Football Features

“A coming-of-age performance for a world-class talent” – Full player ratings as Man City pick up a huge Champions League win in Madrid

By Muhammad Butt

Published: 22:16, 26 February 2020

In a fascinating night of football, Man City went to Real Madrid and picked up a huge 1-2 away win.

Pep shocked everyone with a strange-lineup and had his team set out to play in transition. This led to some interesting moments but eventually City asserted their quality and picked up a huge away win in the Champions League.

Here’s how the players rated at Santiago Bernabeu:

Real Madrid

Thibaut Courtois – 7 – Solid saves for the most part but was undone by two City goals he could do little about.

Dani Carvajal – 3 – Largely a non-event until 70 minutes when he sparked Madrid to life with some lovely attacking play. His good form didn’t even last 10 minutes though. He let De Bruyne cross for City’s equaliser and then conceded the penalty that led to their winner.

Raphael Varane – 7 – Rock solid at the back. Completely and utterly let down by the two men either side of him.

Sergio Ramos – 3 – Dodgy clearance early on. Lucky to avoid an own-goal. Never looked comfortable with Riyad Mahrez’s movement but was lucky that the Algerian didn’t use the ball well. Got dominated by Gabriel Jesus for City’s equaliser and then got himself sent off with a cynical foul in the last few minutes. Not a night to remember even as he set a Champions League record for appearances.

Ferland Mendy – 7 – An impassable presence for a cavalcade of Manchester City’s brightest attackers.

Casemiro – 5 – Saved his team by clearing off the line in first-half stoppage time. Was generally their last line of defence until late in the game when a sloppy backpass led to Sergio Ramos getting sent off.

Fede Valverde – 5 – Had little room to rampage until Madrid took the lead, when he began to come into his own. But as soon as City began expressing themselves he again faded out of the game.

Luka Modric – 6 – Cool, calm and composed.

Isco – 7 – Was barely on the periphery on the game but when he had a chance to take, he took it superbly.

Vinicius Jr. – 6 – Literally fell over with the goal at his mercy 30 mins in. A baffling miss. Looked sloppy and tense in any shooting situation but his pace was a problem and he picked up a massive assist for Isco after punishing some sloppy City play.

Karim Benzema – 5 – Superb header early on but was mostly starved of service.


Gareth Bale (for Vinicius Jr. 75′) – 5 – One sprint aside, he did nothing.

Luka Jovic (for Isco 84′) – n/a – Came on late.

Lucas Vázquez (for Modric 84′) – n/a – Added nothing.

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Manchester City

Ederson – 7 – Fantastic save from a Benzema header early on and was calm and confident throughout. Could no nothing about the goal and made some decisive stops after that.

Kyle Walker – 7 – For an hour he utterly dominated his flank defensively, repeatedly shutting down Vinicius Jr., but then failed in what should have been a routine recovery and allowed Vinicius to set-up Isco. However after that error he returned to his dominance.

Nico Otamendi – 5 – Remarkably went a whole hour without embarrassing himself (playing quite well, actually), but inevitably he played a poor pass into Rodri then overcomitted to try and win the ball (failing, of course) and exposed City’s defence enough that Madrid could penetrate and score.

Aymeric Laporte – 5 – Solid until he picked up a knock half an hour in and had to be subbed off.

Benjamin Mendy – 6 – Bizarrely poor in possession but genuinely useful defensively. Made several timely interventions.

Rodri – 6 – Really composed display in midfield. Was constantly walking a tightrope in the midfield, as evidenced by his only real error leading straight to a Madrid goal.

Ilkay Gundogan – 8 – Dominated the middle of the park. Utterly resplendent. 50 passes inside the Madrid half barely tells the story. Negotiated the Madrid press with ease and nearly always found a team-mate.

Bernardo Silva – 5 – Quiet. Didn’t have the pace to hurt Madrid in transition and looked uncomfortable in the role. Subbed off.

Riyad Mahrez – 6 – Made several good runs but was so, so wasteful with the ball.

Kevin de Bruyne – 8 – Looked unsure how to play false nine except when City were in transition when he would come alive. But once he moved further back he turned the game on its head, first with a delightful cross that Jesus turned in and then with a coolly taken penalty. Led from the front even in his unsure role. Born to play on the biggest stages.

Gabriel Jesus – 9 – An immense display from Jesus. First as a defensive presence shutting down Madrid attacks (he recovered possession more times than anyone on the field bar Casemiro) and then when put up-top he bodied Ramos in the air to score a supreme header and draw City level with a precious away goal. Continued to humiliate the Madrid captain with a searing run to force his late red card. Everyone was baffled to see him start over Sergio Aguero, well they’re not baffled now. A coming-of-age performance for a world-class talent.


Fernandinho (for Laporte 33′) – 8 – Came on and looked rock solid as ever. Made a couple of colossal blocks in the second half to keep the score at 1-0, essentially building the platform for City’s late comeback.

Raheem Sterling (for Bernardo 73′) – 6 – Looked fairly lively in his brief cameo, winning the penalty with a devastating surge down the left.


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