Player Ratings: Real Madrid 2-1 Barcelona
Goals from Karim Benzema and Toni Kroos earn Real Madrid a HUGE three points in the race for LaLiga. Just like against Liverpool in midweek, Real Madrid were off to a quick start. It only took 13 minutes for the Merengues to find an opener. Karim Benzema gave Real Madrid the lead with a sumptuous flick from Lucas Vazquez’s cross.
Not long later, Real Madrid doubled their lead through Toni Kroos. The German found the back of the net with a deflected free-kick after Vinicius had been fouled just outside Barcelona’s penalty box. Toni’s goal meant Real Madrid would go into the break with a comfortable 2-0 lead.
The second half didn’t go as well as the first, with Barcelona looking to get back into the game and Real Madrid’s players looking visibly exhausted. Around the hour mark, Oscar Mingueza managed to claw one back for the Blaugrana following a cross from Jordi Alba down the left flank. Real Madrid had a number of opportunities to put the game to bed but could not take their chances.
The plethora of missed opportunities nearly came back to haunt Real Madrid with Ilaix Moriba hitting the bar in stoppage time. In the end, Zidane’s men managed to secure all three points which sees them move top of the table, level on points with Atletico Madrid who have a game in hand. Our player ratings:
Thibaut Courtois: 7/10
Courtois made a couple of big saves to deny Barcelona’s forwards throughout the game. The Belgian couldn’t do much to stop Mingueza’s goal.
Lucas Vazquez: 8/10
Started off the game brilliantly, causing all sorts of trouble for Jordi Alba down the right flank. The Galician played a big part in the opener, assisting Benzema with a brilliant cross. Unfortunately for him, he picked up a knock just before half time and was replaced by Odriozola .
Eder Militao: 8/10
Followed up his excellent performance against Liverpool in midweek with another brilliant performance against Barcelona. The Brazilian won countless aerial duels and was virtually unbeatable at the back throughout the game. Superb.
Another captain like performance from Nacho. The Spaniard has formed a good understanding with Militao at the back and made life very difficult for Barcelona’s attackers. Nacho is in the form of his life.
Ferland Mendy: 7/10
Ferland Mendy started off the game well making sure Dembele had little to no impact on the game. Things got a little more difficult in the second half with Barcelona mounting pressure on Madrid’s backline but Mendy was up to the task.
Luka Modric: 8/10
Fantastic shift from Real Madrid’s engine. The Brazilian dictated the tempo of the game and was crucial to Madrid winning the all important midfield battle. Casemiro ended up getting a red card for two reckless challenges and will now miss Real Madrid’s next league game against Getafe.
Toni Kroos: 8/10
Another excellent shift from Madrid’s ever reliable German. Toni scored Real Madrid’s second goal with a deflected freekick and nearly scored another in the second half but didn’t time his header correctly.
Fede Valverde: 8/10
Replacing Asensio in the starting XI, Valverde added energy and physicality to Madrid’s midfield. The Uruguayan made countless runs cutting through Barcelona’s midfield, one which led to the opening goal. Fede nearly scored a goal himself but his strike ended up hitting the post.
Karim Benzema: 8/10
What a season from Benzema so far. The Frenchman always steps up when his team needs him and tonight was no different. Karim opened the scoring with an incredible backheel goal and was at the heart of everything positive for Real Madrid. He was replaced by Mariano with 20 minutes left.
Vinicius Jr: 8/10
Continued his good run of form with a scintillating show of pace and dribbling on the counter attack. The Brazilian won the freekick which Toni Kroos converted before creating a fantastic opportunity for Valverde in which the Uruguayan hit the post.
Odriozola: 6/10 – Came on to replace the injured Vazquez. The right-back took some time to settle in the game and Barcelona took advantage of that in the second half.
Asensio: 6/10 – Came on to replace Valverde. The Spaniard had to do plenty of defensive work to help out Odriozola and thus didn’t have much impact going forward.
Isco: 6/10 – Came on to replace Toni Kroos. The Spaniard looked out of sort and struggled to make much of an impact.
Marcelo: 6/10 – Came on to replace Vinicius. The Brazilian was introduced to help Mendy down the left flank with Barcelona causing Real Madrid plenty of problems during the second half. Marcelo had a brilliant chance to put the game to bed but couldn’t find the right finish at the right time.
Mariano Diaz: 6/10 – Came on replace Benzema with around 15 minutes left. The striker nodded the ball brilliantly into Marcelo’s path but the Brazilian couldn’t find a finish late on.