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Player Ratings (2016/17 Champions League Round of 16, 1st Leg): Real Madrid 3 - 1 Napoli

Real Madrid played one of its best matches of the season in their win over Napoli.

Real Madrid CF v SSC Napoli - UEFA Champions League Round of 16: First Leg Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Navas 7/10

Great except for the error committed for Insigne’s goal. His positioning was poor as he did not sufficiently cover the net leaving the right side exposed. Insigne’s noticed there was a gap and took full advantage. As some have commented, it was a little reminiscent of Jovetic’s goal in the league at the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán and seems to be a persisting issue. Otherwise, he had a good game making crucial saves and supporting build up play well.

Carvajal 8/10

Provided what is one of the assists of the tournament as he served a wonderful outside of the boot cross to Benzema for the tying goal. In addition, supported wing play very well and combined well with James and Ronaldo.

Ramos 8/10

He was a commanding force at the back as he was key to our possession/progressive game. Worked well with Navas and Varane to help the team retain the ball and managed to deal with most of Napoli’s attacking situations. Subbed off for Pepe in the 71st minute.

Varane 8/10

Formed a formidable center back duo with Ramos (and subsequently Pepe) stifling Napoli’s forwards restricting them to few real chances. Only minor blemish on his performance was that he should have done a little better on Merten’s big chance in the second half.

Marcelo 7/10

Marcelo’s offensive ability is quite simply unparalleled. Even in games where he isn’t as effective/productive due to slightly off final touches, he still has a huge influence. Worked together with Ronaldo to wreak havoc on the left wing and his understanding with the midfield and CBs was critical for Real Madrid. Defensively, his coverage wasn’t perfect and he left the team exposed a few times.

Kroos 9/10

The master of distribution showcased his passing excellence yet again. The German midfielder was extremely effective in a setup that probably suits him best. The ball focused progressive style employed by the team allowed him to dictate play and coordinate the team’s attacking schemes in a controlled way. Topped off a superb match with a great goal to give the team the lead.

Casemiro 9/10

Another 90 minutes added to the ever expanding collection of near flawless (with a little allowance for hyperbole) showings by the Brazilian. Great in possession as well as perfect timing and anticipation in defensive phases made for a truly impressive outing. Like Kroos, added the cherry on the cake with an easy contender for goal of the season as he smashed a loose ball mid-air from outside of the box past a helpless Pepe Reina.

Modric 8/10

The Croatian maestro’s verticality was one of the best features of the match overall. His ability to enable fast transitions from steady possession into active offense is quite remarkable and best illustrated by the play leading to Ronaldo’s big chance in the first half. He made a few mistakes with passing choices and execution but overall was spectacular.

James 7/10

The Colombian was incredible if only appearing less impressive due to the monstrous performances of the other two forwards. James’ impact on the fluidity of our play is astounding. He’s able to improve the smoothness of the team’s on-the-ball game due to his passing ability, composure, and verticality. Defensively, he was adequate and did his best to help Carvajal deal with Mertens and attacks down the right wing. Provided the pass that led to Carvajal’s assist for Madrid’s first goal.

Benzema 8/10

Benzema was a beast in this match. He troubled the Napoli defense for the entire game getting to every ball first and creating an incredible amount of danger. From the first minute when his shot was saved from inside the box to his equalizer, he seemed to do everything right. Furthermore, he supported the midfield really well giving them options in possession enhancing ball retention. It would have been close to a perfect match for him if not for the glaring misses as those could prove very costly under other circumstances.

Ronaldo 8/10

Ronaldo seemed to make the right decision with every single one of his touches and his fantastic play at the beginning of the game to set Benzema up was just a taste of what was to be expected. He created many high quality chances (a lot of them for Benzema) and his good work was finally rewarded when Kroos scored beautifully from the top of the box after Ronaldo’s great dribble and pass. Unfortunately, like Benzema, the Portuguese missed very good opportunities to score slightly undermining his overall shift.


Pepe 8/10 - He came in for Ramos in the 71st minute and barely put a foot wrong. He seamlessly integrated into the match allowing Real Madrid to close the game without conceding a goal.

Vázquez 7/10 - Replaced James in the 76th minute. He was very good defensively providing significant support to Carvajal but didn’t do much going the other way.

Morata N/A - He was introduced into the game with 8 minutes left to play in regular time and showed good effort and intensity.

Man of the Match

Toni Kroos - with fantastic midfield play and a goal, the German’s performance was a highlight of the win.

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