Luka Modric, Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo Goes were below par as Real Madrid lost 1-0 to Athletic Bilbao in the Copa del Rey quarter-finals.
Having already eliminated Barcelona from the Copa del Rey, Athletic Bilbao made a confident start to the game against Real Madrid at San Mames, keeping their visitors pinned back for most of the first half with their high-intensity pressing and purposeful attacks. However, they could not carve out many dangerous chances, although Dani Garcia and Iker Muniain did come close to scoring.
Real Madrid, who hardly offered any attacking threat in the first half, failed to do so again in the second period, barring a tame attempt from a tight angle by Casemiro. On the other hand, Athletic kept pushing for a goal but were unable to find a way through until late on as Alex Berenguer capitalised on a botched clearance by Luka Modric and Casemiro to fire a left-footed strike past Thibaut Courtois to win it.
It was a disappointing display from Carlo Ancelotti’s men on the night in the Basque country as they struggled to perform in the final third. Athletic Bilbao, meanwhile, defeated Los Blancos for the first time this season after losing their previous three outings in all competitions since December.
After an underwhelming display, here are our player ratings for the Real Madrid stars.
Thibaut Courtois: 7/10
The Belgian international started the cup tie ahead of Andriy Lunin and made a solid save to deny Dani Garcia in the first period. He was not tested much afterwards but was alert whenever needed. However, he could not stop Berenguer’s winner.
Lucas Vazquez: 5/10
Preferred over Dani Carvajal despite the veteran’s availability, the winger turned right-back struggled to offer anything going forward in a game that Real Madrid progression and attacking threat. Defensively, Vazquez was fairly tight, although he was at times guilty of affording Iker Muniain a lot of space.
Eder Militao: 7.5/10
The Brazilian was one of the few positives for Real Madrid on the night. He was involved in an interesting battle against Inaki Williams but managed to keep the Athletic forward at bay with some crucial last-ditch challenges, including one close to the half-hour mark, which stopped a certain goal.
Militao with an insane tackle to stop Bilbao from going 1 up pic.twitter.com/xrB8bmdPnP
— WolfRMFC (@WolfRMFC) February 3, 2022
Starting alongside Militao in defence, the Spaniard was solid as his centre-back partner, making vital clearances to keep the home team away for as long as he could. However, he was turned inside out by Berenguer for the winning goal.
David Alaba: 5/10
He started at left-back after a long while, and while the summer signing was fairly reliable in defence, like Vazquez, he too failed to offer much attacking threat when Real Madrid needed some inspiration. He was not effective enough when given a chance to carry the ball forward.
Luka Modric: 5/10
One of the rare occasions during which the Croatian superstar was well below his best. Modric did not look like his composed self when on the ball and could not get a foothold into the game. His inability to clear the ball played a role in Athletic’s winner.
Modric and Casemiro clownery ? https://t.co/uux9MfYi16
— Carles?????? (@FranciscoTrinc) February 3, 2022
The Brazilian never looked comfortable coming up against the press of the home team and was unable to thwart their attacks effectively. Casemiro was then guilty of botching Real Madrid’s best chance of the night in the second half, and then his mishit pass led to the winning goal late on.
Rodrygo Goes: 4/10
Given a chance to make an impression ahead of Eden Hazard and Gareth Bale, the Brazilian was utterly disappointing. Rodrygo was completely toothless in attack, failing to execute a single dribble or key pass and struggled to get into the game on the right flank or centrally.
Marco Asensio: 5/10
The first half was a torrid one for Asensio, who failed to test the Athletic defence after starting as a false-nine, although it did not help matters that those behind him could not get the ball into dangerous areas. Shifted to the right-wing later in the second half, he looked more lively and set Casemiro up for a chance with a sublime pass, but the Brazilian failed to make it count.
If Vinicius and Rodrygo (even Asensio who was coming off an injury) played tonight then it's obvious that Ancelotti just doesn't trust his bench AT ALL. A 14-player roster is not going to cut it to even win La Liga this season.
— Lucas Navarrete (@LucasNavarreteM) February 3, 2022
Vinicius Junior: 5/10
Started despite him returning from international duty on Wednesday, the Brazilian looked a bit tired at times. Vinicius tried to make things happen by taking on defenders but was often crowded out by the home team, which meant he could not get into dangerous positions. He lacked support from those around him and was taken off.
The Spaniard replaced Vinicius at the hour mark. He missed a great chance but was saved by the offside flag.
Eduardo Camavinga: N/A
On for Kroos with a little less than 15 minutes left.