Copa Del Rey 2017/18: Real Madrid 2-2 Fuenlabrada, Player Ratings
The youngest starting XI ever deployed by Zinedine Zidane saw Real Madrid through to the next round of the Copa Del Rey, but, it wasn’t without a hiccup. Real Madrid’s starting XI had an average age of 22 years and 156 days, a further indication of Zidane’s commitment to promoting youth.
However, the youngsters failed to live up to the hype as they could only muster up a 2-2 draw in front of an unimpressed home crowd. The result is a historic one for the third-tier side, as they can say they drew with the back to back European Champions. The result means Real Madrid go through to the next round with an aggregate score of 4-2.
Here’s how the players fared:
Keylor Navas: 5/10
Real’s no.1 was put straight back into the firing line on his return to first-team action. To his surprise, the Tercera Division side would proceed to bombard his goal with several efforts. However, the world-class keeper showed us his worst side as he fumbled in a long-range effort from Luis Milla in the 25th minute. To be quite honest, Navas looked rusty and devoid of match sharpness.
Achraf Hakimi: 5.5/10
Dani Carvajal’s successor didn’t crown himself in much glory throughout the first half. In defence, he looked naïve while in attack he was often the weak link. But as the game went on, his confidence grew and so did his influence.
Alvaro Tejero: 5.5/10
The youngster found himself being dribbled past way too many times tonight. If the 21-year-old is to make it at the Bernabéu, he must stop flying into tackles and abandoning his position.
Nacho Fernandez: 5/10
As the most experienced player on the team sheet, Fernandez did not lead by example. In fact, he looked like a bag of nerves just like the youngsters in the team.
Theo Hernandez: 5/10
The wing-back’s awkward positioning often left him susceptible to 2v1 overloads. As a result, Fuenlabrada found great joy when attacking down the right.
Dani Ceballos: 6/10
Just before the break, Ceballos made a hash of a golden chance for Los Blancos, as he skied a shot from a few yards out. Apart from that, the Spaniard tried his best to influence the game in the final third.
Marco Llorente: 5/10
Llorente lost the midfield battle for Real Madrid, his sluggish nature and slow reactions often led to him being overrun in the middle.
Mateo Kovacic: 6/10
Kovacic acted the most advanced of the midfield three, often pushing forward to link up with the forwards. He led by example in terms of creativity and constantly tried to make things happen through intricate one-twos.
Feuillasier Abalo: 5/10
The winger had little to no effect on the game, often just wandering around aimlessly on the flanks.
Borja Mayoral: 7.5/10
Deprived of service and time on the ball, Mayoral cut an isolated figure up front in the first half. But in the second half, the Spaniard burst into life and turned the game on its head with 2 goals. For his first, Gareth Bale provided the cross, he provided the finish, easy. His second strike displayed his hard-working nature as he refused to give up on a loose ball, eventually slotting it past the outstretched Freixanet.
Oscar Rodriguez: 5.5/10
Playing out of position on the left, Rodriguez’s influence on the game was minimal. He did make a few threatening runs, but none of them had any real effect on the match.
Gareth Bale: 8/10
It’s no surprise that a £100m player can come on for a short cameo and absolutely dominate a third-tier team. But that’s what Bale did, as he was directly involved in both of Real’s goals.
Jaime Seoane: N/A
The midfielder didn’t have sufficient time to influence the game.
The U20 international couldn’t make an impact on the game in the little time he was given.