Real Madrid player ratings vs Almeria: Jude Bellingham and Vinicius Jr get huge VAR assists before last-gasp Dani Carvajal completes remarkable Blancos turnaround

Carvajal Bellingham Vinicius Real Madrid GFX

Jude Bellingham, Vinicius Jr and Dani Carvajal grabbed the goals as Real Madrid avoided embarrassment – with the help of some controversial officiating – against La Liga’s bottom-placed side, Almeria. Los Blancos were awarded a controversial penalty, had an equalising goal given despite an apparent handball, and saw their visitors harshly have a goal of their own ruled out before earning a 3-2 win in stoppage-time.

Almeria enjoyed a memorable start at Santiago Bernabeu, as they crafted a sweeping move from the opening kick-off, which ended up with Largie Ramazani stroking the ball into the bottom corner within 40 seconds. The visitors, who are yet to win a game this season, then grabbed a deserved second on the stroke of half-time via a fine strike from centre-back Edgar, who spanked a half-volley into the top corner from 25 yards.

Madrid offered a response in the second half, however and they were good value for their goal back, as Bellingham converted from the penalty spot after a handball was spotted by the officials.

Almeria did, though, have a third goal – scored by ex-Madrid academy star Sergio Arribas – harshly ruled out for a foul in the build-up, and Madrid grabbed a controversial equaliser soon after as Vinicius dove to meet an Aurelien Tchouameni cross, and appeared to use his upper arm to divert the ball into the net — only for the referee to give the goal after consulting with VAR.

The late Madrid winner felt inevitable, and Bellingham was central to it as his careful header to the back post was turned in by Carvajal to spark wild scenes and move Carlo Ancelotti’s – at least temporarily – two points clear at the top of the table.

GOAL rates Real Madrid’s players from the Bernabeu…

  • Dani Carvajal Real Madrid 2023-24Getty Images

    Goalkeeper & Defence

    Kepa Arrizabalaga (4/10):

    Will feel he should have stopped the opener — he got a leg to it.

    Dani Carvajal (7/10):

    Caught in the middle of nowhere as Almeria scored their first. Really poor, but then played hero with his very late winner.

    Antonio Rudiger (5/10):

    Some of his positioning was off, and he was fortunate that Almeria’s third goal was ruled out, as he made a mistake in the build-up.

    Nacho (3/10):

    Really poor in the first half. Gave the ball away twice in the build up to Almeria goals.

    Ferland Mendy (5/10):

    Not his best showing defensively. Replaced at the break.

    • Jude Bellingham Real Madrid 2023-24
    • Midfield

      Aurelien Tchouameni (6/10):

      Assisted Vinicius’ equaliser. Didn’t have his best game in anchoring the Madrid midfield otherwise.

      Toni Kroos (6/10):

      Pinged the ball around with regularity, as usual. His deliveries were useful in the second half.

      Federico Valverde (6/10):

      Can’t be faulted for his effort in the centre, but certainly could have offered some additional thrust playing in a more advanced area.

      Jude Bellingham (8/10):

      Some Zidane-esque pivots and turns. Converted his penalty with ease. Had a spectacular effort (correctly) ruled out. Assisted the third Madrid goal.

    • Vinicius Jr Real Madrid 2023-24Getty Images


      Rodrygo (5/10):

      Anonymous in the first 45 minutes. Taken off at the break. A rare lapse in an otherwise impressive run.

      Vinicius Jr (7/10):

      Saw plenty of the ball on the left, but was mostly ineffective in the first half. Controversially grabbed the Madrid second — much to the chagrin of the Almeria bench.

    • Carlo Ancelotti Real Madrid 2023-24Getty Images

      Subs & Manager

      Joselu (6/10):

      Involved in the passage of play that led up to the Madrid penalty.

      Brahim Diaz (7/10):

      Changed the game with his pace and energy on the right.

      Fran Garcia (6/10):

      His legs on the left wing were invaluable as Madrid fought back.

      Dani Ceballos (5/10):

      Never really asserted himself on the contest.

      Eduardo Camavinga (N/A):

      No time to make an impact.

      Carlo Ancelotti (8/10):

      Rested some tired legs and then showed smart tactical nous to reshuffle things at half-time. He will be annoyed by some of Madrid’s defending, but encouraged by their fight after the break. A memorable comeback, but shouldn’t have come to that.

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