Real Madrid visited FC Basel as they needed at least a point to secure their place in the next round as group leaders. With three points in the bag, the mission was completed as they look forward to continuing their form in La Liga.
Carlo Ancelotti made a few unexpected changes in the starting lineup for Switzerland as he was able to give players some much needed match practise while staying true to his promise that he will be coming out with a very strong starting eleven. The starting lineup consisted of:
Keylor Navas, Alvaro Arbeloa, Raphael Varane, Sergio Ramos [C], Fabio Coentrao, Toni Kroos, Isco, Gareth Bale, James Rodriguez, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Karim Benzema
FC Basel –
Real Madrid –
Cristiano Ronaldo (35′)
Gareth Bale was given the Man of the Match award by UEFA after the game against FC Basel but I simply do not see how that was possible. The Welshman tried to make a difference but was miles away from what he is truly capable of. This season hasn’t been the best on Gareth Bale and he will surely be looking to improve as soon as possible. With that said, the Wales International is usually able to come out with some great and helpful performances in order to help the team.
One question: Why does Alvaro Arbeloa always get to start for Real Madrid when replacing Daniel Carvajal while Nacho is on the bench? Arbeloa is a player who is always able to give 100% for the team and I have never doubted his commitment but the simple truth is that he is not good enough anymore. Nacho deserves to show his capabilities for Real Madrid but isn’t getting the chances to do so. Hopefully things will change soon…
Sergio Ramos was not at his best against FC Basel and was lucky not to receive a red card after a clear hand-ball in the box. He was clearly playing for the yellow in order to miss the game against Ludogorets and start the next round with nothing stopping him but he was doing that way too early. He took the risk of hoping that he doesn’t get a red card but it could have easily ended that way. He will need to be careful when trying to do this again as to not take the chances of leaving Real Madrid one-man down against a strong opponent.
Keylor Navas was finally able to make his UEFA Champions League debut against FC Basel and was also able to get his first clean sheet for the club. The Costa Rican goalkeeper really needs the match practise in order to be at his best in the Copa del Rey and this game will surely help with his confidence. He was able to make some great saves and keep Real Madrid with the opportunity to come out with the full three points on the night. A great performance by Keylor Navas and we are all looking forward to seeing more from him in the future.
Cristiano Ronaldo scored the only goal of the night after an amazing run and assist by Karim Benzema. The Portuguese has now equalled Raul’s record of goals in the UEFA Champions League and I’m sure that we will be seeing more from him in the future. Another good night for the midfielder and he continues to show just how important he is for the team. Best player in the world? No doubts there!
My Personal Player Ratings:
Keylor Navas – 9/10
Alvaro Arbeloa – 7.5/10
Raphael Varane – 8/10
Sergio Ramos – 6.5/10
Fabio Coentrao – 8/10
Toni Kroos – 8.5/10
Isco – 8.5/10
Gareth Bale – 7.5/10
James Rodriguez – 8/10
Cristiano Ronaldo – 8.5/10
Karim Benzema – 8.5/10