Sunday, 14 September 2008

real madrid v numancia 4-3

Player Ratings: Real Madrid 4-3 Numancia

Numancia twice took the lead but eventually lost to a chaotic Real Madrid in the second game of the season. analyses the individual performances...

Real Madrid

Casillas - 5.5: Didn't really do much of anything for the entire game, but could have done better to stop the free-kick, which he only managed to get a hand to.

Michel Salgado - 6: Certainly played better than most had probably expected coming into the game. Injuries to Madrid's first and second choice right-backs meant the legendary but aging Salgado had to come in, but despite some erratic moments in defence, he cleaned up more often than he lost out.

Pepe - 4: This is not to say he's a flop - he was in fact fantastic last season and as worth €30 million as any defender realistically can be - but he was woeful this evening. He showed all the weaknesses in his game without any of the redeeming qualities. His positioning and communication was poor - partly due to the lack of familiarity within the back four - and his rating may have been lower had his flick-on not provided what turned out to be the winning goal.

Metzelder - 5: Was also sloppy at times but, considering his problems with injury and lack of match practice, he acquitted himself reasonably well. Was too sloppy possession and perhaps didn't close down as much as he should have.

Marcelo - 7: Once again, Madrid's best defender, when last season it was so often the opposite. Positionally suspect early on, bombing forward a little too often with gay abandon, and was possibly the guilty party when Moreno was allowed to head home the early opener but was otherwise a good outlet going forward and tracking back.

Diarra - 7: Occasionally all over the place - as almost everyone was - but generally won every challenge he entered into, to his credit, and his energy in the middle was indispensable. Could have distributed a little better than he did.

Guti - 7.5: In many respects, it was typical Guti. He was afforded quite a bit of space due to the nature of the game and played some expansive passes. His corner created the fourth goal and he scored the first, albeit with the aid of a deflection.

Van der Vaart - 8: A Liga debut full of promise. Scored an absolutely stunning goal to give Real Madrid the lead for the first time - which they then did not relinquish - and also played his part in the buildup to the first and second.

HiguaĆ­n - 8: A start and a very well taken goal for the young Argentine - he's not just a super sub. This could well be his season to prove that Madrid didn't need another striker this summer, but he will have to produce these kinds of performances on a regular basis. Showed good movement and had a fair few chances on goal.

Robben - 7.5: Back into his stride after a woeful showing against Deportivo. Was still a little too predictable and selfish at times, but exhibited far more of his dribbling and direct running this evening.

Van Nistelrooy - 7.5: No goals! Amazing, is it not? But he provided the assists for both Guti and Higuain, and even scrapping to make sure van der Vaart managed to pick up the loose ball for the third.


Raul - 6.5: Showed good energy and kept the ball well. Had one chance he perhaps should have scored when put through, but he can take solace in the fact it wouldn't have counted anyway, as he was (wrongfully) flagged for offside.

De la Red - 5: A little sloppy. It was a brief showing - and he was introduced to add some steel - but other than a fairly well-hit free-kick, he gave the ball away a couple more times than he would have liked. Not too much to read into, though.

Drenthe - 7: In a brief showing he did exactly what was required of him: hustled, harried and made it difficult for Numancia to force a late equaliser.


Juan Pablo - 8: Conceded four, but it could have been more had he not been alert to keep out van Nistelrooy, Higuain and Robben - none of which were shy to test him on a fair few occasions. Powerless to stop the goals.

Juanra - 6: Did his utmost to get forward but didn't manage to make much headway. Ultimately, Robben and van der Vaart gave him a few troubles in the first half and he will think he should have done better.

Palacios - 7: Put in a workman-like performance that made matters troublesome for van Nistelrooy and Higuain when they attempted to find space in the area.

Boris - 5: Unfortunate to see the ball deflect off him for Guti's goal, but generally found himself late in a few challenges and a yard slow when it mattered.

Cisma - 5: Was given the runaround by Robben and Higuain. Put through his own net, with a degree of misfortune, and will generally feel like he could have prevented the loss.

Hagore - 5: Found himself completely overrun on the most part, as the game went from end to end at a relentless pace. Failed to stop Guti and van der Vaart playing as he should have done.

Barkero - 7.5: Was one of Numancia's stars, scoring an absolute scorcher of a goal from almost completely nothing. Constantly a threat and full of energy from box to box.

Mario - 6: Super Mario, as he was dubbed after he scored the winner agaiinst Barcelona on opening day, was as good as anonymous this evening. Failed to get the better of Marcelo in one on ones and didn't get into the box to get off any shots either.

Moreno - 8.5: Man of the Match. Netted the first, directing his free header into the far corner, and also did well to whip a free-kick over the wall with his left foot - angle against him and all - and see it get past Iker Casillas, despite him getting a hand to it. Both goals somewhat made for him in that regard, yes, but he was full of ideas going forward, distributed well and was involved in all the most significant Numancia moves of the game.

Bellvis - 7.5: Gave Salgado a good game out on the left flank. Cut inside and went down to the touchline in equal measure, was fairly efficient in possession and posed a threat when entering into the box.

Brit - 7.5: Was absolutely selfless up front, doing a lot of running and making the Madrid defenders' lives miserable. Cannot have a much higher rating than he got as he did not pick up a goal or direct assist, but his role in tonight's performance cannot be understated.


Del Pino - 7.5: Made much more of a game of things than Mario once introduced. Regularly attempted to run in behind his man and put balls across goal. A constant threat.

Anton - 6: Replaced Barkero, but failed to make an impact anything like him. was bypassed for the best part of 20 minutes, though he did facilitate Numancia's fast and furious game fairly well and was tidy in possession.

Quero - n/a: A late introduction as the visitors pushed for an equaliser, but didn't really make an impact in the 10 mintues he was given. Barely got any of the ball.

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