Luka Modric 5/10 as Real lose to Valencia to end Zidane


Luka Modric 5/10 as Real lose to Valencia to end Zidane
Modric was overwhelmed in midfield and Real were toothless overall, unable to stop Valencia running away to victory.

Zinedine Zidane’s unbeaten record in his second spell as Real Madrid coach was ended easily by Valencia at Mestalla on Wednesday evening, with Los Che more dominant than the final 2-1 scoreline suggests.


Thankfully for Zidane and many of his bigger name players most Bernabeu observers are already more interested in speculating about summer transfers than analysing the current team’s performance in each game.


The first real testing game since Zidane’s return showed the same issues that cost predecessors Julen Lopetegui and Santi Solari their jobs earlier in the season. Madrid were slack in defence, uninspiring in midfield and toothless in attack.

Manager rating out of 10

5 — After rotating in his first two home games, this looked like Zidane picking his strongest available XI for the first time. But they were tactically and physically outplayed by a Valencia side superbly organised by opposite number Marcelino Garcia Toral. The Frenchman’s double change on the hour mark just made his team more open, and Valencia really should have scored at least a couple more on the break.

Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Keylor Navas, 7 — Might feel he should have saved Goncalo Guedes’ opener which squeezed inside the post he was closest to. Did better to close angle and smother when Carlos Soler opted to shoot from tight angle early in second half.

DF Alvaro Odriozola, 7 — Did well in his personal battle with fellow young speedster Goncalo Guedes, although Guedes at times appeared happy to let his man go and wait upfield to ensure a chance to counter.

DF Raphael Varane, 7 — Amid doubts over his future plans, Varane was very solid against fellow Frenchman Kevin Gameiro, especially when clearing off own line just before half-time.

DF Sergio Ramos, 6 — Should really have got closer to Guedes instead of turning his back for Valencia’s first goal and found his Spain international teammate Rodrigo Moreno a real handful.

DF Marcelo, 5 — Raided forward confidently as usual but three times fired wildly over from ambitious positions, and was booked for embarrassing dive too. Then struggled desperately to get back into position each time Valencia countered. Zidane clearly giving him chance to play himself back to form, but it’s not working.

MF Luka Modric, 5 — Completely overshadowed by man of the match Dani Parejo throughout, with a pass straight out of play early in the second half a low point. Kept trying but needs a long summer rest.

MF Casemiro, 7 — Sharper than recent games, and needed to be with Valencia flooding forward at times, although probably should have done more as Garay made it 2-0 late on.

MF Toni Kroos, 6 — Among the players standing and watching as Guedes opened the scoring, was on the ball a lot without ever really finding a way through Valencia’s closed ranks. Replaced on the hour mark.

FW Lucas Vazquez, 5 — Sloppy in possession and failed in basic task of tracking Valencia’s raiding left-back Jose Gaya.

FW Karim Benzema, 6 — Mostly swallowed up by Valencia’s super organised defensive structure, until he got free to head in a consolation goal in the 93rd minute.

FW Marco Asensio, 5 — Started full of running and energy but made little impression, and was no surprise to see him among the players replaced early.


MF Isco, 6 — Went into Kroos’ midfield role and looked keen against one of his old teams, but created very little.

FW Gareth Bale, 7 — Made an impact off the bench, with one chipped cross almost getting Benzema in at the back post.

FW Mariano Diaz, NR — Replaced Lucas late on as Zidane went for broke, but was mostly noticeable for mistiming an attempted header clear allowing ball to reach Garay for clinching goal.

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