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Player Ratings: Real Madrid 3 - 0 Real Sociedad (2016/17 La Liga)

Kovacic and Ronaldo star.

Real Madrid CF v Real Sociedad de Futbol - La Liga Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images
Navas - 8/10

Navas kept a clean sheet in a match where he did not face many difficult shots. The Costa Rican was good overall showing great anticipation, composure, and distribution.

Nacho - 6/10

It’s becoming clearer and clearer that Nacho is best suited for central defense. When deployed as a left or right back, he is faced with more one-on-one defensive situations where fast players can pose a challenge. That being said, he is still relatively solid defensively as a fullback. It’s going forward that there are issues as he simply cannot offer the same level of support Carvajal and Marcelo do which was fully evident again in this match. Although he made several good runs and connected well with Ronaldo on occasion, his play in Real Sociedad’s half was less than ideal.

Ramos - 7/10

Ramos had a good game and with Varane adequately secured our defense. They limited Real Sociedad to speculative efforts from outside the box and intercepted, blocked, and cleared the majority of the crosses played into the danger zone. There were a few key blemishes on his performance — notably when he was bodied off the ball in the first half leading to a cross Varane fortunately cleared. Furthermore, Ramos seemed a little overeager in certain situations committing too quickly and giving up needless fouls.

Varane - 9/10

A near flawless performance from the prodigous defender. Varane put on a clinic as he made the right decision with each of his actions including countless key clearances and interceptions. This was made possible through superb positioning and focus. In addition, he is continuing to display stellar passing ability punctuated by a mouthwatering cross field pass from deep in Real Madrid’s half to Nacho who was making a run into Real Sociedad’s offensive third. This match was another reminder of the incredible asset the French man is to the team.

Danio - 7/10

The Brazilian was good and displayed his classic active game being significantly involved on both ends of the pitch. He had nice interchanges with the midfield and Vazquez and effectively dealt with the attacks coming down his wing. This should be encouraging and confidence-inspiring for the player who has unfortunately suffered from poor performances and bad luck in recent matches.

Casemiro - 7/10

Casemiro was a non-stop presence when Real Sociedad had the ball and worked very hard to eliminate passing lanes and options and more often than not, tackle the ball carrier directly. His possession game was also good although he still appeared too casual in some moments leading to bad dispossessions. These were few and far between however and the defensive midfielder produced an above average performance.

Kroos - 8/10

The German has been a consistent supplier for the team looking to provide more vertically for the attackers to facilitate chance creation. This was true against Real Sociedad as well evidenced by his numerous low balls to the forwards and awesome run and pass to Kovačić. In other aspects, he was his usual dependable self combining well with the defense and midfielders to control possession and establish rhythm.

Kovačić - 9/10

One of the stars of the match, the Croatian took matters into his own hands in the 38th minute with a bursting run that was rewarded with a through ball that he latched onto and finished expertly. This goal opened up the game in Real Madrid’s favour (Kovačić took advantage with an assist) and was the result of fantastic timing and control by the midfielder. His industry and defensive capacity were also very useful throughout the game as he helped the defense shutdown Real Sociedad in important zones. One of the few things Modric’s countryman can be faulted for is a tendency to carry the ball too much or unnecessarily especially in situations where a pass would be more beneficial.

Ronaldo - 9/10

Began a little sloppily with a few giveaways and mistimed passes but grew into the match more and more with each passing minute. He, as is typical, retreated from his advanced position to support midfield ball possession. A good example was the play before the first goal. Ronaldo won the aerial challenge heading the ball to Benzema who quickly returned it. Ronaldo then spotted and fed Kovačić who finished well. From here on, Ronaldo tormented the Real Sociedad backline for the rest of the game popping up in great positions and attempting to involve his partners whenever possible. His performance was capped with a surpreme goal in the second half scoring with a delightful chip.

Benzema - 5/10

Benzema was off-colour the entire match and save for a few moments where his strong interplay shone, he was anonymous. He failed to produce much out of the opportunities he had (both in terms of passes and shots) and did not assist creating space. This continues a seeming slump the striker has been in for a little while but nothing he shouldn’t be able to shake off soon.

Vázquez - 8/10

The Spanish winger was excellent conspiring to create chances down the wing through impressive dribbling and pressing. He was exactly what you’d expect him to be which is a good thing. He went from doubling up with Danilo in defending the right wing to brilliantly skipping past a Real Sociedad defender on the byline only for his cross to be denied the finish it was due. He pushed the whole game and served a great one-time cross for Morata in the 82nd minute to completely put the game to bed.


Morata - 8/10

Came on as the first substitute for Benzema and managed to score two goals (albeit one of them offside). It’s great to have a solid alternative in this position and the Spaniard is making a strong case for more playing time.

Isco - 7/10

Replaced Kovačić with 13 minutes to go and helped smoothen Real Madrid’s play. Managed to play a good ball to Ronaldo in the box that the Portuguese could have done more with.

Asensio - N/A

Came in the dying minutes of the match but still had time to pull off a sumptuous dribble and turn that captured the Bernabeu’s attention.

Man of the match


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