Player ratings: Almeria 1 – 2 Real Madrid; La Liga 2022

Carlo Ancelotti chose to rotate ahead of the first La Liga game of the season. Five players from the UEFA Super Cup victory were given a rest: Militao, Alaba, Casemiro, Modric and Carvajal. In their place came debuts for Tchouameni and Rudiger, as well as minutes for Camavinga, Nacho and Lucas Vazquez.

It turned out to be a difficult game in the south of Spain with Almeria taking the lead early thanks to a goal from Ramazadin. A few tactical adjustments and personnel changes from Ancelotti led to a turnaround in the second half. Goals from Lucas Vazquez and an inch-perfect free kick from David Alaba put the result for Madrid.

Full rating of match players below:

Thibaut Courtois 7.5: Despite their limited counter-attacks, Almeria still managed 10 shots, half of which put Courtois to the test.

Lucas Vazquez-8.5: Won all of his ground games, contributed 2 key passes, scored numerous runs on the weak side of the game, scored a disallowed goal and scored the equalizer. It was a heroic performance by Lucas Vazquez.

Antonio Rudiger-6.5: Struggled with the threat from Sadiq and Ramazani for the first 20-30 minutes of the match, resulting in a miscommunication with Nacho on the opening goal. Gradually he grew in the game, surpassing all of Almeria’s forwards and playing a beautiful long ball with high loft that Karim Benzema clung to but failed to score.

Nacho-7: Like Rudiger, he struggled early on, but gradually found his way into the match. The two central defenders could have done better on goal: they decided to resign or fall together. Those kinks worked themselves out and both improved. Despite the physical mismatch, Nacho Umar handled Sadiq with ease and was very aggressive to deny the lanky Nigerian.

Ferland Mendy-4: Was mediocre against Frankfurt on Wednesday and didn’t have a good game tonight. Offer very little in the final third as Vinicius was desperate for a partner down the left flank.

Tchouameni-6: A lukewarm debut, but with positive moments to build on. Some of those moments included: an outside pass through the ball to Benzema, a high transition pass to Vinicius at the break and some good high pressure to force a Girona turnover. Some of the chemistry with his teammates is still missing and there were often huge gaps between Tchouameni and the Real Madrid defence.

Eduardo Camavinga-5: A frustrating performance for the young Frenchman, given how well he played in the pre-season. Couldn’t find a rhythm and was carded before the end of the half. Substituted for Luka Modric at half time.

Toni Kroos-7.5: Three key passes, one disallowed assist, game high of 115 touches and 81 passes with a 97% success rate. The German has started the season at a very high level.

Fede Valverde-7.5: Played with an urgency that the rest of the team lacked in the first half. Managed two impressive ball-carrying sequences in the first 45 to try and get a goal-scoring opportunity. The game ended with 4 key passes and 4 shots, but probably should have scored at least one goal.

Vinicius Junior—8.5: Again the difference maker. Girona tried to double up Vinicius and his compatriot, Kaiky, defended well for large pieces of the game, but Vinicius never wears out and never stops trying. The Brazilian had the skills to break a resilient back five and help open the score with a shot parried in Lucas Vazquez’s path for the first goal.

Karim Benzema-6.5: A quiet night for KB9 still consists of 3 shots, 4 key passes and 1 big chance created. Unfortunately for the Frenchman, he failed to capitalize on some great opportunities thanks to a low-driven pass from Vinicius and a ball across the defensive line from Toni Rudiger.

bills:

Luka Modric-7: Came in for Eduardo Camavinga at half time. His introduction gave the team some much-needed control and fluidity.

David Alaba-8: Just seconds after he took the field, he scored the winning goal. A direct free kick just outside the penalty area was the perfect opportunity to introduce Alaba and score a world class goal. He finished the game at left-back and his 15 minutes on the left were far more effective offensively than his team-mate, Ferland Mendy.

Eden Hazard-7: Played as #10 alongside a midfield of Kroos, Modric and Valverde. Combined well between the lines and had some nimble and skillful touches.

Dani Ceballos—N/A: Late introduction in the 83rd minute.

Casemiro—N/A: Late introduction in the 83rd minute.

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