Real Madrid slipped to a 2-0 defeat to Wolfsburg in the first leg of their quarterfinals clash in the Champions League, as a penalty from Ricardo Rodriguez and a counter-attacking goal from Maximilian Arnold proved enough to cause the demise of the visitors.
In the game played at the Vlf Wolfsburg Arena, the hosts started brightly and scored both their goals in the first half, whereas the visitors could never command the play and lost the game. Wolfsburg were the underdogs, but they showed why Madrid should not take them lightly as they produced a good team performance and closed down the Madrid attack with aplomb.
Here is a look at how the players from both sides fared:
Diego Benaglio – 8
The Swiss goalkeeper came out on top at the end of the game by keeping a clean sheet against the deadly front three of Los Blancos. However, he was beaten by Ronaldo inside the first two minutes but the Portuguese was adjudged offside.
Benaglio was very good with his handling and provided the cover that was required to keep Madrid quiet. He made several crucial stops to deny the visitors and it proved to be a vital game for the shot-stopper.
Ricardo Rodriguez – 7
The Swiss fullback was a key for Wolfsburg on the night. He did not go forward as much as he does against other teams but he created some oppotunities when he did go forward. He defended well against the likes of Benzema and Bale. He was the player who scored the penalty and beat Keylor Navas comfortably.
Dante – 6
The Brazilian centre-back had a very nervy first half as Karim Benzema and Ronaldo troubled him too often. But as the game progressed, he grew into the game and produced a good performance for his side. The solid defensive from Wolfsburg was important in securing the victory and Dante played a vital part in it..
Naldo – 7
Naldo was the best defensive player for Wolfsburg on the pitch. Coming back from an injury lay-off, the defender was very solid when dealing with Benzema and Jese. He commanded the play as he made interceptions and key tackles to win the possession back for his team and clear the danger.
Vieirinha – 7
The fullback had a shaky start to the game as he was booked for a challenge on countryman Ronaldo within the first 20 minutes. Afterwards, the defender dealt well with the likes of Bale and Ronaldo, not allowing them to have any space to get their crosses in.
Luiz Gustavo – 7
The Brazilian sat in front of the back four and thwarted anything that was in his range. He protected his defence well and broke up the play on numerous occasions. He was very good on the ball and did not allow much space for Madrid’s forward line to create something.
Joshua Guilavogui – 8
The central midfielder had an outstanding game in the middle as he complimented his partner Gustavo and probably was better than him on th night. He put the Madrid midfielders under pressure throughout the game which allowed him opportunities to nick the ball off their feet. He was always there to deny space to Real players.
Maximilian Arnold – 8
The midfielder did very well sitting in the middle of the pitch. He sat deep in order to help his teammates and not allow any space to the Real midfielders. His forward play was very good as well and it helped him score his side’s second goal when he was quick to react to a cross from his teammate Henrique and tapped the ball in the back of the net.
Bruno Henrique – 9
The Brazilian did very well throughout the game on the right wing to show his pace and get past the Madrid defence to create opportunities for himself and his teammates. He was outstanding on the night and put plenty of pressure on Marcelo when trying to win back possession. He was quick to react and won the possession for his team as well. His low cross was crucial to give his side a 2-0 lead as his cross was tapped in by Arnold.
Andre Schurrle – 7
The German midfielder was chosen to operate as a false nine in the Wolfsburg attack by manager Dieter Hecking. He was good on the night as he defended well with his teammates to deny Real any good opportunities to get a goal back. He was quick to play on the counter whenever the hosts won the possession and caused some trouble to Pepe and Ramos, while also winning the penalty for his team.
Julian Draxler – 8
The German midfielder was very good on the left wing. He did what was required off him on the night. He sat back and helped out Rodriguez whenever Real had possession. And got forward with the help of his pace to beat Danilo on numerous occasions.
Christian Trasch – 6
He came on in the 80th minute as a substitue for Bruno Henrique and did well to sit deep and help his teammates in defending when Real had the possession.
Max Kruse – NA
The German striker replaced Andre Schurrle late into the game and he almost scored with a shot from close range.
Marcel Schafer – NA
He came on for Julian Draxler with a minute remaining in the game. He did not see any of the ball during his short spell on the pitch.