Real Madrid fell short of mounting a comeback against Espanyol as the final whistle blew with the score set at 1-1. Jose Mourinho chose to rest a few key players, but their late addition to the match was not enough.
For stretches of the match, it was actually Espanyol who looked the better side. Several Madrid players were relatively invisible for this match, which gave the hosts the fighting chance they needed.
Here, we will look at the player ratings for Real Madrid. As always, check out the rating system below and note that all statistics are courtesy of Whoscored.com.
2—No production whatsoever
3—Very little production
4—Worse than average
8—Very high production
9—Nearly perfect performance
Diego Lopez: 7/10
The Real Madrid keeper put in a very strong showing against Espanyol. He made four saves and claimed a very dangerous cross. He was not at fault for the one goal conceded and kept Real Madrid in the match.
Raphael Varane: 6/10
The French defender was subbed off very early in the match and did not have time to contribute too much. But Varane did look comfortable on the right and made a key tackle early on.
Raul Albiol: 6.5/10
Raul Albiol played quite well in a rare appearance. His five tackles led the team, and he won every headed duel he challenged for. But his positioning put Real Madrid in danger on a few occasions.
Ricardo Carvalho: 7/10
The aging Portuguese defender showed signs of his former ability against Espanyol. Though he only made two tackles, he anchored and led the defense throughout the match as well as dispossessing Espanyol in key moments.
Nacho was by far the best defender on the pitch. He made three solid tackles and won the ball back as the last man twice. He just seemed to be in the right places at the right time and did not make a mistake.
Michael Essien: 6/10
Essien spent over half of the match filling in for the injured Varane. He only made one tackle and was caught out of position quite a few times. But his contribution to the attack was very impressive.
Luka Modric: 7.5/10
This was one of Modric’s better games this season. He gave the assist to draw Madrid level and pulled the strings in attack. He also contributed defensively by making three important tackles. Modric also enjoyed a passing rating of 93 percent.
The Brazilian was relatively invisible throughout this match. Though Kaka had a 97 percent passing rating, he never once contributed positively to the attack. Kaka also lost the ball too many times and should have been brought off much earlier than he was.
Angel Di Maria: 6/10
The Argentine winger went missing for stretches of the match, but played well when he showed up. Di Maria got off five shots, but never really tested the keeper.
Alvaro Morata: 6.5/10
At the beginning of the match, Morata was the best player on the pitch. He made four tackles and linked up well with the midfield. Morata also beat his defender twice and got off a shot that would have gone in had it not been blocked by Hector Moreno.
Gonzalo Higuain: 7.5/10
The Real Madrid striker took a while to show up against Espanyol. Once he began to link up well with others, things became difficult for Espanyol. It was Higuain’s headed effort that drew Real Madrid level and nearly began a wonderful comeback.
Xabi Alonso: 6.5/10
The prolific midfielder came on early for Varane and helped out well in defense. His five tackles played a key role, but Alonso did not contribute in attack as much as he normally does.
Karim Benzema: 6/10
Benzema entered the match at halftime looking to change the flow of the match. The French striker failed to contribute much but did link up play quite well and get off a testing shot.
Cristiano Ronaldo: 7/10
Espanyol fans grimaced when the Portuguese stat entered the match. But for once, Ronaldo did not make much of an impact with the ball. His presence did open up play for his teammates, but Ronaldo did very little himself except for three shots that did not test the keeper.
How would you rate Real Madrid’s players against Espanyol? Who was the man of the match? Leave your thoughts and comments below.
Tre’ Atkinson. Follow me on Twitter for more discussions on Real Madrid and La Liga.