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Real Madrid Vs Espanyol: Copa del Rey 2013-2014: Player Ratings

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It was a 1-0 win but it was as comfortable of a 1-0 win as it gets. After the initial early goal, the Madrid players took their foot off the gas and cruised to a nice, easy 1-0 win. There's really not much to say as the game turned into a snoozefest, but here's how the players did.

Denis Doyle

Starters

Iker Casillas: A. The Saint really didn't have much to do... other than break the Real Madrid club record for consecutive minutes without conceding a goal (which stood at 659 minutes). Seriously, these keepers have had such a comfy job lately that any one of us could've been inserted into their spot and had a solid game. Nothing bad to report.

Alvaro Arbeloa: A-. The Spartan was urged to shoot on goal late by the crowd and the Spartan obliged... only to blast the shot wide. That was probably his biggest moment as he had a relatively quiet night. A couple of nervy passes earlier but nothing of note.

Sergio Ramos: A-. Fourth yellow card in four games so he did his job (but the defense wasn't too bad either with plenty of interceptions and clearances).

Nacho: A. Despite the regular ribbing he takes, the kid had a solid game! Seriously, he's not the second coming of Thiago Silva but his last few outings (which don't happen often) have been reliable and without any glaring errors. Basically what you want from your fourth CB. Did pick up a yellow but it was on a horrible call.

Fabio Coentrao: A-. He got hurt again... but luckily it's just a bump on his head. His defense was much better than his offense but that's his MO so he did his job. Good to see him get some minutes and allow Marcelo to rest up.

Angel Di Maria: B+ Good defense, offense was a little iffy at times. Out of 10 crosses only three found their mark but that's okay since Espanyol weren't likely to do anything on the counter.

Xabi Alonso: A+. Wow. Just wow. Defense was absolutely rock solid but none of that matters since this GIF which lead to this GIF is all you need to know about his performance.

Asier Illarramendi: A. Maybe it's just me being over the top for whatever reason, but games like today is where you see why RM signed this kid. He did everything Xabi did but just to a slightly lesser degree and since he's young you can see the glimpses of ol' Red Beard in him down the line. Lovely triangular passing, good defense, solid control of the game.

Cristiano Ronaldo: B+. Low-key night from the big man but he was still creating chances and being a menace for the Espanyol defense. He and Jese are a scary duo in the box.

Isco: B. Looked rusty, plain and simple. Top pass completion rate and amount of key passes created, but couldn't even get a single shot off. Maybe playing as the "false 9" in his first extended minutes in a while wasn't the best fit. Not a bad game by any means as he had some good moments playing with CR and Jese, but just played rusty is all.

Jese: A+. The man with the game-winner. Blazing speed, wonderful touch, splash of creativity. This kid is the real deal.

Substitutes

Pepe: A. Didn't have much to do but didn't make any mistakes.

Morata: A-. Looked direct and sharp, good to see him get some minutes even though he didn't do all that much.

Casemiro: A. Only got a few minutes but I'm feeling generous with my grades so he scores well.

Manager

Carlo: Gave Modric some rest for the big game on Sunday so that warrants a big, fat A+ in my book.

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