REAL MADRID 2-0 ESPANYOL

Real Madrid player ratings as Espanyol beaten at Bernabéu

Real Madrid claimed a routine LaLiga victory over Espanyol on Saturday, as goals by Raphaël Varane and Karim Benzema sealed the points.

Real Madrid player ratings as Espanyol beaten at Bernabéu
JAVIER GANDUL DIARIO AS

Thibaut Courtois:

Courtois is starting to play like the goalkeeper we saw at Atlético Madrid once more. He prevented Esteban Granero from scoring a stunner midway through the first half - at a point in the game when it was still goalless - and offered a real sense of security between the posts.

Dani Carvajal:

A good performance from the full-back. He provided penetration when joining in the attack, but never lost sight of his defensive duties.

Raphaël Varane:

Having committed a major error in his last Madrid appearance, the 2-2 draw with Paris Saint-Germain last week, Varane bounced back with the opening goal against Los Pericos and, in general, was much improved. He looked back on form.

Sergio Ramos:

Ramos put in a focused display, avoiding any mistakes of note and leading his team from the back. The 33-year-old also likes to make an impact going forward, but was unable to do so today.

Ferland Mendy:

With Marcelo's injury paving the way for Mendy to make the left-back berth his own, the Frenchman won possession back well on several occasions and looked dependable with ball at feet. However, his late sending-off for a second bookable offence means he'll join Marcelo on the sidelines when Madrid visit Valencia in a week's time.

Casemiro:

Together with Federico Valverde, the midfielder is one of the great first-team emergences under Zinedine Zidane. The Brazilian got through spades of dirty work in his efforts to bring balance to the team, and also took on an active role in spreading the ball out wide.

Federico Valverde:

The Uruguayan has got the fans eating out of his hands. Madrid's second, scored by Karim Benzema, came from a terrific assist by Valverde, and in a display that once again saw him cover every blade of grass, he sought to get in on the act in front of goal, too. However, he was denied by the excellent Diego López.

Toni Kroos:

The German was well protected by Valverde and Casemiro, allowing him the freedom to roam and dictate the play with ball at feet. He brought a necessary degree of calm when Espanyol most put the pressure on.

Vinicius:

Starting alongside Benzema and Rodrygo Goes for the first time, Vinicius was tireless in his attacking efforts from the off. He came close to scoring the opener in the fifth minute, before trying, unsuccessfully, to set up Benzema to score. He offered encouraging signs in the second half, too, particularly a fine piece of play that only went unrewarded when Benzema's shot lacked precision.

Rodrygo Goes:

It wasn't Rodrygo Goes' day in front of goal; on what was a quiet afternoon for him, the 18-year-old enjoyed few opportunities to add to his two LaLiga strikes so far this season.

Karim Benzema:

Benzema was not the clinical finisher we've grown accustomed to seeing, but nevertheless got himself onto the scoresheet after a top bit of play by Valverde. He also rolled up his sleeves commendably in defence.

Substitutes:

Luka Modric:

Modric was introduced for the final 20 minutes and was given a rousing ovation by the Bernabéu crowd as he came on.

Éder Militao:

Given just the 10 minutes of game time, the central defender has established himself as first-choice back-up under Zidane and is proving to be to the liking of the Real Madrid fans.

Brahim Díaz:

Although his was only a brief appearance, Díaz took advantage of his return to action at the Bernabéu to offer an active few minutes on the pitch.