The highly anticipated Copa del Rey clash between Barcelona and Real Madrid saw both teams eager to bounce back from recent disappointing performances. With Barcelona facing two consecutive defeats and Real Madrid only managing a draw against Atletico, the stakes were high. Despite Barcelona’s comfortable 7-point lead in La Liga, the importance of the Copa del Rey trophy has only grown for Los Blancos. However, the match turned out to be a massive letdown for Real Madrid as they struggled to break through Barcelona’s well-organized defense, reminiscent of Simeone’s Atletico Madrid.
Here are the full player ratings from the game:
Thibaut Courtois – 6: Thibaut Courtois had only one save to make during the match as he faced only two shots on target. After Barcelona scored, they resorted to a defensive strategy and stayed mostly in their own half.
Dani Carvajal – 4: Real Madrid’s strategy for creating offensive chances largely depended on switches of play to Dani Carvajal and the expectation that he could deliver a good ball into the box or take a shot. Unfortunately, neither of these outcomes occurred.
Eder Militao – 5: Eder Militao was responsible for the only own goal of the match, having gone after Kessie after an errant pass from Camavinga. He managed to prevent Ferran Torres and Ansu Fati from getting a shot on target.
Eduardo Camavinga – 4: Eduardo Camavinga had a mixed performance in the match. He often put himself in precarious situations, including when the goal was conceded. The 20-year-old displayed some of his trademark crunching tackles, yet he frequently left the pivot position unoccupied, compromising the team’s structure.
Toni Kroos – 5: Toni Kroos tends to operate in an advanced role as a deep-lying playmaker, attempting to control the flow of the game, yet he can be found wanting when he is left isolated as the lone midfielder in transition.
Nacho – 6: Nacho displayed impressive defensive abilities at left-back, successfully dispossessing Raphinha several times in 1-on-1 situations, as well as pushing forward up the pitch as much as possible.
Luka Modric – 5: Luka Modric had an opportunity to put his team ahead early in the match, but was unable to make the most of it. Despite being the most active midfielder of the three, he was unable to make a real impact in the attacking zone.
Toni Rudiger – 6: Toni Rudiger showed great defensive acumen, similar to Militao, and was adept at making accurate passes while under pressure.
Vinicius Junior – 5: Vinicius Junior’s desire and dedication are unquestionable as he continuously strives to contribute to the team. Unfortunately, Carlo Ancelotti’s strategy is overly reliant on the Brazilian, necessitating the inclusion of Araujo in the lineup. To expand attacking potential, Rodrygo should be a definite starter against Barcelona.
Karim Benzema – 4: Karim Benzema’s season has not lived up to expectations due to the large sample size. His usual high-level performances were not at the level expected of him, particularly against physically and speedily-minded defenders such as Kounde and Araujo.
Fede Valverde – 6: Valverde attempted numerous cut back crosses in an effort to create space, and ultimately completed the match with four significant passes.
Tchouameni – 5: Tchouameni struggled at times and did not perform up to his usual standards. He dribbled into difficulty on multiple occasions and gave little output after being subbed in. He appears to be far from his optimal level.
Alvaro – N/A: Alvaro was brought in too late during the game, particularly with the team sending out 40 crosses throughout the match.
Rodrygo – 6: Rodrygo should have been introduced earlier in the game, as he was beginning to make an impact just as the match was finishing. He was searching for ways to connect with his teammates and had a powerful strike from outside the box that nearly found the back of the net.
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