Player Ratings: Real Madrid 2-1 Elche
A late double from Karim Benzema sees Real Madrid come from behind to beat Elche and leapfrog Barcelona into second place in LaLiga.
Elche took the lead through Dani Calvo following a corner kick. The Elche defender rose highest to power a header past Courtois off the underside of the crossbar. Following Elche’s goal Zidane decided to shake things up with the Frenchman bringing on Modric, Kroos and Rodrygo. A couple of minutes later, Kroos took a short corner to Modric. The Croatian crossed it to Benzema who rose highest to level things up.
With time ticking on, it looked as if Real Madrid would drop points yet again. Karim Benzema, however, had different ideas. The Frenchman scored a fantastic goal from outside the box in stoppage time to secure all three points for the Merengues. The win sees Real Madrid move into second place, five points behind city rivals Atletico Madrid. Our player ratings:
Thibaut Courtois: 7/10
Made a couple of big saves in the first-half to keep Real Madrid in the game. Couldn’t do much to stop Elche’s goal.
With Ramos back in the lineup, Nacho started at right-back. The Spaniard was solid throughout and scored a long range cracker which was ruled out.
Sergio Ramos: 6/10
Back in the starting XI for the first time since January. The centre-back looked comfortable throughout the game and was unlucky not to be awarded a penalty in the first-half.
Raphael Varane: 6/10
Shaky game from the Frenchman. Varane lost Dani Calvo for Elche’s goal and didn’t look comfortable at the back.
Ferland Mendy: 6/10
Not his usual self. The Frenchman didn’t offer much in attack and made a couple of errors in defence that could’ve been very costly.
Fede Valverde: 7/10
His first start since injury, Valverde was tasked with breaking the lines. Normally fully of energy, Fede didn’t look his normal self and ended up being substituted on the hour mark.
Real Madrid’s most dangerous player after Benzema. The midfielder made a good number of forward runs and was a constant threat from set pieces.
With Atalanta in mind, Zidane decided to start Isco. The Spaniard came close to scoring in the first-half but didn’t offer much else throughout the game.
Lucas Vazquez: 7/10
With Nacho at right-back, Vazquez started as a right winger. The Galician didn’t offer much to the team in attack before eventually returning to the right-back spot once Ramos was substituted.
Karim Benzema: 9/10
Real Madrid’s saviour once again. Karim didn’t start the game very well but grew into it with time. The Frenchman scored both goals and remains Los Blancos’ only hope in attack.
Vinicius Jr: 7/10
One of Real Madrid’s better performers. The Brazilian was a constant threat down the left flank and was unlucky not to register an assist after a great pass to Benzema.
Toni Kroos: 8/10 – Came on to replace Valverde. The German, alongside Modric, added energy and composure to the middle of the park.
Luka Modric: 8/10 – Came on to replace Isco. The Croatian completely changed the dynamic of the game and assisted Benzema for the equaliser.
Rodrygo: 7/10 – Came on to replace Ramos. The Brazilian added energy and speed to Real Madrid’s attack.
Eden Hazard: 5/10 – Came on replace Vinicius with 15 minutes left. Great to see the Belgian back in action.