Crazy Ball – Valencia managed to beat defending champions Real Madrid 4-1 at Mestalla which included a hat-trick from Carlos Soler with three penalties and one Raphael Varane suicide on Monday (9/11).
It was a night that didn't go well for Zinedine Zidane's side. Casemiro's absence seemed to make Madrid really like a boneless body, lacking enough intensity while defensive performance was also poor, even though Sergio Ramos started.
The French manager tried to give Marcelo and Isco a chance to step down from the first minute, but it was an unsuccessful bet, and the inclusion of strikers Luka Jovic and Mariano Diaz also did little to change the flow of Los Blancos' attack. Even though Real Madrid had the lead through Karim Benzema, before Carlos Soler's penalty and Raphael Varane's own goal made the Spanish capital giants turn 2-1 behind at halftime.
The addition of two more goals from Soler from the penalty spot in the second half saw Madrid finally go down 4-1, and here are their players' report cards after the terrible defeat at Mestalla:
- Thibaut Courtois (5.0) – saved Soler's penalty and Lee Kang-In's long-range shot, but paid the price for his team's poor defense with 4 goals nestled into the net.
- Marcelo Viera (5.0) – after a fine first-half display – including an assist for Benzema – the left-back sent Madrid a third penalty for fouling Maxi Gomez inside the six-meter box.
- Sergio Ramos (5.0) – like his two fellow defenders, Ramos was also guilty of receiving a penalty. The referee Jesus Gil Manzano may not have seen him, but VAR did.
- Raphael Varane (4.0) – Another terrifying display from the center-back which ended in an own goal. It's hard to describe Varane as one of the top class defenders at the moment.
- Lucas Vazquez (4,5) – Valencia's attacks were mostly directed at the defensive side, and were unlucky to be penalized for handball for the hosts' first penalty.
- Federico Valverde (6.0) – representing Casemiro in the midfield, the 22-year-old proved his versatility on the pitch, but lacked the intensity of a Brazilian midfielder.
- Luka Modric (6,5) – The Croatian midfielder was a glimmer of light on a dark night for Madrid, with Modric constantly trying to move forward to create something. Lack of choice limits his influence in the final third.
- Isco (5.0) – only occasionally shows his quality on the ball, is more often wasteful in possession and often loses the ball in good positions.
- Marco Asensio (5.0) – a shot from distance in the first half was only Asensio's brief highlight in a night that didn't do much. Denis Cheryshev's claim of foul play was denied ahead of Valencia's second goal, replaced by Odegaard in the second half.
- Vinicius Junior (5.0) – not a good night for Vini at the Mestalla. He's not very involved in the game and, when he's involved, it's not quite as useful. He was replaced by Rodrygo midway through the second half.
- Karim Benzema (6.5) – first finding the opportunity, he had a deflected shot and past Jaume Domenech to give Los Blancos the lead. Worryingly for Zidane, Benzema was forced off with a muscle injury in the second half.
- Martin Odegaard (5.5) – Odegaard's entry was also unable to have an impact on Madrid who needed goals
- Rodrygo Goes (5,5) – replaces Vini, but no better than his compatriot
- Mariano Diaz (nil) – replacing the injured Benzema, had no significant impact
- Toni Kroos (nil) – too late for Zidane to enter Kroos.
- Luka Jovic (nil) – entered in the last 7 minutes, nothing to hope for.
Valencia's report card: Jaume Domenech (7.5); Jose Gaya (7.5), Hugo Guillamon (6.5), Gabriel Paulista (7.0), Daniel Wass (7.0); Denis Cheryshev (6.5), Uros Racic (6.5), Carlos Soler (8.0), Yunus Musah (7.0); Maxi Gomez (7.0), Lee Kang-In (6.5); Toni Lato (nil), Kevin Gameiro (nil), Jason (nil), Ruben Sobrino (nil).
Source: Report Card Real Madrid Lose 4-1 in Valencia: Lost by 3 penalties and 1 suicide
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