Luka Modric delivers another dud as Real Madrid slump to shock defeat against Rayo Vallecano

Aditya Devavrat 01:10 29/04/2019
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Luka Modric looked short of his best.

Real Madrid slumped to a shock defeat against neighbours Rayo Vallecano as a first-half penalty from Adrian Embarba secured a famous victory from a side barely hanging on to a place in La Liga.

Rayo entered the game as the league’s bottom-placed team, but at times it was hard to see which side was in the top four and which team was battling against relegation as Madrid struggled to get anything going.

Here’s a look at how Zinedine Zidane’s players rated.

STARTING XI

Thibaut Courtois 7 – Made one excellent save, minutes after being beaten by Embarba’s penalty. The only Madrid player completely immune from criticism on Sunday.

Dani Carvajal 7 – A typically combative display, and at times he looked to lead Madrid forward purely by willpower. It wasn’t enough.

Raphael Varane 7 – Struggled at times against Rayo’s energetic front line, but couldn’t be faulted for the hosts’ goal and handled every other test during the game.

Jesus Vallejo 6 – Was victim of perhaps a harsh penalty call determined by VAR, but it could have been avoided with better defending.

Marcelo 6 – Not the best game from the Brazilian, who was suspect defensively and didn’t add enough in attack. Could easily have seen a second yellow late in the game.

Dani Ceballos 6 – Might consider it harsh that he, and not Modric or Kroos, was the first man taken off. Recycled possession well in midfield.

Toni Kroos 5 – More is expected of the German, who, facing one of the league’s worst defences, failed to help his side unlock the back-line and make Madrid’s possession count.

Luka Modric 4 – This is currently the reigning best player in the world. Modric didn’t play like it on Sunday, losing possession in an uncharacteristically sloppy display and having little impact going forward.

Marcos Llorente 6 – Like Ceballos, looked better than his senior and more celebrated colleagues in midfield.

Mariano Diaz 6 – A spirited performance, but one higher on effort than on quality. If this, his first start under Zidane, was an audition then it simply wasn’t enough.

Gareth Bale 5 – The Welshman looked Madrid’s most threatening player – but that was the bare minimum. In a rejigged lineup the responsibility was on Bale to be a game-changer, and he failed.

SUBSTITUTES

Brahim Diaz 6 – Came on to provide more attacking thrust for Madrid, but had little impact on the ball.

Isco 6 – Would have been entitled to wonder why he didn’t start, or come on as Zidane’s first substitute. A 15-minute cameo wasn’t enough to salvage this game for Madrid.

Lucas Vazquez N/A – Touched the ball three times after coming on, so he barely had the chance to do anything as Madrid chased a goal.

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