Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Real Madrid vs Zenit 3-0 Players Rating


Dudek – 6: Had an amazingly solid defence infront of him. They were exposed twice when Zenit hit the woodwork on two occasions but Dudek only had a few routine saves to make.

Salgado – 7: A gutsy display. Was outpaced by the likes of Denisov, Zyryanov and Dominguez but he stuck to his guns and kept on fighting. Played as a leftback in the second half when Metzelder came in and adapted to his new role without too much trouble.

Sergio Ramos – 7: Barely left his own half. The instructions from Juande are clear: he is to remain at the back as much as possible. And didn’t he do a sterling job. Did not put a foot wrong.

Cannavaro – 7.5: One of his better performances of the season. Barely let anyone past him and he looked like the rock-solid centreback who always turns up for Italy. Had plenty of cover from his teammates.

Marcelo – 6: Was caught hideously out of position early in the game but then wisely restricted his movements upfront. Played as an attacking left winger in the second half but didn’t have too much of an impact.

Guti – 7.5: Pulled the strings from midfield with a faultless display. Like many of his teammates, he did not put a foot wrong with his passing. Even seen back-tracking a few times to help out defensively.

Gago – 8: Constantly dropped back deep into his own penalty area to help out the rearguard. Was often seen all across the backline covering for his leftback, rightback and centrebacks. Also brought he ball forward astutely to link up the defence and the midfield.

Van der Vaart – 6: Another decent but low-key performance. Combined well with his midfielders and always present to receive the ball. Set-up the opening goal but nothing spectacular from him. Taken off at half-time.

Raúl – 9: Two goals and one assist. His first strike may not be his prettiest but his second was vintage Raul: lifting the ball over the goalkeeper with audacity and the deftest of touches. Left the game midway through the second half to a rousing standing ovation.

Higuain – 7: Could have had a couple of goals himself but poor finishing let him down… for once. A strangely subdued performance but he was always there in the attacking half to draw out defenders and exchange one-touch passes with his teammates.

Robben – 9: Absolutely unplayable. Formed the perfect attacking partnership with Raul and provided an assist for his captain and scored one for himself with an equally sublime, audacious chip. Had countless shots on target and denied only by a few sharp saves from Malafeev. A shame he will miss El Clasico.


Metzelder – 6: Deployed as a rightback as Juande attempted to experiment ahead of El Clasico. Joined the attack a few times Sergio Ramos-style but didn’t quite pull it off. No shame in trying, though.

Javi Garcia – 6: Brought on to strengthen the midfield line and he did just that without much fuss.

Saviola 6: His shortage in match fitness and sharpness was evident as his lack of pace let him down a few times when he was put through on goal.


Malafeev – 7: Made a number of excellent saves and single-handedly denied Robben at least a hat-trick. But his error gave away the opening goal and the final .

Anyukov – 5: Despite defending Madrid’s less threatening flank, he did not attack as much as he should. Had he done so, it could easily have changed the complexion of the game. Carelessly allowed van der Vaart to skip away from him to send in the cross which led to the opening goal.

Krizanak – 5: Didn’t see too much of him. Played his part to pack his own penalty box early in the game to stifle Madrid’s attack but once they got into gear, he struggled to cope.

Lombaerts – 6: Made a few number of critical interceptions, especially in the early parts of the match. Like Krizanak, he did well initially but left twisted inside out especially by Robben as the game wore on.

Sirl – 5.5: Simply had a torrid time trying to keep a leash on Robben. But credit to him, he kept on battling away and did not look dejected. Would have been extremely relieved to hear the final whistle, though.

Denisov – 6.5: Very difficult to control in the opening stages of the game. Continued to look lively in patches and provided the biggest attacking threat for Zenit.

Tymoschuk – 5.5: Did his best to wrestle with Guti and Gago for midfield domination but without extra support from his teammates, he came off second best almost every time.

Zyryanov – 5: Had to drop back and help out Sirl to defend against the rampant Robben. Did surge forward a few times but never really caused too much damage.

Danny – 6: Absolutely anonymous in the first half. Had maybe only one decent touch of the ball and hardly threatened. Came alive towards the game and came close to scoring a consolation goal when his header came back off the crossbar.

Arshavin 6.5: Saw plenty of the ball and showed some good touches but he did not have any support from his teammates. Surprisingly taken off at half time.

Pogrebnyak – 4: Very isolated upfront. Hardly had a touch of the ball, barely had an attempt at goal.


Fayzulin – 6.5: Had a few decent look-ins at goal and saw one of his efforts cannon back off the bar.

Tekke – 6: Didn’t have a clear scoring chance but his movement off the ball inside the Madrid box caused a few moments of panic.

Dominguez – 6: Immediately sparked his team to life when he came on 15 minutes from time. But like Arshavin, he wasn’t afforded enough support.
Player Ratings: Real Madrid 3-0 Zenit St. Petersburg

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