A big match awaited Madrid on Saturday, at Unai Emery Villarreal. Both teams had their chances to score, but it’s Madrid who will feel two points missing. From an xG perspective, Real Madrid produced an xG of 2.11 while Villarreal only got 0.46. There were several heart-in-mouth moments for Los Blancos, with Marcelo continuously exploited by Samu Chukwueze in the first half. The real man of the match was Villarreal goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli who stopped two great Bale chances and saved a 1v1 against Vinicius Junior. Luka Jovic’s chance ran out a long time ago with the Serb hitting the crossbar in the 90th minute. Carlo Ancelotti will have to settle on the point and now shift the team’s attention to PSG. Full player ratings from the match below:
Thibaut Courtois—7.5: Had just 2 saves to make but brilliantly came out and denied Pervis Estupinian on a 1-on-1 opportunity late in the second half. Managed well with a terrible clearance error from Marcelo that almost resulted in an own goal.
Dani Carvajal—6: Won almost all of his duels 50/50 (6 of 7) and finished the game with a record 5 successful tackles. The offense was poor – too many crosses out of bounds or into untargeted space.
Eder Militao—9: An incredible 11 clearances in this game (nearly 4x anyone else in the field). Danjuma bodied in a critical 1v1 defensive game inside the box. Get in shape before the PSG match.
David Alaba—7: Had difficulty defending on the same side as Marcelo and got caught diving on Chukwueze a few times. Otherwise, he was perfectly footed, and came to the rescue by putting his body on the line to make a number of counters on Villarreal’s shots.
Marcelo—2: Dribbled 4 times by Chukwueze in the first half only. Marcelo was an obvious handicap but played 82 minutes. Form and squad improved in the second half which deprived Chukwueze of space to take Marcelo 1v1.
Casemiro—8: Won a team-high 6 successful tackles and was crucial in breaking up play and preventing Villarreal from countering. Was a crucial part of Madrid’s defense today with Eder Militao.
Fede Valverde—6.5: Impossible to reproduce his performance of last week. It wasn’t a bad performance, butyou there were times when Fede took the ball where he could have pushed and carried the ball more – taking advantage of his ability to carry the ball and progress across large stretches of ground in a short period of time.
Toni Kroos—7: Had 3 key passes, completed 14 of 16 long balls and won all of his aerial duels. Had more control of the game in the second half, but it wasn’t enough to secure the 3 points.
Vinicius Junior—8: Villarreal took turns trying to physically manipulate Vinicius but it still couldn’t stop the Brazilian. 3 key passes, 2 successful dribbles and 5 fouls against a team record. Had a 1-on-1 opportunity against Rulli that could keep him awake tonight – a left-footed shot inside that failed to get past the goalkeeper.
Marco Asensio—6: Was lucky not to see red in the first half. Had a good right-side cutting chance on his left foot, but couldn’t replicate his goal from last weekend.
Gareth Bale—6.5: Played as a striker and had a very calm first half, but still found himself in goalscoring positions. Missed a 1v1 in the first half, then later in the game missed two good chances on goal. Bale himself amassed an xG of 0.89 out of Real Madrid’s 2.12 tally. He found himself in the right places and made runs off the baseline, but just couldn’t find the back of the net.
Luka Jovic—5: Was completely anonymous until the 90th minute when Jovic was played with space to attack the goal. Rulli came out of his line to try and deny Jovic a direct shot on goal but the Serb landed a magnificent shot over the keeper but was denied by the crossbar. He did everything right, but the ball only had to drop an inch lower. Luke Jovic remains cursed. He may not have the mentality of Real Madrid, but the talent is there. Whether he can ever be found and used in this current Real Madrid team and the current Real Madrid system is another question, but he has the talent to play for the club.
Danger of Eden — 6.5: He only had a few minutes to make an impact and was fairly quiet on the pitch, but set up the play to free Jovic for the chip.
Rodrygo will—5: Ancelotti was probably looking for a spark and a natural width down the right with Asensio’s replacement, but Rodrygo failed to get into the game.
Nacho—N/A: Replaced Marcelo late in the game.