Player Ratings: Real Madrid 2-0 Valencia
Goals from Karim Benzema and Toni Kroos see Real Madrid ease past Valencia and keep up the pressure against city rivals Atletico Madrid.
Karim Benzema opened the scoring for Real Madrid with a beautiful strike after just 12 minutes following a quick pinpoint pass from Toni Kroos. The goal was Karim’s 12th in LaLiga this season. Just before half-time, Toni Kroos went from provider to goalscorer. The German doubled Real Madrid’s lead after some excellent buildup play from Los Blancos.
Real Madrid managed to score a third in the second-half through Mendy but it was disallowed for offside. The win sees the Whites move back into second spot and five points behind Atletico who have two games in hand. These are our player ratings:
Thibaut Courtois: 7/10
Second consecutive clean sheet for Courtois. The Belgian didn’t have much to do throughout the game but remained alert to any danger in his box.
Dani Carvajal: 6/10
Carvajal started for the first time after a month on the sidelines. Unfortunately for the Spaniard, he only lasted 28 minutes before being forced to come off with another injury.
Another solid display from the ever-reliable Nacho. The Real Madrid youth product always delivers when called upon and today was no different.
Raphael Varane: 7/10
Varane has formed a very good defensive partnership with Nacho and has looked a lot more comfortable on the field over the past few games. With Valencia not creating much danger, Varane didn’t have much to deal with but remained focused throughout.
Ferland Mendy: 8/10
Ferland Mendy looks to be going through a purple patch of form. The Frenchman has always been solid defensively but has recently improved greatly in an attacking sense. Scored a brilliant goal which was ruled out for offside and was a constant threat to Valencia who simply did not know how to stop him.
Toni Kroos: 9/10
When Toni Kroos plays well, so do Real Madrid. A fantastic performance from the German who assisted Benzema for the opener before scoring himself just before half-time. The difference maker.
Casemiro’s importance in Real Madrid’s 4-3-3 formation can’t be underestimated. The Brazilian allowed Modric and Kroos the freedom to play higher up the field and hurt Valencia. An immovable object in the middle of the park.
Luka Modric: 8/10
At the heart of everything positive for Real Madrid. The Croatian ran the show alongside Toni Kroos and even came close to scoring a goal himself. Another outstanding performance in a spectacular season for Luka.
Marco Asensio: 6/10
A relatively quite performance from Marco. Asensio tried to create opportunities in advanced positions for Real Madrid but things didn’t quite come off for him. Replaced by Arribas with 20 minutes to go.
Karim Benzema: 8/10
Karim Benzema opened the scoring for Real Madrid with a world class finish which set the tempo for the remainder of the game.
Vinicius has found form at a crucial part of the season. The Brazilian put in another good performance both in attack and defense. Assisted Mendy for Real Madrid’s third which was unfortunately ruled out for offside.
Vazquez: 8/10 – Came on to replace the injured Carvajal and made an immediate impact. Assisted Kroos for Real Madrid’s second goal and continued his fine form from before his injury.
Arribas: 7/10 – Came on to replace Asensio. The Real Madrid youth product combined well with his teammates. Good to see him get some more minutes.
Isco: 6/10 – Came on to replace Modric with 10 minutes to go.
Mariano: 6/10 – Came on to replace Benzema late on.