Real Madrid finally saw some goals flow at the Bernabeu as they defeated Eibar 3-0. The performance did not quite match the score line. Despite the Isco, Asesnio, and Ceballos trident—the team lacked fluidity and never fully imposed themselves on traveling Eibar. Luka Modric and Raphael Varane would be the standout performers, but Marco Asensio will draw some plaudits with a goal and an assist as well as Theo who marauded down the left flank and is proving to be the talent we all saw at Alaves last season.
Kiko Casilla—8.5: Strong game from Kiko who was determined to keep a clean sheet tonight. Eibar tested him throughout with some set pieces and even Sergi Enrich was put through late only for Kiko to make another big save. Enrich was ultimately called offside, but the save and his overall performance will do a world of good as he enters a stretch of games with Navas out injured.
Nacho—6.5: Finally given the opportunity to deputize as the right full back tonight and once again the utility man put in another solid performance. Was not overly impressive in his offensive nor defensive display, but worked relentlessly hard tracking up and down the right flank and helped Madrid keep Eibar at bay.
Raphael Varane—8.5: One of the best performers on the night. Varane snuffed out every attack, showed off his blazing speed, and even had a few forays into the attacking third, which helped push the team up and keep hold of possession.
Sergio Ramos—8: Like Varane, Sergio Ramos also had a strong outing. The skipper barely put a foot wrong and as per usual commanded the team from the back. Was hugely influential in the first goal as he battled in the air with Paulo Oliveira, who ultimately headed the ball into his own net.
Theo—8: His first start since returning from injury and another impressive outing. He picked up where he left off against Real Sociedad. Theo constantly bombed forward and provided width and speed out on the left flank. Eibar struggled to deal with the overload when Isco, Asensio, and Theo all combined for the second goal. He has the ability to bring the ball down while in full stride and direct his touch into his path, a skill which enables him to keep tanking forward without losing speed.
Casemiro—7: Casemiro’s performance had it all. He was an absolute monster on defense and made some crucial interceptions, but, as is often the case, he was playing with fire as he earned an early yellow card. He was riled up throughout the match and arguably could have been called for penalty kick and a second yellow early into the second half. Eibar tried to rattle Case and press him, but he did well to dribble through pressure. After doing the hard work and beating the press, he would often misplace his pass. An up and down game from the Brazilian, but overall did his job and managed to avoid a red card once again.
Luka Modric—9: Game after game, the Croatian just dazzles. He makes it all look so easy. He orchestrated every attack for Madrid and was a constant outlet for the defense. Had a cheeky dummy late in the second half and then ripped a shot from outside the eighteen only to see it go narrowly wide. Would have been a lovely goal to cap a great performance.
Dani Ceballos—7: A good game from the young Spaniard. He is still learning to mesh with this group of players and was partnered alongside Modric and Casemiro for the first time. He surprisingly played on the right side of the three, but was constantly moving from left, right, and deep always looking to connect with quick one or two touch passes.
Marco Asensio—7.5: Encouraging performance from young Marco as he set-up the first goal with a beautiful in swinging cross and then scored the second. Took his goal really well, a half volley off a dinked near post cross from Isco. The play had looked rather static, but Theo, Isco, and Asensio ramped up the combination play and managed to give Madrid some breathing room.
Isco—7: Placed closer to the left wing in a makeshift 4-3-3, with all the playmakers out there (Isco, Asensio, Ceballos) but was still given the freedom to roam and influence the match as he pleased. Notched an assist with a left footed cross to Asensio.
Cristiano Ronaldo—6.5: Was visibly frustrated not to get on the score sheet tonight. He struggles to connect as well when played as the lone forward. The young Spaniards love to combine and interchange among themselves, but oftentimes misread or bypass brilliant runs from Ronnie.
Karim Benzema—7: His technique is second to none and demonstrated that in his 30 minutes on the field. Played an instrumental part in the counter attack that set up the third goal for Marcelo.
Lucas Vazquez—6: Seems to be the same story for Vazquez game after game. For much of last season and for most games this season, he has lacked the spark that made him so crucial in Rafa and Zidane’s ’15-’16 team. He never lacks the effort and the running, but the final product leaves much to be desired.
Marcelo—7.5: Came on for Ceballos rather than Theo and played as that interior center midfielder. Looked a little out of place a couple of times defensively, but being as naturally talented as he is, scored a beautiful goal to put the nail in Eibar’s coffin. Let the ball lead past him and with a simple shoulder fake, lost the Eibar defense and drilled home a left footed shot to the bottom corner.
Zinedine Zidane—7: As Zidane said after the match, the fluidity wasn’t quite there but a 3-0 home win will help build confidence. Zizou managed to rest Benzema, Marcelo, and Kroos while finally giving Ceballos the chance to start. Gave himself another option by playing Marcelo as a center midfielder and the Brazilian responded with a goal. The boss will be happy for the result, but still push for more fluidity and attacking pressure.
Man of the Match: Luka Modric and Raphael Varane