Player Ratings: Real Madrid 3 – 1 Manchester City 1; 2022 UEFA Champions League Semi-Finals 2nd Leg
It is difficult not to give every single one of these players a “10” after yet another historic comeback. What this team has achieved the Champions League this season is the stuff of legends. It simply cannot be scripted. We can only hope a documentary is one day made about each of the knockout round victories, each one seemed less plausible than the last. What a night for Los Blancos and their faithful support. AT POR THE 14!
Full match player ratings below:
Thibaut Courtois—9: The Belgian will long be remembered for his heroics in this UCL Campaign. Be it his penalty save against Lionel Messi or his last minute save on Phil Foden’s header.
Dani Carvajal—9: What a difference full fitness and match rhythm makes for a player. After being tortured by Mbappe in the two legs vs PSG, Carvajal has gone to be the reliable soldier that helped this club to 4 Champions League titles. Defensively he was immense, just like in the match at home against Chelsea.
Eder Militao—7: Passing left a lot to be desired — still struggles under a press and opts to hoof the ball down field to no particularly target. Defensively was sound — contributing with 3 clearances and 3 completed tackles.
Nacho—9: What a performance — when the team needed him to step up, Nacho stepped up. His speed and athleticism were crucial in snuffing out City counter attacks. His one blemish will be on the City goal, where the Madrid line should have been further up the pitch, but that was a collective failure not an individual.
Ferland Mendy—8: A goal line clearance late in the game when Madrid was still down by a score of 1-0. That clearance would later prove to be absolutely vital.
Casemiro—6: Rash and aggressive with early tackles on Kevin De Bruyne and Phil Foden, fortunate not to see a yellow card. Despite some rough challenges, was important in providing the missing defensive solidity of the first game.
Toni Kroos—7: Spoke after the game about his position — played deeper as a second pivot alongside Casemiro. Very important in helping Madrid build out of City’s press, often dropping as a third center back or “false left back” to provide the first “exit” ball.
Luka Modric—7: Most advanced of the midfield three (oftentimes four with Fede playing narrow). Like Kroos, was a key cog in building through City’s press and allowing the team to maintain possession despite being put in the tightest of spaces.
Fede Valverde—8: What an asset in these big games. His quality is so important on both sides of the ball. Never allowed Carvajal to be isolated defensively.
Karim Benzema—7.5: Not as involved as previous knockout matches, but still just as impactful. Earned and scored the decisive penalty as well as providing the assist for the first goal to Rodrygo.
Vinicius Junior—7.5: The Brazilian never stopped trying, he ran at Walker time and time again. Those two had an intense battle all evening before Walker came off with an injury. Vini’s off ball pressing and defensive positioning was great, though he was part of the collective slip-up on City’s lone goal.
Rodrygo Goes—10: Mr Champions League. He has done it again. Came into the match and transformed it with two of the most clutch goals of his career (to go alongside his goal vs Chelsea and contribution vs PSG).
Eduardo Camavinga—10: An absolute gem of a player. Like Rodrygo, changed the tide of the match in favor of Madrid. His ball carrying, vision, and tackling in transition were instrumental in the comeback.
Marco Asensio—6: Moved around the pitch in multiple different positions. Worked hard defensively, but limited impact on the ball. Did get credit for the assist on Rodrygo’s 2nd goal by flicking the ball on with his head.
Jesus Vallejo—8: Came in with the weight of the world on his shoulders — defending a 1 goal aggregate lead in the extra time of the UCL semi-finals. Plugged in as a 3rd center back in a back five and made multiple important headed clearances.
Lucas Vazquez—7: Joined the match alongside Jesus Vallejo to complete the back five, as Carvajal moved to center back. A fighter that gave further fresh legs and oxygen to the team in the final minutes.
Dani Ceballos—7: Keep the ball in a difficult situation directly after coming into the match. Rallied the crowd and worked in tandem with Asensio to defend as twin forwards for the final minutes.