Player Ratings: Espanyol 2-1 Real Madrid – 2021/22

Real Madrid fall to their first league defeat of the season at the RCDE Stadium.

Real Madrid lost their second game in just five days as Espanyol emulated what Sheriff did in midweek in the Champions League. It was the first time since 2009 that Espanyol had beaten Real Madrid at the RCDE stadium and they fully deserved the three points.

Former Real Madrid player Raul de Tomas gave Espanyol the lead after just 17 minutes. Embarba raced past David Alaba down the left wing and crossed to the near post where Raul de Tomas got the better of Militao and Lucas Vazquez to finish past Courtois. Things only got worse for Madrid and on the hour mark the league leaders found themselves 2-0 down thanks to former Barcelona player Aleix Vidal. The full-back scored the goal after nutmegging Nacho and sprinting through on goal before calmly finishing past Courtois.

Karim Benzema got one back for Real Madrid with a wonderful curled finish to make it 2-1. The goal was nothing but a mere consolation as Real Madrid failed to find an equaliser and are now winless in their last three games in all competitions. Our player ratings:

Starting XI:

Thibaut Courtois: 6.5/10

Not much that he could’ve done to prevent either goal. The Belgian was massively let down by his teammates today and that looks to be an ever growing problem for Real Madrid this season.

Lucas Vazquez: 5/10

Vazquez has simply not got going this season. The Galician has just not been good enough and today’s match was no different.

Eder Militao: 4/10

During the second-half of last season, the Militao and Nacho partnership at the back looked impenetrable. This season it looks anything but that. The Brazilian was caught out of position numerous times and made it too easy for Espanyol to break through on goal.

Nacho: 4/10

Committed himself way too naively in the buildup to Espanyol’s second goal. The Spaniard looked out of touch and way out his depth. Poor performance.

David Alaba: 5/10

Started today’s game at left-back. The Austrian allowed Embarba far too much time and space to run past him and cross to Raul De Tomas for Espanyol’s opener and didn’t look as comfortable or as reassuring as we’ve seen in previous matches this season.

Fede Valverde: 6/10

Valverde always gives his all and today was no different. Despite that, the Uruguayan was unusually sloppy on the ball and found it difficult to have an impact on proceedings down the right wing.

Toni Kroos: 5/10

Back in the starting XI for the first time this season. The German looked pretty rusty which is to be expected after a long period on the sidelines.

Luka Modric: 5/10

One of Luka’s worst performances in quite some time. The Croatian had no impact on the game whatsoever and that was indicative of Madrid’s poor showing.

Eduardo Camavinga: 6/10

Started today’s game after string of decent performances. The young Frenchman was full of energy but looked to be lacking in ideas as his side struggled to control the game.

Karim Benzema: 8.5/10

As is often the case, Karim Benzema was the only bright spark for Real Madrid in attack. The Frenchman scored a brilliant goal but unfortunately can’t do it all on his own.

Vinicius Jr: 6/10

Vinicius has started the season brilliantly but didn’t quite reach those heights today. The Brazilian was well marshalled by Espanyol’s defence and that made things difficult for Madrid in attack.

Substitutions:

Rodrygo: 6/10 Came on to replace Camavinga at half-time. The Brazilian was relatively quiet throughout and made no impact off the bench.

Casemiro: 7/10 Came on to replace Toni Kroos. The Brazilian gave Real Madrid more control in the middle of the park and the league leaders looked much better since he came on.

Luka Jovic: 6/10 Came on to replace Modric. The Serbian combined well with Benzema for the goal but didn’t do much other than that.

Eden Hazard: 7/10 Came on to replace Vinicius. The Belgian added a spark to Real Madrid’s play and scored a fantastic goal which was unfortunately ruled out for offside.

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