When Real Madrid decide to focus, they can easily win any match. Yesterday was no exception, yet it’s good to point out that Athletic are free falling right now. With Ronaldo signing another hat trick and Benzema scoring a brace, Los Blancos pleasantly won 5-0 and gained three more points. Now it’s time for the international break, which always takes a toll on a great chunk of Madrid players. Let’s take a look at how each player performed.
GK, Iker Casillas: 7.5/10
Kept a clean sheet and made some very good saves. Probably his best match so far. His confidence keeps climbing just in time for the international break. This kind of growth in form is just what everyone wanted from him.
DEF, Dani Carvajal: 7.5/10
Also one of his best matches of the season. Little work in defense and quality contribution in attack. His improvement was what made Bale play better today. This should be a good boost for the Spanish player, since Arbeloa had also played good matches.
DEF, Pepe: 8/10
He may have come out of an injury, but he proved that he’s ready to play again. He was very focused, quick when tackling and have Iker some peace of mind. Right now the competition in his position is high, and he delivered.
DEF, Sergio Ramos: 6/10
He accumulated a yellow card and suffered from some back pain in an encounter with a rival. Only played the first half. He hasn’t really excelled that much so far. Because of this, Varane and Pepe should stay as the starters.
DEF, Marcelo: 7.5/10
Coentrão’s constant injuries do him well. Greatly improved in the last few matches. Great in defense, which is his weakest attribute. Connected well with Ronaldo as usual. His frequent runs to the front overpowered a poor De Marcos.
MID, Toni Kroos: 7/10
A performance of great level as usual. He hasn’t made any notable mistakes since he signed for Madrid. He works well in defense, makes the right passes and holds the team together. He was rewarded with some rest when he gave his spot to Illarramendi.
MID, Luka Modrić: 7.5/10
Much better match than against Ludogorets. He’s clearly more in sync with Kroos than with anyone else. Worked endlessly in recovering the ball and finding spaces for his teammates. With Illarra on the field, he was more present in attack.
MID, James Rodríguez: 7/10
Good work in recovering balls. Showed some great flashes of his talent and overall decent match. He’s proving to Ancelotti that he can sacrifice himself and help greatly in defense. Steadily growing into an important player.
ATT, Gareth Bale: 7.5/10
He needed this sort of match. Only failed to score, since he assisted twice and created quite a few chances. It’s true that Athletic seemed completely disconnected, yet he contributed more to the game than in past matches.
ATT, Karim Benzema: 9/10
Showed how important he is against Ludogorets. He had a great night, scoring two goals and doing that invisible work that is hard for everyone to appreciate. Generated a lot of chances and made Ronaldo shine as usual.
ATT, Cristiano Ronaldo: 9.5/10
Another hat trick and a good boost in his Pichichi stats. Almost reached perfection today. He drove Athletic’s defense crazy. He could’ve scored more than three goals and he even gave an assist.
DEF, Raphaël Varane: 7/10
Played the entire second half. He has been the best defender in the past few matches, and it was good to see him partner with Pepe. Clinical when tackling, intense marking and overall a great showing.
MID, Asier Illarramendi: 7/10
Came in for the last 15 minutes. Ancelotti keeps giving him pitch time and he keeps delivering. His defensive work is very important. He gave Modrić the chance to get closer to the attacking zone.
MID, Isco: 7/10
He’s been the usual attacking substitute so far over Chicharito. Came in very focused and with the motivation to amaze the crowd. He showed his “magic” plays in the few minutes he had, and started the fifth goal.