Gareth Bale, Alvaro Morata, and Cristiano Ronaldo were all absent from the squad, but that didn’t stop Real Madrid. Karim Benzema and James Rodriguez starred for the men in white as they terrorized Eibar all afternoon long.
✅ #RMLiga#RealMadrid 1️⃣1️⃣ @SDEibar#RMMovistar #HalaMadrid pic.twitter.com/bqW2Ribowx— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadriden) March 4, 2017
Despite Real Madrid not being in the best form, Zidane decided to rest Kroos, Carvajal, Marcelo, and Isco ahead of next week’s clash with Napoli. Even though they were without many starters, Madrid clinically finished off Eibar within the first 45 minutes of the match. A Benzema brace gave Real Madrid a perfect start before both James Rodriguez, and Marco Asensio finished off the hosts. The win was crucial for Los Blancos to keep pace with Barcelona after Madrid had unexpectedly dropped points earlier in the week.
Keylor Navas: 7
Not forced into action often, however, Navas’ dual save with Sergio Ramos on Enrich kept Madrid firmly in front. Was solid when called upon, and could do nothing about Eibar’s goal.
Danilo is completing his best performance since he signed for Real Madrid.— Lucas Navarrete (@LucasNavarreteM) March 4, 2017
As Lucas points out, this was easily one of Danilo’s best performances in a white shirt. Got forward well, and led the entire team in successful tackles. Unfortunately caught ball watching on Eibar’s goal, but an otherwise solid performance.
Dominant aerially, but not often tested by Eibar’s attackers. Very strong in the first half especially.
Sergio Ramos: 7
Contrary to many weekend matches this season, Sergio Ramos was thankfully not asked to score a late, game-changing goal for Los Blancos. The Spaniard teamed up with Navas to deny Enrich towards the end of the first half. A very calm game from the man known for his volatility.
Nacho Fernandez: 7
The versatile defender put in yet another good performance. Got forward well, but guilty of going to the ground far too easily in the build up to Eibar’s goal.
A typical combative performance from the Brazilian. Put in both good and bad tackles, but restored the bite that Madrid’s midfield missed earlier in the week. Not his best game distributing the ball, but protected the back line admirably.
Luka Modric: 8
A wonderful performance from Modric. Helped push the team forward, and showed off his passing range. Subbed off for Mateo Kovacic with 20 minutes to play, and applauded by the home fans upon his departure.
James Rodriguez: 9
James rarely disappoints when he plays, eh. Give him a roaming role like this and he's so fun to watch.— Kiyan Sobhani (@KiyanSo) March 4, 2017
Zidane deployed the Colombian in his natural central position. He was given license to roam wherever he pleased, and combined well with his teammates. This resulted in a dominant offensive output that ended the contest in the first half. Provided a beautiful set piece for Benzema to finish before adding a goal of his own just 5 minutes later. Unlucky to hit the post moments before Asensio’s goal.
Marco Asensio: 8.5
A constant menace for Eibar to deal with down the flanks. Combined well on the wing before delivering a cross that Benzema would eventually finish. Took his goal well after James’ shot struck the post.
Lucas Vazquez: 7.5
Put forth a strong defensive shift to help cover Danilo’s flank. Tireless work rate, and did well to provide width on the right side.
Karim Benzema: 9.5
Madrid’s best player on the day marked his 350th Real Madrid appearance with a stunning performance. Took the bull by the horns in the absence of his world class teammates, and played with more freedom than usual. After bagging a brace within 25 minutes, Karim played in a killer ball to James for Madrid’s 3rd. Shortly after, the Frenchman lofted a wonderful pass to Asensio, and Madrid’s lead was extended to 4 moments later. Benzema played a key role in every single goal Real Madrid scored today, and did well to effectively silence his critics.
Mariano Diaz (Substitute): 6
Unable to make any real impact during his half hour on the pitch.
Mateo Kovacic (Substitute): 6.5
Excellent in distribution, and showed off his usual abundance of energy.
Kovacic. Such a gifted ball-carrier.— O.Dembélé fanboy (@OmVArvind) March 4, 2017
Made his trademark piercing run through the midfield late in the match, but it ultimately amounted to nothing.
Isco (Substitute): 6
Fresh legs, but created no end product.
Man of the Match: Karim Benzema