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The preseason has come to an end with more questions than answers. Zidane’s Real Madrid continue to struggle and the constant change of systems has meant the team has struggled to find any type of chemistry or cohesiveness. Thibaut Courtois was the stand out performer against Roma as Madrid surrendered countless opportunities to their opponents only for the Belgian to come up big in net. Full match ratings below:
Thibaut Courtois—9: Without the Belgian’s saves, Madrid’s chaotic play likely would have conceded 4 or 5 in the opening 45 minutes. A very good game from the goalkeeper.
Dani Carvajal—4: Had some heavy touches and provided little both offensively and defensively on the right flank.
Eder Militao—5: In Zidane’s constant pressing scheme, Militao is forced out of position to press high and be aggressive, but then gets caught with the space behind him and no cover. He was caught out twice, scrambling to catch up to a physical Zaniolo.
Raphael Varane—5: Has not had a great preseason. Lost focus mere minutes after Madrid took the lead in the second half and allowed Dzeko to level the score.
Nacho—3: Awful, the academy product has been a shell of his former self for some time now.
Marcelo—7: The 3-5-2 benefits one person most: Marcelo. The Brazilian scored a goal and provided the assist to Casemiro for the second all within the opening 45 minutes.
Casemiro—5.5: Scored a goal to put Madrid ahead in the first half, but mis-calculated his slide tackle on Zaniolo and allowed Roma through Madrid’s high line for their first goal.
Fede Valverde—5: No real chemistry between Fede and Casemiro. The lack of a true system and identity has hurt the whole midfield.
Luka Modric—6: Provided a great defense splitting pass for Marcelo’s opener. Has been one of the better performers in preseason, but with the Croatian soon to be 34, he should be used more sparingly this season.
Eden Hazard—4.5: Very little impact from Eden. Was isolated in a 3-5-2 and failed to improve after the change in system at the start of the second half.
Karim Benzema—5.5: Like Eden, was isolated for most of the game. Had one good opportunity off of a first time shot just outside the box which nearly found the top corner.
Vinicius JR—6: Came out with a fire in his belly and looked to make a quick impact after setting Benzema up in the box. Played on both the right and the left and was a little erratic at times. Looks slightly down in confidence.
Luka Jovic—6: Had two great opportunities to score and really should have, but showed good composure to connect with his teammates. Has been starved of quality service this preseason.
Gareth Bale—7: The best of the substitutes. Was positive going forward and made dangerous runs in behind the Roma defense. Also worked back defensively as the left midfielder in a 4-4-2.
Toni Kroos—5.5: Was not able to place his stamp on the match, but looked an upgrade over Fede Valverde in this game.
Alvaro Odriozola—6: Was dangerous in the attack and on a number of occasions showed off a positive and good first touch.
Isco—6: Came on for Hazard playing as a central attacking midfielder and helped to release Bale and Vinicius on a couple of occasions.