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Saturday, October 25, 2014
Was kept busy through a few speculative efforts at goal in the first half, which he saved comfortably. Denied Mathieu with a wonderful stop and had no chance for Neymar's opener.
Allowed Neymar to drift inside far too easily for the opening goal but recovered excellently. Saved a goal in the first half with a terrific last-ditch challenge to deny the Brazilian, against whom he remained relatively solid thereafter.
Kept himself to himself as he calmly went about his business, keeping Suarez at bay in the process. Intelligently recycled possession at the back and headed plenty of crosses away.
Came out of his position inside the box to put in a half-hearted challenge on Neymar for the first goal. Was superb for the rest of the match, though, and put his side ahead with a towering header.
Had the freedom of the left-hand side to get into attacking positions, which he did so regularly. Put a number of good crosses into the box, one of which led to the equalising penalty, but was lucky not to give one away himself on Neymar.
Was a destroyer of play as well as a playmaker. Typically sprayed signature diagonal passes to the wings but also proved capable of putting the boot in when required.
Displayed a different side to his game as he could be regularly found defending in front of his own box and blocking shots. Stole possession in the lead up to the third goal.
Displayed plenty of dig in the middle of the park and was always pestering the Barca midfield attempting to win back possession. These defensive duties meant he wasn't as effective in an attacking sense, though.
Popped up everywhere in the attack with his powerful running. Link-up play was good and he set up Benzema with a lovely through-pass behind the Barca defence.
Had Barcelona on the ropes basically any time he ran at the opposition defence. Had the confidence to dispatch the penalty with ease but did put a couple of passes wayward on the counterattack.
A real thorn in the side of the defence. Continually ran the channels to pull Barca players out of defence and should have scored in the first half, only to hit the bar. Got himself a deserved goal with a lashed strike into the corner.
Conceded not one but three goals for the first time this season but could not really be blamed for any. Came out to collect a few crosses but ultimately could not stop Madrid.
Was unlucky in that he was forced wide by passes a few times but his resulting crosses were still not good enough. Had one speculative shot that went wide of the mark.
Gifted Madrid a route back into the match with a daft handball inside the box which lead to a penalty. Gave the ball away in dangerous positions at the back but did make some very good blocks on shots.
Was deployed at left-back and made a promising start to the game as he got himself into attacking positions with authority. However, looked out-of-sorts defensively and was susceptible to mistakes against faster players.
Provided very little protection to the back four and passing was pretty atrocious at times considering his usual standards. Broke down too many attacks with poorly executed balls to team-mates.
Started the match excellently and looked like the Xavi of old with his neat and tidy passing in central areas. However, as the game went on, the play passed him by completely, resulting in an early withdrawal for Rakitic.
Allowed himself to be bullied out of the way by Benzema which allowed Pepe the room to score a header. Kept the score low with his defending in open play as he made some important interceptions inside the box.
Displayed some typically lovely touches on the ball in the final third but couldn't find any penetrative passes. Gave the ball away after a misunderstanding with Mascherano which led to the third goal.
Opened the scoring in the first half after drifting past Carvajal and Pepe before lashing a superb strike into the bottom-right corner. Failed to get the better of the right-back thereafter and was forced inside, where he couldn't find enough space to affect the game as much.
Had the perfect start to his debut as he drilled a fantastic pass to the left wing for Neymar to score. Had fleeting moments of quality but was never a real danger to the opposition goal.
Was booked early on for a late challenge on Kroos after being warned about a tackle on Modric a few moments previously. Had a glorious chance to make it 2-0 but missed from a few yards out and was relatively anonymous in the second period.
Provided another defensive body.
Had a couple of good passes in his short time on the pitch.
Added a calming presence in midfield but passing into the wings could have been better.
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