Real Madrid vs Las Palmas Player Rating as Tchouameni snatches late winner


Real Madrid grabbed another late win in La Liga on Saturday afternoon, coming from behind to beat Las Palmas 2-1 in Gran Canaria.

In the absence of the suspended Jude Bellingham, Madrid fell behind to a goal from their former academy player Javi Munoz after 53 minutes. Vinicius Junior equalized soon after, but it wasn’t until the 84th minute, seconds after his introduction from the bench, that Aurelien Tchouameni scored the match-winning header.

Madrid’s gritty win returns them to the top of La Liga, two points ahead of Girona.

Carlo Ancelotti previewed Madrid’s trip to the Canary Islands by lamenting his side’s “lost strength” in recent weeks. Madrid entered the competition with ten goals in their last four matches – as many as they had conceded in their previous 14.

Las Palmas has been solid all season. Garcia Pimienta’s side boast the second-best defense in the division, but with a bloodless style – only three clubs have conceded fewer goals than the promoted side.

Slightly cautious Madrid were well lined up by their hosts for the first hour. On the rare occasions when the visitors managed to slip through the stubborn mass of yellow, Alvaro Valles underlined his claim to be La Liga’s outstanding goalkeeper of the season. Bellingham was sorely missed.

The Las Palmas crowd collectively groaned at their side’s hesitancy in the first half, but the visitors began the second 45 minutes with renewed vigor. Sandro Ramirez’s first touch missed a clear sight of goal within seconds of the restart, but minutes later Barcelona were undone. Ramirez stepped alongside Antonio Rudiger and drilled the ball across the box for Munoz to beat Andriy Lunin.

The rise of Bellingham and injuries have pushed Vinicius down the Madrid pecking order this season. Yet it was he who stepped in in the Englishman’s absence. Eduardo Camavinga, who has also grown into the game, shrugged off the claws of Mika Marmola and deftly collected a pass through the Las Palmas back line. Vinicius brought the ball down and brilliantly flicked it into the far corner with his weaker left foot.

As the clock ticked down, Tchouameni came off the bench to deliver a decisive blow that would have made Bellingham proud. Madrid’s only consistent route to goal during a largely apathetic contest was set up. Tchouameni raced past Juanma Herzog at a corner and headed past Valles to grab the win with six minutes to spare.

Real Madrid player ratings

GK: Andriy Lunin – 6/10 – Skittish when presented with the ball at his feet under pressure but much more alert with his gloves.

RB: Dani Carvajal – 4/10 – Last week’s match-winner was far more clunky than clinical in an underwhelming display.

CB: Antonio Rudiger – 4/10 – Up against a hardly formidable opponent in the form of Ramirez, Rudiger was far too easily bypassed for Las Palmas’ opener.

CB: Nacho Fernandez – 6/10 – Kept his passing safe and simple.

LB: Fran Garcia – 6/10 – Chugging forward at any given opportunity but caught out by Marvin Park’s speed at times.

CM: Dani Ceballos – 3/10 – Flitted in and mainly out of the contest.

CM: Eduardo Camavinga – 7/10 – Given licence to push forward, Camavinga eventually injected some thrust with his vertical surges.

CM: Toni Kroos – 6/10 – Offered Madrid’s most regular threat to goal from set pieces.

AM: Brahim Diaz – 3/10 – So impactful off the bench in recent weeks, Diaz failed to deliver the same decisive performance from the start on Saturday.

ST: Rodrygo – 4/10 – Got away with a petulant slap on Valles’ head in the first half and could only offer a glimpse of his threat in flashes.

ST: Vinicius Junior – 7/10 – It’s no mean feat to beat Valles from such a tight angle on his unfavored flank.

SUB: Fede Valverde (59′ for Ceballos) – 5/10

SUB: Joselu (59′ for Diaz) – 5/10

SUB: Arda Guler (81′ for Rodrygo) – N/A

SUB: Aurelien Tchouameni (81′ for Camavinga) – 7/10 – Arrived on the pitch and in the box at just the right time.

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