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Real Madrid: Player-by-player verdicts as Leganés thrashed 5-0

Karim Benzema was on song up front, as was Rodrygo. The Brazilian again staked his claim for a regular spot in the side, shining in his first home start.

This long exposure picture shows Real Madrid's Brazilian forward Rodrygo during the Spanish league football match between Real Madrid CF and Club Deportivo Leganes SAD at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid on October 30, 2019. (Photo by OSCAR DE

Thibaut Courtois:

Courtois' last appearance at the Bernabéu had ended up in whistles from the home fans and a half-time substitution caused by an upset stomach. This was an altogether more straightforward evening for the Belgian, who turned the jeers into cheers with a fine save to deny Óscar Rodríguez in the first half, then produced a smart late stop from Jonathan Silva to keep his first home clean sheet of the season.

Dani Carvajal:

Defensively, Carvajal delivered a focused display. Going forward, he combined superbly with Karim Benzema to set up the striker to go close shortly before half time, before twice providing crosses that were headed home by second-half substitute Luka Jovic. The first was ruled out for offside; the second completed the rout.

Raphaël Varane:

It is hard to remember a quieter night at the back for Varane. The Frenchman dealt with everything that came his way with the minimum of fuss.

Sergio Ramos:

An alert performance at the back from Ramos, who had to be particularly on his mettle to clear a dangerous delivery into the area in the 19th minute. After initially seeing his penalty saved by Juan Soriano, he made no mistake with the retake and, in the process, made it 15 converted spot-kicks in a row.


The Brazilian began the move that culminated in Rodrygo Goes' opener for Madrid, and in general gave a good account of himself. Reliable in defence, he nonetheless spent much of his time camped in the opposition half and, in doing so, played in Luka Modric for the late shooting chance that brought about the hosts' second penalty.

Federico Valverde:

Within three minutes, Valverde had already produced one of his signature forward bursts to open up the space to provide a pass into the box that Benzema could not take advantage of. The Uruguayan spurned a fine opportunity to score when Rodrygo's cross found him in space in the area. The 21-year-old is getting better with every game; who knows how far he could go.


Casemiro always brings steel to the midfield, but when he combines that with the intelligence he showed tonight, he's priceless. That was no more in evidence than midway through the first half, when he recovered possession before playing a pass into space that led to Eden Hazard winning Madrid's opening penalty.

Toni Kroos:

For only the second time in his Madrid career, Kroos has scored in two games in succession. The German linked up with Benzema to put Madrid 2-0 up after seven minutes, and then went close to netting another a quarter of an hour later. He's playing as well as he ever has.

Rodrygo Goes:

Rodrygo has really landed on his feet at Madrid. The 18-year-old celebrated his first home start with an opening goal that spoke of a player blessed with natural scoring instincts. He also impressed further away from goal, conjuring up a fine piece of play to skin Silva and lay on a gilt-edged chance for Valverde. Given the confidence and quality that he's showing, he is crying out for Zidane to keep him in the side.

Karim Benzema:

Few possess the footballing nous of a forward who is just as happy laying on goals for others as scoring them himself. Just look at the assists he supplied for Madrid's first two strikes. Having stood aside as Ramos took the first penalty, he later saw a shot rebound off the post but, just before coming off to an ovation from the Bernabéu crowd, grabbed a deserved goal when given the penalty-taking duties second time around. Together with Gerard Moreno and Loren Morón, he leads the LaLiga scoring charts with seven.

Eden Hazard:

The Belgian's most dangerous weapon is his ability to take defenders on, and he is using it with greater and greater frequency, and to greater and greater effect. He wins a lot of fouls, a facet of his game that most notably came into play when he was brought down for Madrid's first-half penalty. He could do with showing more belief when in shooting positions, though; with 10 minutes remaining, for example, he opted to square to Varane when well-placed to score himself. The Frenchman wasn't expecting the pass, and the chance was lost.


Luka Modric (on for Kroos in the 62nd minute):

Modric came on for his first Madrid appearance in nearly a month, and promptly won a penalty with what was pretty much his opening involvement in the game.

Luka Jovic (on for Benzema in the 70th minute):

Jovic went close with a powerful drive from the edge of the box two minutes after coming on, then headed into in the net but was denied by the offside flag. In time added on, however, he finally got off the mark for Madrid after nodding in another Carvajal cross - and, but for a point-blank Soriano stop a minute later, would have had a second.

Isco (on for Valverde in the 75th minute):

The midfielder could well have scored with a well-struck shot three minutes from time.


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