GK - Kiko Casilla
Not a great performance by the Spaniard tonight. Although his defense was very shaky during those last 15 mins when Shakhtar scored 3, Kiko looked very unsure throughout the whole second half. When jumping up to clear the ball out he made various questionable decisions and one could argue he could've done better on the penalty and the third goal. Kiko didn't really do much for his cause for the starting position tonight. (His fists were out of control tonight).
RB - Carvajal
The Spanish defender had an imposing performance in Ukraine. He was efficient in defense and was a huge threat on the attack. Carvajal also got on the score sheet with a masterfully crafted left footed shot to the top left corner of the goal. Let's also have an honorable mention for that cheeky nutmeg. Overall, very convincing performance from Carvajal which will hopefully convince Benitez to place him in that starting line-up from now on.
CB - Raphael Varane
The frenchman had a strong performance while on the field tonight. His physical presence proved to be a block for the Shakhtar attack. Unfortunately, Varane had to be subbed off in the first half due to injury. (Doesn't sound like it's serious)
CB - Pepe
Convincing performance from the Portuguese defender tonight. The portuguese kept a composed head and helped his team grind out that win at the end, however he was part of that defensive line that came tumbling down those last few minutes of the game.
LB/CB - Nacho
The academy graduate had a good performance and adapted very well to that LB position in the first half. No nonsense defending and always clearing the ball when under pressure. Nacho performed what was asked of him from Rafa tonight.
CM - Casemiro
Although his clumsy challenge did cost Real a penalty, it would be unfair to not appreciate his work rate during this match and the complete assurance he gives this Madrid side in the midfield. Casemiro was fast on the counter and made very good challenges to get the ball out of danger, however, he did rush into some challenges at times but considering the stability he gave the defense for most of the match, he should be a starter.
CM - Luka Modric
Lukita was back to his usual genius self tonight in Ukraine and his presence on this team was witnessed once again. Sacrificing tracking back to help on defense, fast delivery of the ball on counter attacks and pure class in the opposition's half. Luka also got on the score sheet with a nicely placed shot after an assist from Cristiano. Absolute class tonight from the little wizard.
CM - Mateo Kovacic
Sacrifice, out of the headlines, no complaints against his coach, not a word from this player when he wasn't playing. Mateo kept his head down, worked hard and got his chance and boy did he take it. The Croatian was absolutely magisterial tonight. Kovacic played fast passes, never got caught dwelling on the ball and was absolutely vital when breaking the counter from the back. Should be starting next to Luka in that midfield at the moment. Long live the Croatian Connection.
LW/RW - Gareth Bale
The Welshman was the absolute opposite of the player we saw last Saturday at the Bernabeu. Gareth was absolutely wonderful on that left wing. His speed proved to be too much for the Shakhtar defense. He could've had a goal or two himself tonight, he instead decided to share the ball and gave two vital assists to Cristiano. Defensively he was also very concentrated on his role and pressured the opposition when Real didn't have the ball
LW/ST - Cristiano Ronaldo
The portuguese superstar had a majestic night. Two goals and two assists wrapped up his night in Ukraine. He was a steady threat in that poacher's position and also made some very good runs through the wings.
RW - Isco
The Andalusian player showed glimpses of his genius tonight especially when connecting with Carvajal on that right side but also got dispossessed and lost the ball several times. Isco has the potential to be a starter for this team but he often dwells on the ball and slows down the counter attack with his play. Overall, still a pretty good performance from the former Malaga man.
SUBS - (Danilo for Varane, Benzema for Bale, and Kroos for Modric)
The brazilian full back has yet to put in a convincing performance since his arrival from Porto. Clumsy challenges on the edge of the box, rushed defending and speed from the opposition's attack proved to be a problem for the brazilian.
Totally unnecessary to include Benzema in a game that Real was winning 4-0. The frenchman still looks like he is in no shape to be taking place in a game and his personal problems seem to still be getting in the way of his football. Karim looked lost and confused throughout the time he was on the field, maybe surprised he was put in to this game in the first place.
The german midfielder is still a shadow of his former self and has yet to put in a strong performance this season. Although Benitez rates him highly, (based on this season's form) there is no sporting/technical reason for him to be starting over Kovacic or Casemiro. Kroos looked very unbothered and almost apathetic when he came in to this game. He played rushed passes and was lacking will to sacrifice on defense.
Very good performance from the team until the last 12 minutes of the game. Benitez's substitution choices somehow tipped this game in favor of the opposition tonight and gave us all a good old scare tonight.
Happy Thanksgiving Madridistas!