REAL MADRID

The keys to Real Madrid’s return to form: Isco, Kroos, Ronaldo...

Zidane’s side crushed Betis on Saturday night to snap their four-game drawing streak. The Frenchman will be delighted with his side's performance but five players in particular stood out.

The keys to Real Madrid’s return to form: Isco, Kroos, Ronaldo...
TONI RODRIGUEZ DIARIO AS

Real Madrid-Legia Warsaw Live

Real Madrid thumped six past Betis on Saturday night, finally breaking their four-game drawing streak. Zidane will be delighted with his side’s performance but five names in particular stood out.

Isco

Isco scored Real Madrid's fourth on his long-awaited return to the starting line-up

If Isco played like he did at the Villamarín on Saturday night every game, Zidane would have to find someone to drop from the starting XI. Granted it’s only one game to go on, but he was spectacular. Two goals (the second was magnificent), good judgment, creative and hard-working, running almost 12km during the course of the ninety minutes. Isco is back, only now he has to make sure he doesn’t disappear again.

Marcelo

Marcelo's positive and galvanising influence on his teammates was clear

It’s hard to explain how a left-back can influence a team’s rhythm so much. But Marcelo is unique. He was impressive on his return to the side – who hadn’t won a single game in his absence – and his enthusiasm and effort galvanised his teammates. He even got on the score sheet, which doesn’t happen that often.

Toni Kroos

Kroos showed the kind of form that led Real Madrid to hand him a new contract this week

The German reminded us all of why the club decided to hand him a bumper new contract this week. Real Madrid are a team that are prone to lose the plot with alarming ease but he held things together and controlled the game masterfully from the middle of the park. Both the first and second goals were creations of his. Just another day in the life of Europe’s best assist provider.

Mateo Kovacic

Kovacic played the 'Modric role' excellently

The young Croatian showed that creative and daring spark that suits him so well but that is so often lacking in his play. This summer he dismissed reports of a move away from the club, confident that he would gain Zidane’s trust if he stayed. He was the lungs of the team, distributing the ball ably to both left and right and set up Isco for the fourth. Basically everything we’d expect from the ‘new Modric.’

Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo rounded off Real Madrid's victory with his side's sixth goal of the night

He came into the game having improved in recent weeks but we all sensed that what he really needed was a goal. What we’ve come to expect from Cristiano week in week out isn’t to bamboozle defenders; it’s scoring goals. His goals are what he measures himself by, the statistics that indicate whether he’s played well or not. Well, he finally got his goal against Betis and could have had more.