Forgotten men Bale, James and Isco step up even though Real Madrid are held to 1-1 draw

Matt Jones - Editor 23:08 24/08/2019
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Isco bristled with confidence against Valladolid.

Real Valladolid snatched a late point at the Santiago Bernabeu as the name of an old ghost returned to haunt Real Madrid in a 1-1 draw for Zinedine Zidane’s men.

Los Blancos suffered at the hands of Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona during his four-year reign from 2008-12 and it was Sergi Guardiola who popped up minutes from time to earn the visitors a point after Karim Benzema had given the hosts an 82nd minute lead they barely deserved.

Here we rate the Real players.

REAL MADRID

Thibaut Courtois 6: Hardly troubled, called into action seriously in 75th minute when he beat away a drive from range. Unlucky as Guardiola’s shot snuck under him.

Dani Carvajal 6: Typically supported Real’s attacks down the right superbly. Skied one attempt when he got round the back of Valladolid and connected with Marcelo’s cross. Four key passes was joint second best.

Raphael Varane 6: Struggled to deal with Enes Unal’s clever movement and physicality and was at fault for equaliser as he failed to pick up Guardiola’s run. Greatest contribution was in attack, swinging in cross from which Benzema broke the deadlock.

Sergio Ramos 5: Fairly quiet afternoon for the veteran skipper, save for the normal histrionics. Led side with three interceptions. Was far from his best or worst.

Marcelo 5: You’re never going to get a defensive masterclass out of the marauding left-back, but veteran remains a potent attacking weapon in Real’s arsenal.

James Rodriguez 6: Bright before being withdrawn. Nodded a free header wide of goal though before curling Benzema’s lay-off just wide.

Casemiro 5: One thundering early challenge was typical of the midfield muscle man. Mopped up ahead of back four, led Real with four tackles.

Toni Kroos 6: Metronomic German received and distributed possession with minimum fuss. Five key passes led Real.

Gareth Bale 7: Lively, poking one effort just side but should have done better when he failed to connect with an early lofted pass yards out. Headed Marcelo cross inches wide.

Karim Benzema 7: Linked play, or tried to, neatly. Saw little sight of goal until he arrowed in a precise finish for the opening goal. Expert finish.

Isco 7: Another seemingly playing for his Bernabeu future. Yet cool and cutting, the playmaker operated as if the ball was attached to his foot. Jointly led Real with four key passes.

SUBS

Vinicius Junior 4: Flamboyant talent with a fabulous future ahead of him but endured a frustrating afternoon off the bench. Should have seen yellow for blatant dive.

Luka Jovic 6: Almost a dream entry for the Serb who rose to glance Bale’s cross just wide seconds after coming on.

Lucas Vazquez N/A: Thrown on at the death with no hope of making an impact.

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