Real Madrid player ratings from 1-3 LaLiga victory over Eibar
Karim Benzema continued in a state of grace for Zidane's side in Ipurua, registering a goal and an assist with Modric and Rodrygo also turning on the style.
Real Madrid moved level on points with Atlético Madrid at the top of LaLiga following a hard-fought 3-1 victory over an Eibar side that ran Zinedine Zidane’s champions ragged in Ipurua. Karim Benzema, Luka Modric and Lucas Vázquez were on the score sheet for the visitors, with Kike García adding a wonder-strike for the hosts in one of the games of the season.
Here’s how Madrid’s players fared in Ipurua.
Thibaut Courtois: The Belgium stopper could do nothing about Kike García’s goal but was otherwise solid, especially under high balls.
Dani Carvajal: The Spain defender’s return to the side after injury has affected the team’s overall performance levels in a positive way. One of the captains who exerts influence on and off the pitch he was tireless and effective but picked the wrong ball at the end of the five-on-three break that could have sealed the game earlier.
Raphaël Varane: What has happened to Varane this season (or, perhaps, since his horror show against Manchester City in the Champions League) remains a mystery. Kike’s goal originated from Varane’s loose ball to Lucas Vázquez and he almost let Eibar in again with a mistake bringing the ball out in the second half.
Sergio Ramos: A Jekyll and Hyde performance from the captain. A free-kick narrowly over the bar, a vital last-ditch tackle in the 92nd minute, a few commanding clearances and a colossal error to present Inui with a golden opportunity, a VAR handball decision that went Madrid’s way… Ramos’ performance had it all.
Ferland Mendy: Another solid performance as the Frenchman continues to make the left back slot his own. Mendy created danger in attack with a couple of fizzing crosses but made a couple of mistakes at the other end.
Casemiro: A rare anonymous game from the Brazilian, who didn’t really get involved at all.
Luka Modric: Magisterial until he ran out of steam. In the first half the Croatian was at the top of his game and he and Benzema were wonderful linking up together with telepathic understanding. The Frenchman teed up his goal, a cracking strike from just inside the area and Modric returned the favour with a cross that Benzema nodded wide. Madrid have to renew his contract; he is an example to the rest.
Toni Kroos: Reliable as ever, but not as busy as Modric across the midfield. Kroos kept his position well in defensive duties and was accurate with his distribution, delivering a glorious ball to put Rodrygo through on goal in the second half and another for Benzema, who narrowly fell foul of the offside trap.
Lucas Vázquez: The winger was not quite up to the standard we have come to expect recently but that is understandable given the number of games he has played and the ground he covers every 90 minutes. A lung-bursting run and neat one-two with Benzema added Madrid’s third in stoppage time.
Karim Benzema: The Frenchman is in the best form of his career. It’s a pleasure to watch him play and he puts in a shift as well. In the first half he raced back to cover on the defensive flank and he was there to get his head to a corner in the Madrid area as well. He scored again with a beautifully taken goal from Rodrygo’s pass and had several chances to add another on his 33rd birthday.
Rodrygo: An assist worthy of Laudrup for Benzema opened the scoring but he missed a glorious opportunity when put through one-on-one with Dmitrovic by Kroos. Rodrygo is starting to present a considerably more reliable option than Vinicius, something for Zidane to ponder.
Fede Valverde: On to provide some fresh legs when the midfield was flagging.
Marco Asensio: Another mystery. There is absolutely no sign of the Asensio who until recently was being mentioned in the same breath as the Ballon d’Or. He wasn’t given much time but had a few decent touches.
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