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Keylor Navas earns Real Madrid a point vs. Spurs with sparking performance

October 17, 2017 11:28 PM
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Keylor Navas earns Real Madrid a point vs. Spurs with sparking performance

Real Madrid and Spurs shared the spoils in an evenly contested game in the Bernabeu and neither side will lament missed opportunities in the 1-1 draw. The results were fair and made that much more palatable because of the stalemate between APOEL and Dortmund. A Raphael Varane own goal gave Tottenham the lead and Cristiano Ronaldo equalised from the spot in an open encounter with both keepers proving the stars of the show.

Spurs have allowed just 14 shots on target in eight Premier League games and Real managed more than half of that number here, even with Ronaldo's post-rattling effort excluded. Against a lesser keeper than Hugo Lloris something would have hit the net. Spurs have never scored against Madrid in a competitive game and it could be argued they still haven't, which is fuel to the fire ahead of the return at Wembley.

Karim Benzema may not wish to see replays of his miss and, were it not for the exceptional Keylor Navas, Madrid might have suffered a first home Champions League defeat since March 2015 when Schalke stunned the Bernabeu. The home team were often stretched at the back against a Spurs side missing key players and wasteful with their openings at the other end.

7 -- Zinedine Zidane maintained his faith in 18-year-old Achraf Hakimi and was rewarded with a career-defining performance from the Morocco international. If that sounds bombastic, consider Danilo's €30 million move to Manchester City and the Brazilian's impact there. Zidane rode his luck with Getafe, but resting Luka Modric and Casemiro proved the right call.

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

GK Keylor Navas, 9 -- A reaction save on Harry Kane in the first half was bettered by world-class stops on Serge Aurier, the England striker and Christian Eriksen in a few second half minutes that earned his side a point.

DF Achraf Hakimi, 8 -- Who should be more concerned by Achraf's emergence: Dani Carvajal or Lucas Vazquez? Playing almost as a winger, Achraf provided a couple of decent crosses and made a vital block in the second half. He was occasionally a little too eager to take on his man, but this was an excellent showing.

DF Raphael Varane, 6 -- Unfortunate to put through his own net while shadowing Kane, Varane did fairly well with the duel threat of Fernando Llorente and the boy wonder. It is a different defence with the France international covering the lines but he was overwhelmed at times.

DF Sergio Ramos, 7 -- A one-on-one with Llorente on 10 minutes showed Ramos' reading of the game. The captain was alert to everything Spurs tried through the middle, on the flanks and with lofted balls into the area.

DF Marcelo, 5 -- Out of position -- as so often -- for Tottenham's goal, other than rustling the side netting in the first half, Marcelo offered little going forward as he was pinned back by Aurier in a custom-designed tactic by Mauricio Pochettino.

MF Casemiro, 7 -- A vital, knife-edge challenge on Llorente on 20 minutes set the tone for a composed display from the occasionally over-exuberant Brazilian. A wonderful sliding recovery highlighted his ability to turn back foot to front in a flash. This was not vintage Casemiro, but it was enough.

MF Toni Kroos, 6 -- Won the penalty that earned the draw but was not as effusive in midfield as usual. Kroos spread the ball around but did not make many telling passes despite spending more time on it than any player on either side.

MF Luka Modric, 6 -- Started brightly with an early nick in midfield and flew into a block to prevent a break on 10 minutes but tired in the second period. Made a team-high three tackles but did not look to have benefited from Zidane's rotations in Getafe.

MF Isco, 7 -- Tried every trick in his book but it seemed Spurs had been handed a preprint copy. Blind alleys greeted Isco at every turn and, although he tested Lloris twice, he was far from his mercurial best. Interesting that he was briefly handed set-piece responsibility after Kroos had done his best to knock out the first man again.

FW Cristiano Ronaldo, 7 -- Frustrated by a triple-marking defence, Ronaldo hit one post early and narrowly missed the inside of the other on 17 minutes. A silly yellow on 32 for some handbags with Jan Vertonghen could have proved costly but he sent Lloris the wrong way to bury the penalty. If nothing else, he rolled back the years on the hour mark with a wonderful individual move.

FW Karim Benzema, 6 -- Missed an absolute sitter from Ronaldo's rebound and his second-half header can be categorised either as 1. a splendid save from Lloris or 2. a glaring miss by the striker. In any case, the Real frontline is a completely different machine with Benzema, who provided the link for several of Madrid's chances.

MF Marco Asensio, NR -- On for Benzema on 76, did little to counter Zidane's decision to go with Isco from the outset instead.

FW Lucas Vazquez, NR -- On for Isco on 87 to counter the introduction of Danny Rose, shadowed the Spurs full-back as instructed.

Rob Train covers Real Madrid and the Spanish national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @Cafc13Rob.


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