A team effort saw Real Madrid grind out a 1-0 win that gives them a 2 points advantage in La Liga. A few players stood out while others lacked energy and intensity. Here are our player ratings for the Espanyol – Real Madrid match:
Espanyol were dangerous on a few chances but the Belgian goalkeeper stopped them all. Another convincing performance from one of the most underrated players this season.
Dani has gotten almost no rest on the right and that showed last night. Much like most of the team, he lacked energy and concentration but still offered a good performance. Nothing extraordinary.
Varane only struggled for the first few minutes of the game before solidifying his game and becoming a huge nuisance for Raul de Tomas and Espanyol. He kept chasing RdT in midfield and didn’t allow him to start any attacks or counters. Him and Casemiro made a formidable defensive duo last night. Incredible defensive performance by Varane.
Underwhelming performance by El Capitan. He looked shaky and was caught off guard by Wu Lei a couple of times. In the end he was good enough to prevent Espanyol from scoring but he was playing at a level (or two) lower then in his previous games.
Unimpressive game by Marcelo who was often found doing nothing in attack or defense. Left a lot of space for Wu Lei to cause trouble for Ramos and didn’t bother with defensive duties, while not contributing much in offense either.
Casemiro: 8 (Man of the Match)
Another Man of the Match performance by Casemiro. The Brazilian destroyer stopped everything in midfield and Espanyol’s players found it impossible to play against him. Combined with Varane pushing high to man-mark RdT, they formed a formidable defensive duo in midfield. But defensive world class wasn’t all that Casemiro offered. For a while he was Real Madrid’s best offensive player, threatening to score from 50meters away and later with a header in the box, before finally scoring after a magical pass from Benzema in the box found him alone in front the goalkeeper, a shot that he scored easily.
Kroos was not at his best tonight. He played with less energy and intensity, similar to many of his teammates. As the game went on he became more and more in control. He was not on his usual level.
Isco is a player who with his skill in midfield is devastating against big teams but always has a difficult time playing against teams that sit back and defend. His offensive output is just not there, but he was good in build-up and against the rare high press of Espanyol.
Fede Valverde: 6
Played more centrally than in the past few games where he was tasked with playing on the right wing, but he still drifted there a lot. Started out slow but his performance got better as time passed by.
A shadow of himself in the past few games, Hazard didn’t offer much in offense. Failed to combine with any of his teammates before he was eventually subbed off near the one hour mark.
What an assist! Once again, Benzema managed to break the defense with his magical skills, this time with a great pass to Casemiro. He was the only consistent player in attack but he didn’t have much help from his teammates.
Vinicius jr: 6.5
Much like Hazard, he didn’t do much in offense but he game Real Madrid some width and energy and helped out the defense.
Just like Vinicius, the only thing he offered was width and energy. Had a couple of good defensive plays in midfield with his pressing and speed.