Real Madrid had a perfect chance on Saturday to not only cement their place ahead of Atletico, but to make up points on Barcelona. Los Blancos did not seize the opportunity, however, and are in danger of falling back to third in the table.
Jose Mourinho opted to rest some of his key players ahead of the Champions League clash with Galatasaray on Wednesday. But the majority of the Madrid squad did not step up in Zaragoza.
In this article, we will take a look at the player ratings for Real Madrid against Zaragoza. Though some players put in a dominant performance, the entire team was needed to overturn this 1-1 draw.
Note all statistics are courtesy of WhoScored.com.
Diego Lopez: 9/10 and Man of the Match
The Real Madrid keeper kept his side in this match on several occasions. Though he only made four saves, each one was incredible and kept out a sure goal.
Alvaro Arbeloa: 6/10
Teams are starting to figure out that Arbeloa is the weak link in the Madrid defense. The Spaniard did very little with the ball and failed to keep the Zaragoza attack in front of him. His three fouls, which led to a yellow card, are very indicative of his overall performance.
Pepe put in a very strong performance in place of Raphael Varane, but it is clear that he is not at his best. His quickness was lacking despite being proficient in the air.
Sergio Ramos: 7/10
Madrid’s captain on the night put in the best defensive display of anyone. He made four strong tackles and had a passing rating of 89 percent. But Ramos could have done a bit better as he invoked a few sloppy fouls.
The Brazilian left-back was outstanding for Real Madrid on the night. His link up in attack played a big role all night, and his speed made things very difficult for the Zaragoza counterattack
Michael Essien: 7/10
Essien played the role of defensive midfielder perfectly. He won back possession during key moments of the game and only got involved in the attack when the opportunity called for it. However, his distribution of the ball could have been better.
Luka Modric: 5/10
Just when it seemed as though Modric had found his form at Real Madrid, it disappeared again. The Croatian never looked comfortable in Xabi Alonso’s place and nearly cost Madrid a few times.
For most of the game, Kaka was relatively invisible. He did not offer much in attack and only enjoyed a passing rating of 74 percent. The Brazilian was often caught behind the attack and was not able to get involved.
Jose Callejon: 6.5/10
The winger failed to take his chances against Zaragoza. He was often cut off from the other attackers and did not challenge the defense enough.
Cristiano Ronaldo: 8/10
Even when his teammates looked as though they were not going to show up, Cristiano Ronaldo continued to attack. The winger equalized with a beautiful strike and nearly had a winner that was saved.
Gonzalo Higuain: 7/10
The Argentine showed great positioning and movement in attack. The defense was forced to keep tabs on him the entire game. But with the ball, Higuain left much to be desired.
Angel Di Maria: 7/10
The Argentine winger replaced Callejon in the second half and immediately sparked the offense. His speed became an issue for the Zaragoza defense, but in the end nothing materialized.
Sami Khedira: 7/10
When Khedira entered for Arbeloa, it was understood that he would seek to hold back the strong counterattack from Zaragoza. He did just that and secured the middle of the pitch for Los Blancos.
Mesut Ozil: 7.5/10
Though Ozil did not create any more chances than Kaka did, his presence opened up play and made defending much more difficult for Zaragoza. Had he played the entire game, Real Madrid might have taken all three points.
How would you rate the players for Real Madrid? Who was your man of the match? Don’t forget to leave your thoughts and comments below.
Tre’ Atkinson. Follow me on Twitter for more discussions on Real Madrid and La Liga.