The moment we all have been waiting for is finally here. Ronaldo and Benzema found their scoring boots; meanwhile Luka “God” Modric scored yet another golazo from outside of the box. Real Madrid will hope that this inspired performance will put them back on the track in La Liga, as they will be looking to close the gap on Barcelona this weekend, when they face badly-performing Malaga.
Kiko Casilla: 7 - Kiko Casilla was hardly challenged throughout the whole game. APOEL created few semi-dangerous chances, but they were quickly ended by Real Madrid's center-backs. The few shots that Kiko faced were easily dealt with. However, Kiko's distribution could have been more precise.
Dani Carvajal: 8.5 - Oh man. How I missed Dani. All it takes are a couple of his touches and runs and you can clearly see why he is the undisputed best right-back in the world right now. Real Madrid with its wing-focus tactics is a completely different juggernaut when Dani is playing. While Achraf is a highly talented kid, he is still very far away from being a contender for the spot.
Raphael Varane: 8 - Varane had yet another great performance and he has a very solid claim for the best player of the season so far. He is consistently performing at a high level and if he manages to avoid long-term injuries, he will be scary good. Varane is simply a complete defender and even a solid box-to-box midfielder, as he showed during his wild Beckenbauer-esque run.
Nacho: 7 - Nacho was surprisingly aggressive today. He put in a couple of hard challenges, which thankfully weren't awarded a yellow card. It seemed that he really wanted to emulate Sergio Ramos. And then, just before half-time, he managed to score from a corner, which is something that Sergio was unable to do since our own Om Arvind jinxed him.
Marcelo: 7.5 - Marcelo had a field day much like Dani Carvajal. APOEL tried to clog the center of the pitch which meant that our wing-backs had acres of space. And when you give Marcelo space, he will punish you. His cross to Ronaldo was inch perfect and when you deliver such ball to Ronaldo, he won't miss.
Lucas Vazquez - 7: I wasn't all that happy to see Lucas starting ahead of other youngsters, but I had to give credit to him. Lucas did have a good game and provided nice width on the right side. He finally managed to produce something from his dribbles and it sort of resembled his input from the 2015/16 season, which is encouraging.
Toni Kroos - 8.5: Toni, our German maestro. There isn't a better midfield partnership than Luka and Toni. Many will talk about Ronaldo's and Benzema's goals, but I have to highlight Toni's contribution on both of them. His through balls were laser sharp and only thanks to them, our forwards were handed golden opportunities in front of APOEL's goals.
Luka Modric - 9: Speaking of maestros. Luka Godric. This little Croatian wizard is sublime, a joy to watch. One day, we will all tell our kids that we had the pleasure to watch him and his Madrid side. Luka is an engine of this team and he can only score golazos.
Marco Asensio 7.5: Marco was a sparkling wide playmaker, but sometimes he rushed his finishing. Throughout the match, he had a couple of good chances, but he wasn't calm and composed enough to finish them off. However, he did show us that he is a great set piece taker, as his corner kick resulted in Nacho's goal.
Karim Benzema - 8.5: Goals, goals, goals. Karim Benzema can score goals. It must have been a big relief for Karim to score those two goals while getting an assist. He was under heavy criticism from fans and media and these two goals ease the pressure just a bit. It was a great performance from Karim, so let's hope he will carry on like this in La Liga also.
Cristiano Ronaldo - 8.5: Ronaldo loves the Champions League. He broke his record of goals scored in one calendar year, which was then previous held by him and before then also held by him. In other words, he is a monster in the Champions League. He scored a beautiful header and showcased his unselfishness by assisting Karim Benzema. I think it's safe to assume that the goals will now pour in. Bring it.
Dani Ceballos - 7: Dani Ceballos is a such a wonderful player and I'm really bumpd that he’s seen so few minutes this season. His movement and vision is something that Madrid lacked in the last few weeks. He did get 30 minutes of game time today and he will probably get another chance next week in the Copa del Rey.
Theo Hernandez - 7: Theo is starting to come out of his shell. He hasn’t been bombing forward as he did in Alaves so far, but today he slowly started to. He is a fantastic athlete and when he settles in Madrid, he will be a proper menace.
Borja Mayoral- 6.5: Borja didn't get much time on the ball, but his few touches were neat. He desperately needs more game time, but outside of the Copa del Rey, I'm not sure that he will see some...
Man of the Match:
It was really hard to choose, so I will name two players: Luka Modric & Toni Kroos