Casemiro scored his third goal of the season against Las Palmas on Sunday, and Real Madrid’s first header of 2017-18, to open the scoring and settle some nerves around the Bernabéu after Zinedine Zidane’s side has suffered two consecutive defeats to Tottenham and Girona.
It was also a strike that confirmed Casemiro as Real’s fourth-highest scorer this season behind Cristiano Ronaldo (8), Marco Asensio (7) and Isco (5) and level with Gareth Bale. Overall in 2017, the Brazilian is Real’s fifth-highest scorer in all competitions, level with James Rodríguez on nine. Only Cristiano (34), Isco (14), Asensio and Benzema (11) and Morata (10) have found the net more often in the calendar year.
Casemiro, the box-to-box Brazilian
It is a curious statistic given Real’s wealth of goal threats and provides solid evidence for José Mourinho’s observation that Casemiro is more of a box-to-box midfielder than a purely defensive one.
The 25-year-old is proving to have a nose for an important goal: he scored against Manchester United in the European Super Cup, Juventus in the Champions League final, against Barcelona in the league and Napoli in the last 16 as well as during the always-tricky trip to San Mamés.