Player Ratings: Athletic Bilbao 0 – 2 Real Madrid; 2023 La Liga

Real Madrid traveled away to Bilbao to play in pack San Games, but managed to secure all three points courtesy of goals from Karim Benzema and Toni Kroos, while individuals like Eduardo Camavinga, Nacho, and Ceballos took their opportunities.

Full match player ratings below:

Thibaut Courtois—7.5: Produced a great early save off an Athletic set-piece off a Aitor Paredes header. The Belgian and Madrid defense kept Athletic off the score-sheet, despite an xG of 1.16.

Nacho—9: What more can be asked of Nacho? Despite not playing for months, he comes out from the fringes of the squad in an uncustomary right back position and puts in a commanding performance. Set the tone defensively with crunching tackles and a no non-sense attitude a la Sergio Ramos. On the ball, always took an “active” first touch, knowing where he wanted to go before he received and never stopping the ball dead. Carvajal and Lucas Vazquez have their work cut out trying to get back into the team.

Eder Militao—8: Always fun to watch Eder Militao go up against Inaki Williams. Eder normally comes out on top and he did today as well — he was aggressive with his step-outs and looked just as fast as Inaki whenever he placed in a footrace.

Tony Rudiger—7: Continued to show nerves while playing out from the back and under pressure, but was a stalwart defensively. Made a crucial clearance on a near-perfect Athletic cross in the 51st minute. Grew as the game wore on and helped secure the clean sheet.

Ferland Mendy—7: Seems like the Frenchman has been told to get more involved in the attack and make more overlapping runs. Just like against Villarreal, he had a perfect cutback to Benzema at the top of the box that nearly ended on a goal.

Eduardo Camavinga—9.5: MOTM – Playing as the lone pivot or defensive midfielder in a midfield of three, Camavinga was outstanding. A ball-winning machine, a dictator of tempo, and a line breaker all in one. Ancelotti lauded the young 20-year-old after the match and rightly so.

Dani Ceballos—8.5: Big opportunity to start over Toni Kroos and the Spaniard took his chance. He was a constant in Real Madrid’s build up through the left and central sides of the pitch. He finished the game with 78 touches (game high), 51 passes at 93% pass accuracy (game high), 8/8 long balls completed, and had 3 tackles + 3 clearances. He was the all around midfield and put in a great shift.

Fede Valverde—7: Was involved in both goals — the cross to Asensio for Benzema’s acrobatic finish and the link-up with Rodrygo prior to Kroos’ inch-perfect shot. Completed 2 of 2 dribbles and finished the match with the highest progressive carries and progressive passes.

Marco Asensio—6.5: Nearly finished off Valverde’s cross which then ended up resulting in the first goal. Just missed scoring the game’s second goal after linking up with Benzema and trying a first-time right footed shot.

Vinicius Junior—5: Let the referee, the fans, and opposition players get into his head too much. Sems distracted and once again trying to do too much.

Karim Benzema—6Scored a spectacular goal, but still showing some signs of rust after his lengthy injury lay-off.

Substitutions:

Tony Croos—8: Scored a goal that defies physics, contouring his body to reach a ball that was behind him and finesse his shot into the bottom corner.

Luka Modric—6: Helped provide more control in the midfield to the end game.

Rodrygo—7: Managed an assist in just 7 minutes of game-time after linking up with Fede and feeding Kroos at the top of the box.

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