Real Madrid 0-1 Barcelona: Los Blancos player ratings as Gareth Bale is missing in action

Andy West 3/03/2019
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Ivan Rakitic was the match-winner as Barcelona surely wrapped up another La Liga title with a 1-0 away victory over lacklustre Real Madrid.

The Croatia midfielder kept his composure to beat Thibaut Courtois after a smart one-two with Sergi Roberto split the host defence at Santiago Bernabeu.

Frenchman Karim Benzema and Raphael Varane threatened at the other end, but Los Blancos offered little in the way of stopping the champions from going 10 points clear.

Here are the Madrid player ratings:

Thibaut Courtois 6: Made a decent stop from Suarez’s drive, but perhaps went down a little early for Rakitic’s opener.

Dani Carvajal 7: Tried to push his team forward down the right flank but had little support from the lethargic Bale.

Raphael Varane 7: Occasionally looked uncertain positionally as Suarez attempted to combine with runners, but worked tirelessly.

Sergio Ramos 5: Caught napping for Rakitic’s opener and embroiled in controversy after catching Messi in the face. Erratic again.

Sergio Reguilon 7: Continues to impress with solid defending and progressive use of the ball. Growing in confidence all the time.

Luka Modric 7: Had one shot blocked sent a headed effort too high, and was pivotal to most of his team’s attacking play.

Casemiro 5: Largely bypassed as Barca controlled the encounter in midfield, unable to break up the opposing side’s passing patterns.

Toni Kroos 5: Did little to stem a flow of recent criticism with another indifferent display, and he was the first player replaced.

Gareth Bale 4: Curled a very early free-kick too high and did very little else before departing to a chorus of whistles after an hour.

Karim Benzema 6: Some nice link-up play but he didn’t do enough to threaten the goal, lacking conviction around the box.

Vinicius Junior 6: Some bright moments and dangerous runs, becoming more dangerous after the break and twice going close.

SUBSTITUTES

Federico Valverde 6: Entered the fray for Kroos early in the second half and added some bite into midfield, but little on the ball.

Marco Asensio 6: Came on for Bale for the final half hour, but his main highlight was a hilarious dive in search of a penalty.

Isco N/A: Introduced as a late sub for a rare chance to impress. Looked busy and tried to prompt play but couldn’t break through.

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Rivaldo believes Jose Mourinho's Real Madrid return is possible if Santiago Solari loses El Clasico

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Jose Mourinho

Former Barcelona star Rivaldo expects Jose Mourinho to be linked to a return to Real Madrid, should Santiago Solari face another El Clasico defeat on Saturday.

The Brazilian believes that the pressure is mounting on Solari and the third El Clasico without victory in a month could determine his future at the club.

Should the Argentinian be ousted, Rivaldo expects ex-Real manager Jose Mourinho to return to theSpanish  capital.

The Portuguese had led Madrid to La Liga title in 2012 and Rivaldo feels that he could do a great job at the home of the European champions, despite his recent underwhelming spell at Manchester United.

“There is definitely a lot at stake for Solari in the Clasico,” he told Marca.

“It is normal that things are getting complicated for him and if he loses again at the Bernabeu then it would be goodbye to two competitions at the hands of Barcelona.

“That would be losing to your eternal rival twice in three days and could be very harmful for him.

“In that scenario, the name of Mourinho will be sounded out again. Jose is a great coach who had his moment at Madrid.

“A return to the Bernabeu is always a possibility, especially when things aren’t going well, which is the case.”

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Real Madrid 0-3 Barcelona: Los Blancos player ratings as Vinicius gets a 7

Andy West 28/02/2019
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Vinicius Junior

Barcelona remain on track for a fifth successive Copa del Rey title after overcoming Real Madrid 3-0 in the semi-final second leg at the Bernabeu.

Luis Suarez stole the headlines with two goals as his team romped home, but there were also some bright performances in the Real ranks despite the defeat.

Check out the Los Blancos player ratings here.

REAL MADRID 4-3-3

Navas 6. Madrid’s cup keeper gained a rare start but had little chance of keeping out any of Barca’s goals.

Carvajal 6. Less attacking than usual as he focussed on stopping Dembele, but was well beaten by the Frenchman for the opener.

Varane 6. Turned the second goal over his own line in a desperate bid to clear, but was otherwise diligent in defence.

Ramos 5. Could have done more to close down Suarez for the opener and could have conceded a penalty. A hectic display.

Reguilon 7. Made a key early intervention to deny Roberto and nearly levelled with a fine heard which ter Stegen brilliantly saved.

Sergio Reguilson challenges Luis Suarez

Sergio Reguilson challenges Luis Suarez

Modric 6. Struggled to impose himself on the ball as Barca controlled possession, but worked hard off the ball.

Casemiro 6. Worked hard defensively and made some good interventions, but did little as an attacking force.

Kroos 6. Steady and solid in the centre of the pitch, but perhaps more should be expected than that from such a talent.

Vazquez 6. Covered plenty of ground up and down the right, but was second best to Alba. Replaced by Bale.

Benzema 6. Linked play sharply in his false nine role, but probably should have scored in the first half and faded

Vinicius 7. Caused constant problems with his pace and skill, conjuring countless chances – but he didn’t take any of them.

SUBSTITUTES 

Bale 5. Entered to some jeers midway through the second half, but Barca scored their second immediately and he offered little.

Valverde 6. Came into the midfield with the outcome already decided, probably to stop Casemiro from getting sent off.

Asensio 5. The last substitution for Madrid, replacing Vinicius on the left, but made minimal impact as the game died out.

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