LaLiga: Player ratings from El Clasico where Messi was the hero, Ramos the zero

Andrew Gaffney

PLAYER RATINGS

REAL MADRID

Keylor Navas – 8

There’s been a lot of questions surrounding Navas’ ability this season. He made everyone forget about David De Gea last year but he’s looked anything but a safe pair of hands this time around. When Keylor came and missed a corner at the end of the first half it could’ve set the tone for the night but it didn’t. Navas produced a good save to deny Alcacer and a world class one to deny Pique in the second half. He could do nothing to stop Rakitic’s golazo or Messi’s winner but without him, Madrid would’ve been losing a lot earlier.

Dani Carvajal – 6

Despite being one of the unsung heroes in this Real Madrid side Dani didn’t have his best game against Barcelona. He’ll have nightmares about that Messi goal when the Argentine left him in another century as he skipped beyond his ‘challenge’.

Sergio Ramos – 0

Why? That’s one of the eternal questions when it comes to Ramos. He’s either the hero or the villain and here he was certainly the latter. A reckless, wild lunge on Messi meant he took an early bath. He can complain, blame Barcelona players for talking to the referee, but the only person responsible is the man picking up the 22nd red card of his career. 

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Nacho Fernandez – 5

It was never going to be easy coming up against Messi and company but Nacho did okay, but not enough to convince people he should be first choice next season. He looked better than his more experienced partner did at least.

Marcelo – 8

Cristiano took all the headlines following Madrid’s victory over Bayern Munich in the Champions League but Marcelo was the true man of the match. Against Barcelona he was a constant threat down the left. He caught Messi with an elbow which looked unintentional but gave Roberto nightmares throughout. If it wasn’t for injuries there would be more people buying into the idea he’s one of the greatest left backs to grace the game.

Casemiro – 5

The Brazilian must be keeping a horse shoe under his shirt because how he wasn’t sent off in the first half I’ll never know. There was less than 15 minutes on the clock when he cut Messi down on the halfway line. Absolutely needless but that’s what you get with Casemiro. He spent the next 30 minutes pushing the limit much to Pique’s annoyance. A smirk, like a naughty schoolboy caught writing on the wall, told the story. Replaced by Kovacic with 20 minutes to go.

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Luka Modric – 6

We saw glimpses of the old Modric but they were only that. He’s struggling to find his best form and despite forcing ter Stegen into a good stop, didn’t really influence proceedings beyond that.

Toni Kroos – 7

As you’d expect a lot of attacks were started by Kroos and he kept finding Marcelo in acres of space down the left hand side. Left for the dead when Roberto charged forward which resulted in the winner.

Gareth Bale – 3

Zidane put his faith in the Welshman but after a pretty poor start to the game he went off injured. Sadly a familiar sight for Real Madrid fans. No one can doubt his quality but he’s proven himself unworthy of Zidane’s trust. Isco or Asensio will be desperate to prove their worth – some would say they already have.

Karim Benzema – 5

A solid performance from the Frenchman. As unselfish as ever but his influence faded as the match went on. Replaced by James.

Cristiano Ronaldo – 5

The Portuguese superstar never really got into the match. He tried, missed a couple of good chances, but failed to make the difference.

Subs

Marco Asensio – 7

A star in the making he can count himself unlucky not to have started. His pace caused Barcelona problems and while he still needs to improve his decision making, he offered the threat going forward that Bale failed to.

Mateo Kovacic – 6

He was tidy when he came on but didn’t make a huge difference either. Booked for fouling Messi.

James Rodriguez – 7

Another man who is desperate for more playing time and he made a strong case with the equaliser. He raced on to Marcelo’s cross and beat ter Stegen at his near post.

Lionel Messi celebrates his last-gasp winner

BARCELONA

Marc-Andre Ter Stegen – 8

The German international was fantastic whenever called upon. He produced smart saves to deny Cristiano and a fantastic one to keep Modric from getting on the scoresheet. He was let down by his defence for Real Madrid’s first goal as they kept Ramos onside and his effort, after coming back off the post, fell straight to Casemiro’s feet. In the second half he denied Benzema from five yards based on pure instinct but maybe should’ve done better with James’ goal.

Sergi Roberto – 6

He lost the battle against Marcelo down his flank but ultimately won the war as he came up with a rampaging run which tore Madrid apart and ended with Messi scoring the winner. That’s what he’ll be remembered for.

Gerard Pique – 6

Pique is often included in the starting line-up to settle the defence but it didn’t work here. He doesn’t deserve to shoulder all of the blame but he struggled to deal with Madrid’s attacks and caused more danger when he found himself in the opposition’s box.

Samuel Umtiti – 5

It was his El Clasico debut but, like Pique, didn’t look fully comfortable at any point during the game.

Jordi Alba – 5

People love the attacking runs he makes but his deficiencies are in defensive side of his game. Often fails to track runners, as was the case for James’ goal.

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Sergio Busquets – 6

Far from his best but Busquets improved the longer the contest went on. A nervy start but looked tidy in possession.

Andres Iniesta – 8

Rolled back the years to produce a fine performance in a huge game. For those who questioned whether Barcelona could depend on him or not, he proved his doubters wrong. He made a difference in the final third with his incisive passing.

Ivan Rakitic – 8

Luis Enrique opted for Andre Gomes over Rakitic at the beginning of the season but ever since the Croatian regained his place, Barcelona have improved. Underrated but essential in this current line-up. Scored an absolute cracker to make it 2-1.

Paco Alcacer – 5

It’s never easy when you come in to replace an important member of the team but Alcacer fluffed his lines again. Early on in the second half he only had the goalkeeper to beat but his tame shot was stopped by Navas. 

Luis Suarez – 5

All is not right with the Uruguayan at the moment. Despite his impressive goal tally there’s been a noted downturn in his form and he looked sloppy against Real Madrid. A lot of his touches were poor and he spent more time on the floor claiming injury than offering an threat in the box.

Lionel Messi – 9

The Argentinian set the tone with a mazy run which left the Bernabeu with their hearts in their mouths. He was crowded out before he could test Navas. Marcelo then caught him with an elbow which left Messi bloody but he soon repaid the favour as he danced between Real’s ‘defence’ to make it 1-1. With time running out and having spent most of the game being kicked from pillar to post, he sealed the victory with a classic first-time finish to make it 3-2 in injury time.

Subs

Andre Gomes – 7

A figure of fun for so many this year but his calmness on the ball played a key part in the winner. Maybe a turning point for him?

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