Real Madrid player ratings after 3-0 victory in Cádiz sends Zidane's side top of LaLiga
Antonio Blanco had a solid game in Cádiz as Benzema and Casemiro took the reins. Miguel Gutiérrez was also handed a debut with Kroos and Modric out.
Zinedine Zidane’s Real Madrid moved to the top of LaLiga overnight with a comfortable 3-0 away victory in Cádiz. Here’s how the players rated in the Ramón de Carranza.
Thibaut Courtois: A privileged spectator. The Belgian was forced to make a couple of regulation saves but otherwise was largely untroubled in the Madrid sticks.
Álvaro Odriozola: Some good news for the full back, at last. He had a whole wing to himself to show what he could do against accommodating opposition and with a defence of three full backs behind him and two holding midfielders to cover. Found the net with a header and was a constant attacking threat.
Éder Militão: A solid performance from the Brazilian, who is growing into his role in the latter stages of the season. Covered well and was a threat at the other end, missing a couple of decent chances to get his name on the score sheet.
Raphaël Varane: Back in the side after a layoff with coronavirus. An odd yellow card for blocking a goal kick was out of character but his positional sense was as acute as ever and he marshalled an experimental back three expertly.
Nacho: Another towering performance from Mr Reliable. Kept Álvaro Negredo under wraps and mastered the aerial duel between the two to the extent the former Madrid striker was substituted at half time as Cádiz sought another outlet. He started the move for Odriozola’s goal and was handed the armband when Marcelo went off in a true captain’s performance.
Marcelo: A walk in the park for the captain. He has accepted his role as a leader without being a starter and acted like an old head when required, with a young and untested team around him. His attacking verve has not deserted him and he even found time to do some decent defensive work as well.
Casemiro: An excellent performance from the Brazilian, who was asked to boss the midfield in the absence of Toni Kroos and Luka Modric and did just that. He even borrowed the Croatian’s number 10 shirt and turned provider for some fine attacking moves, including a beautiful ball for Benzema’s second of the night.
Antonio Blanco: The debutant kept it simple in midfield and justified Zidane’s decision to start him ahead of more experienced options. His willingness to play for the team allowed Casemiro to explore his more creative tendencies in the final third and the Castilla youngster did not look out of place in the Madrid first XI.
Rodrygo: A livewire in attack, his pace was a constant problem for Cádiz and he never stopped running at the back four, opening up space for his attacking colleagues.
Karim Benzema: The Frenchman is in a state of grace and added two goals and an assist to his tally for the season in another vintage performance.
Vinicius: Another evening of skilful running but lacking the final ball, far from his devastating performance against Liverpool. He did provoke the penalty to open the game up after half an hour of Cádiz holding their own and kept the home side’s right flank pinned back with support from Marcelo.
Dani Carvajal: Returned to action after almost two months out with injury.
Isco: May have felt aggrieved that he was on the bench with two-thirds of Madrid’s starting midfield out but Blanco’s disciplined performance vindicated Zidane’s decision.
Marco Asensio: One step forward, two steps back for the winger.
Mariano: Had a chance to continue his habit of scoring with practically his first touch but the flag was up as he flashed a shot wide after rounding the keeper.
Miguel Gutiérrez: The Castilla left back, who has more of Marcelo than Mendy to his game, was handed a debut and acquitted himself well.