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La Liga, Rayo Vallecano vs Real Madrid: Player Ratings

Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Iker Casillas: 7. Good performance by Real Madrid's keeper. Rayo had some good scoring chances and Casillas kept a clean sheet. Most of those chances were easy to save but a couple of them required a decent effort from Real's captain.

Dani Carvajal: 7. His first touch was mediocre all-night long, and one of Rayo's most dangerous opportunities came after a poor defending on the far post by Carvajal. Still, he brilliantly assisted Cristiano Ronaldo on Real Madrid's opening goal and that play deserves a lot of credit.

Raphaël Varane: 6. Manucho completely dominated him when the ball was in the air, and he passed the ball to Casillas on some questionable decision-making too. Currently, he's not the world's safest defender, to put it mildly.

Sergio Ramos: 7. Very good defensive performance and helped a lot the midfielders during the second half, when Real Madrid controlled the game much better. Ramos' importance in this team cannot be stated enough and goes even beyond some of his potential defensive mistakes.

Marcelo: 6. Real's struggles during the first 45 minutes had to do with his poor play with the ball. Vallecas' small pitch didn't help, but his passing was off.

Toni Kroos: 6. Kroos didn't play great either. He was too confident with the ball and almost a bit too careless as well, and that led to some dangerous turnovers and counterattacking chances for Paco Jémez's team. He still improved during the second half.

Luka Modric: 6. Just like Kroos, Modric wasn't comfortable at all. Rayo's pressing has a lot to do with this, but the Croatian is used to break through this press and create good opportunities, which he couldn't quite do today.

James Rodríguez: 8. Arguably one candidate to the Man of the Match award is James. The Colombian player scored Real's second goal and could not stop sending potential assists to his teammates, one of them ending up in a terrible mistake by the referee, who missed an obvious penalty on Ronaldo. It will not be easy for Isco to drop James if the Colombian keeps playing this well.

Gareth Bale: 6. Bale still needs to improve his overall contribution to the team's play when he's not capable of scoring. However, this was not one of his worst performances of the season, and it was easy to expect his struggles in Rayo's small pitch.

Cristiano Ronaldo: 8. The Portuguese scored the opening goal and helped his team a lot with his accurate first touches that allowed Real Madrid to slowly gain control of the game. He should have been awarded a penalty as well in what was a blatant mistake by the referee.

Karim Benzema: 5. Probably the worst man on the pitch tonight. Benzema was too slow with the ball on his feet and he never combined with his teammates as well as he uses to.

Isco Alarcón: 6. Isco came in for Benzema and Real Madrid then played with a 4-4-2 formation. Los Blancos never lost control of the game after that. Isco also had a chance to score which was saved by Rayo's keeper. It seems that he will be relegated to the bench with James back, but this fight for a spot will only benefit Real Madrid as a whole.

Nacho: -. Not enough time.

Chicharito: -. Not enough time.

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