RCD Espanyol 1-0 Real Madrid: Player Ratings
Real Madrid traveled to Cornella to face RCD Espanyol as they looked to consolidate their spot on the third rung of the table while Espanyol was playing for their first victory against the Los Blancos since 2007.
The first half was largely a drab affair peppered with a few changes here and there for both the teams. However, in the second half, Espanyol started to take charge of the game as Real Madrid struggled to penetrate a motivated Espanyol defense.
Espanyol finally grabbed a winner courtesy Gerard Moreno in the 93rd minute of the game to register a historic victory against their opponents, one that has come after a hiatus of eleven years.
Without further ado, let's take a look at how the players rated for the two sides:
Diego Lopez: 7/10
The former Real Madrid custodian was a solid presence at the back. He was called into action quite often and did well on all occasions. He made excellent stops throughout the match to keep his team in the game.
Marc Navarro: 7/10
The full-back had a pretty solid game for his team. He did not allow anyone on his inside, neither did he allow Nacho to flourish on the overlap. Attacking, he did not venture up much, but who can demand more after such a solid showing at the back.
Oscar Duarte: 8/10
The center-back, like his defensive partners, was always alert to the dangers Real Madrid players posed to his goal and was ever-ready to deal with them. He never gave an inch of space to anyone in and around the penalty box.
Naldo put in a good performance as he was constantly in the way of Bale and company, keeping them at bay for the majority of the game. He made a string of important interceptions and tackles to keep Espanyol in the game.
Aaron Martin: 6/10
Aaron Martin defended his team's left flank quite diligently. He was tentative and always ready to go into a tackle. However, he was quite often overwhelmed by the overlapping Vazquez and Achraf combo. Attacking he ventured up quite a few times and delivered some delicious crosses.
Sergi Darder: 6/10
Playing as a right-winger on the night, his attacking input during his time on the pitch was next to nothing. However, he more than made up for it by tracking back and covering the runs of Nacho.
Pablo Piatti: 6/10
The pacey winger had a quite different role to play tonight. He was asked to play inside his own half without seeing much of the ball. He did that very well along with turning defense into attack quickly to the best of his limited ability.
Carlos Sanchez: 8/10
The defensive midfielder was quite combative in the middle of the park. He screened his defense well and never did shy away from a tackle. He was the glue that held his team while attacking. His distribution was efficient and eye-catching.
Victor Sanchez: 6/10
The former Barcelona midfielder put in a great performance in the middle of the park. He tracked back to defend when not in possession and then went ahead to support his teammates with equal enthusiasm.
Sergio Garcia: 7/10
Garcia constantly troubled the Madrid backline with his physicality, pace, and hold-up play for his teammates. However, he did lack sharpness in the opposition’s penalty box in the first half. He provided the assist for the winner.
Very much like his attacking teammates, he was a bit anonymous in the first half. However, in the second half, he was absolutely sensational as he hit the target with a peach of a strike. He troubled Madrid's center-backs quite a bit and looked sharp and involved.
Leo Baptistao: 6/10
He was brought on in the second half to add more attacking impetus to the home side's game, which he did. His introduction saw Espanyol attack with a fixed a target man.
Estaban Granero: 6/10
He was brought on for Victor Sanchez with twenty minutes left to play. With an important role to play, he continued Sanchez's good work in the middle of the park as he closed down spaces behind and in front of him with pace.