Real Sociedad Vs Real Madrid, Liga BBVA 2013-2014: Player Ratings

Juan Manuel Serrano Arce

A big sigh of relief as the boys got the job done with solid performances all around.

Diego Lopez: A. Had a fantastic save even though the play was offside. Otherwise it was a game in which his services weren't really needed too much.

Nacho: A-. Did his job. Little was expected of him other than to hold his flank down and he did that quite well. It's good to see him recover from some early season worries. I feel more and more comfortable with him having a role on this team next season.

Sergio Ramos: A- Nice job clearing the ball in the first half. A couple nervy moments but no major errors committed leading to arguably his best game of the season. His stunning header hit the post in the second half off a free kick but a second header was the assisting one on the third goal of the game. I'm just happy he wasn't carded or the cause of a PK, my MOTM.

Pepe: B+. Solid and unspectacular. A little bit sloppy once or twice but a generally good performance. Showed fantastic awareness to slot home a Ramos header off a corner.

Daniel Carvajal: A-. The little guy is growing before our very eyes. On a day where the defense was predicted to have a challenge, he put in a quality shift both defensively as well as going forward. Give him a couple years and we may be seeing the game's best RB.

Xabi Alonso: B. Another average performance. The long ball usually found its target but defensively he wasn't much of a presence and Illarra did more to control the midfield than him. Did place two beautiful free kicks in the second half and forced a save from the keeper. The old man could use a rest though.

Asier Illarramendi: A. Best player of the first half. Controlled the game well and scored against his former club after a save coming off of a Benzema shot. Good defensive performance as well. Even though his impact dropped off a bit in the second half, he showed the enthusiasm to fight for the ball and do something with it once he won it back.

Luka Modric: B. Covered every inch of grass. Fought on defense and controlled the midfield in the transition offense. It's amazing that even when he's tired and not performing at a vintage level he still manages to keep control of the game. The dude is so damn good.

Isco: B. Kind of a quiet game, didn't really do anything wrong, per se, but didn't really do anything absolutely amazing either. Seemed to have a difficult time asserting his influence over the game in the front three as opposed to playing in the midfield but passing-wise he wasn't bad. He actually had the most tackles and the second most interceptions on the team for whatever that's worth.

Gareth Bale: A-. Looked much, much better once he switched positions with Isco and attacked from the left side. Took a knock in the second half but scored from waaaaay downtown after a mistake by Sociedad keeper Claudio Bravo. Contributed quite a fair amount defensively as well. Not his greatest game ever but showed a willingness to run at defenders and tire them out.

Karim Benzema: B+. Good movement and touch throughout the game. Didn't get on the scoreboard but at least was willing to put in the work as he ran his behind off. Barely got any touches of the ball in the first half but came alive after halftime. Had a titanic shot off the bar in the second half and I'm pretty sure that the post is still ringing from the shot. It was an absolute cannon of a blast.

Angel di Maria: B+. Didn't do much other than assist Morata on the fourth goal but what an assist it was. Good to see Dobby return and make such a quick impact. Hopefully he can replicate this going forward as the club is heavily relying on him the rest of the way.

Casemiro: -. Came on late but didn't have much time to make an impact.

Alvaro Morata: B+. Came on... and scored almost right away while dedicating his goal to Jese. Great to see him bag a couple goals lately to hopefully boost his confidence.

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