Real Madrid visited the Vicente Calderon for the highly anticipated derby match against Atletico Madrid in a game where Los Blancos could have gotten all three points but didn’t play it right…
The return of Sergio Ramos was a huge advantage as Rafael Benitez decided to start with him and keep Gareth Bale on the bench for the match. There was also another slight surprise with the start of Casemiro ahead of Mateo Kovacic. The starting lineup consisted of:
Keylor Navas, Daniel Carvajal, Raphael Varane, Sergio Ramos [C], Marcelo, Toni Kroos, Carlos Casemiro, Isco, Luka Modric, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Karim Benzema
Atletico Madrid –
Luciano Vietto (83′)
Real Madrid –
Karim Benzema (9′)
Before you say anything here, I’m not one of the people jumping on the “Cristiano Ronaldo is useless and crap” bandwagon but I’m speaking strictly here about the game against Atletico Madrid. Ronaldo is the type of player that we need in games such as these but he was simply nowhere to be found. We were winning 1-0 and we all know too well that this isn’t a score that we can consider to be ‘safe’, which is why we really needed Cristiano Ronaldo to be at his best. He had a few half-chances once in a while but we didn’t see the player that makes his sprints and tricks nor did we see the player with the extremely powerful shots and run-ins. It could just be a bad game but we need him back to his best as soon as possible.
Throughout all of my years supporting Real Madrid, I haven’t seen them do what they did against Atletico Madrid. Rafael Benitez came out with a slightly risky starting eleven but it seemed to have paid off. Well, for approximately 9 minutes… Once Karim Benzema scored the opening goal of the match, Real Madrid simply weren’t the same. They were practically parking the bus against Atletico Madrid, a team who actually know how to score and how to play! Why would we do that?!
Can Keylor Navas go through one game without absolutely impressing us?! His penalty save against Antoine Griezmann was spectacular and he had some great saves throughout the match! The Costa Rican goalkeeper had a small lapse in judgement earlier in the game but thankfully no major consequences came out of it as he made up for it throughout the rest of the game. Dare I say “I’m happy that the deal for David de Gea did not work out…”
Daniel Carvajal was able to play for the last few games due to Danilo’s injury and he has largely impressed just like he did last season. During the game against Atletico Madrid, he was an extreme threat going forward as he also assisted Karim Benzema’s goal with a perfect cross! Unfortunately, the Spanish defender had to leave the game due to an injury, hopefully it isn’t too serious!
Alvaro Arbeloa was the player that was picked to replace the injured Daniel Carvajal and he is simply not good enough for the squad, let alone for a game as intense as this one was. His lapse in judgement led to the goal scored by Luciano Vietto and his speed has let him down numerous times. To be completely honest, I have no idea why or how Alvaro Arbeloa is still a part of the Real Madrid squad when he needed to be transferred at least two years ago!
My Personal Player Ratings:
Keylor Navas: 9/10
Daniel Carvajal: 9/10
Raphael Varane: 8.5/10
Sergio Ramos: 7.5/10
Toni Kroos: 8.5/10
Carlos Casemiro: 9/10
Luka Modric: 8/10
Cristiano Ronaldo: 6.5/10
Karim Benzema: 7.5/10