Zinedine Zidane’s side went into the match in tepid form, having drawn two of their last three matches, but were still favourites against an Athletic side that had not only failed to beat their hosts in their last six attempts but were also still adapting to life under new manager Marcelino.
However, the Basque club managed to overcome the odds by making short work of a rather dysfunctional Madrid performance.
So who were the best and worst players on the pitch?
❌ BAD PERFORMANCE
Marco Asensio: 6.3
Despite returning to a starting role in Zidane’s side with an assist against Granada and a goal and assist against Celta, Marco Asensio was far from his best against Athletic and perhaps characterised a limp and unthreatening performance from Madrid on the night.
Despite featuring for the duration of the match, Asensio failed to get a single of his five shots on target (although two did hit the crossbar), managed just two crosses and didn’t complete a single dribble. On a night Zidane was perhaps hoping to see the 24-year-old once again show what he could do, he instead disappointed his team and his head coach.
Lucas Vazquez: 5.0
While blame will undoubtedly be shared across Zidane’s team for this unexpected defeat, it was undoubtedly clear that Lucas Vazquez was probably the worst of a pretty bad bunch.
The right-back’s first mistake came in the 18th minute when the defender misplaced a pass and gave the ball away, which in turn allowed Garcia to hit a low effort into the right corner of the net.
If that wasn’t bad enough, Vazquez then helped Athletic double their lead 20 minutes later when the Madrid defender knocked over Inigo Martinez. Garcia was again on hand to tap the ball home. An opening half and football match that the Madrid defender will like to forget about as quickly as possible.
⭐ STAR MAN
Raul Garcia: 7.9
With just one goal in 11 appearances for his side ahead of Thursday night’s clash with Madrid, very few would have assumed Garcia would be the player to put Zidane’s team to the sword. Yet, either from the wing or through the middle,the 34-year-old forward seemed to be a constant threat to the home side and was awarded with two goals for his troubles.
Looks like there are about four Raul Garcia's on the pitch tonight - now he is out on left wing and super cross causes more panic in Madrid defence.— Dermot Corrigan (@dermotmcorrigan) January 14, 2021
While both goals - the first coming from a lapse in concentration from Vazquez and the second from the penalty spot - were slightly fortuitous for the travelling side, Garcia made sure he tucked them away into the back of the net. And as such, confirmed all three points for his team.