s best attacker, having one shot deflected wide, another saved by Courtois and a third crashing against the bar.
Unal 6. Led the line with good aerial presence, sending a first half header wide. Could have offered more threat in the box.
Suarez 7. Dropped back from his forward position to offer defensive support down the left and showed creativity in possession.
Verde 6. Came on midway through the second half and forced Courtois into an awkward save with a dipping and swerving long range effort.
Plano 5. Introduced for the final 15 minutes but barely had a touch as the game got away from his team.
Cop 5. Added as an extra striker as his team chased a late leveller, but the second goal was scored almost immediately and the game was up.
Real Madrid kicked off their Solari-era with an unconvincing win at home against Real Valladolid.
The visitors produced more clear-cut chances and even hit the frame of the goal on two occasions. Madrid required a deflected goal and a Ramos penalty, both in the closing moments of the game to save their blushes.
Alvaro Odriozola occupied the right-back spot and here, we analyse his display.
Passes (accuracy): 36 (91%)
With Dani Carvajal side-lined due to injury and Nacho Fernandez filling in at the centre-back position for an injured Raphael Varane, Odriozola was assigned the defending duties on the right. The Spaniard showed promise while at Real Sociedad and displayed glimpses of his attacking prowess against Valladolid.
Madrid were second best against the newly-promoted Valladolid for most parts of the game. Most of the chances for the visitors came on Odriozola’s flank and the cleansheet does not reflect the Spaniard’s performance.
Movement in attack – Odriozola’s swift movement on the wing was similar to that of Marcelo’s until he entered the attacking third. The Spaniard made the overlaps like the injured Marcelo would but preferred providing a wide option over cutting inside and looking for options. The 23-year-old was constantly making intelligent runs on the right but always failed to catch the eyes of Luka Modric or Toni Kroos who put on lack-lustre performances.
Dribbling – Odriozola was very confident going forward and didn’t hesitate taking on multiple players at a time. In the 27th minute the Spaniard eased past three defenders and almost got a decisive cross in before it was cleared out for a corner.
Positioning in defence – For all his attacking flair, Odriozola failed to impress at the job he was picked for. The Spaniard was leaving pockets of space for Toni Villa and Enes Unal to exploit. In fact, two of Valladolid’s best chances came from the right with Odriozola neglecting his defensive duties. In the 58th minute, the Spaniard allowed Villa to breach Madrid’s defence and the move eventually ended with Alcaraz’s shot zooming past Courtois, only to smack the crossbar.
Retaining possession – Although the defender was confident racing ahead with the ball at his feet, he looked uneasy when Valladolid pressed on him and even gave the ball away carelessly when there were better options. This is one area where Odriozola must improve so as to gel into Real Madrid’s style of play.
Promising in attack, but vulnerable in defence. This sums up Odriozola’s performance against Real Valladolid perfectly. The 22-year-old did deliver some promising crosses, one of which should have been buried by Karim Benzema. However, the youngster needs to work on his positioning if he has to avoid coming off as a defensive burden to Sergio Ramos and Varane. Average performance from him, with shades of promise.
And welcome to Saturday’s Real Madrid blog, a day that sees Santiago Solari take the reins for his first game in charge at home against Real Valladolid.
Can Solari start easing a painful season so far?
2:30pm – Do you remember Bale’s first Los Blancos hat-trick?
12:00pm – Seven hours until kick off
9:30am – Presence of Vinicius puts pressure on Real’s superstars
Julen Lopetegui barely used Vinicius, the Brazilian sensation who moved to the Bernabeu from Flamengo last summer. Santiago Solari though is a man who knows full well what he can do, having unleashed him in the Castilla side.
If Real’s attackers keep flopping – namely Gareth Bale – Solari won’t hesitate to show the world what the 18-year-old can do, especially after his midweek exploits in the Copa del Rey.
Read up on that and more in Andy West’s talking points previewing the game.