Player Ratings: Real Madrid 4-1 Valencia – 2021/22
Real Madrid increased their lead at the top of the LaLiga to eight points after beating Valencia 4-1 at the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday.
Real Madrid came close to scoring on a number of occasions in the first-half, with Militao bringing a save from Jasper Cillesen before Luka Modric hit the crossbar from distance. Los Blancos’ pressure finally paid off in the 43rd minute. Casemiro was brought down in the box, allowing Karim Benzema to step up for the penalty and fire the ball into the top corner for his 300th Real Madrid goal in all competitions.
Just seven minutes into the second half, Ancelotti’s men doubled their lead. Vinicius played a one-two with Benzema before slotting neatly into the bottom right corner. Soon after, the Brazilian got his second of the night. Marco Asensio saw his shot saved by Cillesen only for it to fall into the path of Vinicius who made no mistake with the finish.
Valencia pushed to get back into the game and earned a penalty after Ferland Mendy pulled down second-half substitute Marcos Andre in the area. Goncalo Guedes saw his penalty saved brilliantly by Courtois, but he nodded in the rebound. Karim Benzema restored Madrid’s three-goal lead in the 88th minute. Dani Ceballos played a great pass through to Mendy, who sent in a low cross towards Benzema. The Frenchman controlled the ball, turned and finished brilliantly off the post.
The result shifts the pressure onto second-placed Sevilla who trail Real Madrid by eight points but have two matches in hand. Our player ratings:
Thibaut Courtois: 8/10
Made a great save to stop Wass’ effort from distance. The Belgian stopped Goncalo Guedes’ penalty but was unlucky to see the rebound go in.
Lucas Vazquez: 7.5/10
One of Vazquez’s better performances this season. The Galician was a constant threat down the right flank, putting in some good crosses and occupying good positions on the pitch. Solid performance.
Eder Militao: 7/10
Came close to breaking the deadlock in the first-half with a header but Jasper Cillesen was equal to it. A comfortable night for the Brazilian.
David Alaba: 7/10
Just like Militao, Alaba was barely tested throughout the game. The Austrian’s partnership and understanding with Militao continues to improve with every passing game.
Ferland Mendy: 7/10
A relatively solid performance from the Frenchman. Mendy linked up well with Vinicius down the left flank and was rarely troubled defensively – except for the penalty. Assisted Benzema for the fourth goal.
Luka Modric: 8/10
Yet another brilliant performance from the Croatian. Modric was excellent, as he has been in every game this season. Luka was unlucky not to have scored, hitting the bar from distance for the second successive game.
A decent performance from Casemiro. The Brazilian won the penalty that Benzema converted for the opener and was a strong presence in the middle of the park.
Toni Kroos: 7.5/10
Marco Asensio: 8/10
For the majority of this season, Asensio has performed better coming off the bench rather than a starter. Tonight, the Spaniard showed that he has what it takes to be a starter for Real Madrid. Asensio was unlucky not to score and played a big role in the third goal, having his shot saved into Vinicius’ path.
Karim Benzema: 9/10
Scored his 300th and 301st goals for Real Madrid tonight. The Frenchman opened the scoring with a thumping penalty before killing the game off late on with a nicely struck finish into the far corner. Brilliant display of football.
Vinicius Jr: 9/10
Back in the starting line-up after recovering from Covid. Vini scored Real Madrid’s second and third goals of the night to take his tally to 12 LaLiga goals for the season. The Brazilian was a constant threat down the left flank and Real Madrid looked a much better side with him back in the team.
Eduardo Camavinga: 6/10 – Came on to replace Casemiro. The Frenchman added energy and fresh legs to the middle of the park.
Dani Ceballos: 6/10 – Came on to replace Luka Modric. The Spaniard looked sharp on the ball and played a big part in the team’s fourth goal.
Fede Valverde: N/A – Came on to replace Vinicius late on.
Nacho: N/A – Came on to replace Vazquez late on.
Isco: N/A – Came on to replace Benzema late on.