With El Clasico now in the rear view, it’s time to look forward to the road ahead. Zizou decided it was time to rotate some players as fixture congestion is the name of the game from here on out, and the fresher the bodies the better.
Here was your starting XI:
This actually proved to be a particularly strong lineup including players that didn’t set foot on the pitch for El Clasico. But that wouldn’t matter as this team was born to run, and that they did. They would open up the scoring in the first minute with an Alvaro Morata goal that set the tone for the rest of the night.
James would put Los Blancos up 2-0 in the 14th minute with a beauty of a goal. Deportivo would get the first of their two goals on the night in the 35th. Real Madrid would dominate from there on out and the goals would keep coming. James would score again, picking up a brace, and Isco found the back of the net along with goals from Casemiro and Lucas Vazquez respectively.
Kiko Casilla : 7.0
Casilla got the start in between the pipes tonight instead of Keylor Navas, who was no handed some rest. I’m never too nervous when Kiko starts, because he gets the job done. Casilla made several key saves throughout the match, including a diving save in the 35th minute to keep Real Madrid ahead 2-1.
He collected five saves on the night, and the only downer was the two goals given up.
He quietly put together a pretty solid night on both sides of the ball. Anytime I’m not using his name in vain it must mean he’s doing something right. He completed 84% of his passes, had four tackles and won an aerial duel. At halftime I had him rated at a 6.5, but he pulled together a solid second half.
What can you say about one of the most dependable players on the team, that hasn’t been said already? Great night for Nacho picking up seven clearances along with five interceptions and 95% passing.
Raphael Varane: 6.5
The last time Raphael Varane started it was on April 2nd against Alaves where he only managed to play 11 minutes before getting injured. I know the 6.5 might seem harsh, but it’s what happens when you haven’t played for almost 6 weeks. It’s going to take some time for him to fully get up to game speed.
He looked a bit slow tonight, as is expected. He picked up five clearances all inside the box and completed 90% of his passes. It’s good to see him back in the lineup, as the royal whites are pretty thin at the center back position.
Lets face it Marcelo had a quiet night by his standards. One of the things I found interesting was, later in the game Marcelo would drift centrally, to the point where he was basically an extra midfielder. He had four clearances on the night plus a couple failed ones. I know we’re thin along the back line, but once the score got ran up - maybe pull him off?
Definitely the Man Of The Match for me. It didn’t take long for the disco to start and it went all night long. Deportivo just didn’t have an answer for the double deuce. He picked up the assist on Morata’s first goal and then got his own goal in the 78th minute that went: Isco -> Lucas V -> Isco.
Once again Isco goes and proves why he should be given more minutes in the form of the starting XI. He’s ready for it, and he’s proving it every time he gets on the pitch.
Mateo Kovacic: 8.0
Here’s another bench player making the case for starting minutes.
He would get the start ahead of Casemiro in the CDM role. Tonight solidified me as a fan of Kovacic replacing Casemiro. You don’t lose anything defensively with him in there and you gain better passing and ball winning. And that’s what he did all night long.
He completed 50 of 53 passes on the night and dribbled like a man possessed.
He was ridiculous tonight, almost a tie for MOTM. James was a lot of fun to watch. Whether he was on the ball or off the ball he was always doing something.
My only knock against James is his defending as we know it isn’t his strong suit. But hey, who cares when you’re getting braces and terrorizing the opposing team’s defense just by stepping onto the pitch.
Lucas Vazquez: 8.5
Another great performance by Lucas.
He would pick up his only goal of the night in the 45th minute as the half was coming to an end. It was lovely build up: Isco -> Marcelo- >Lucas. He completed 37 of 44 passes on the night and logged a full 90 minutes. Lucas didn’t even make the bench for El Clasico and maybe made a little statement tonight that maybe he should have been?
He got things started in the opening minute of the match with a dreamy goal thanks to some build up from Danilo and Isco. While he wouldn’t score again, he would show how unselfish he is a couple different times by laying the ball off for a teammate.
Every time he’s out on the pitch he shows that he wants to be there -- doing whatever it takes to get the job done. Score a goal? Sure. Lay it off to a teammate who has a better shot? Sure!
To me he was largely absent in the first half. I had him rated at halftime with a 6.0, which I thought was a bit generous. But I was pleasantly surprised when he came out after the restart -- and started to show signs of why we love this kid. He took what I thought was going to be a rough night and turned it into an Asensio performance.
I’m looking forward to watching him get better and better.
He came on for Isco in the 79th minute. Then in the 87th minute he would blast a ball from distance and rattle the twine with Real Madrid’s final goal of the evening, making it a 2-6 score line. Other than that, he didn’t have any other type of real impact on the match - but earns the rating with the goal.
He came on at the same time as Casemiro, replacing Asensio. He’d have a slight look at goal with a header over the bar but other than that no real impact with only minutes left to play.
Alvaro Tejero : N/A
He would make his senior team debut coming on for Raphael Varane in the 88th minute. Terjero would then go out and get kicked in the face. Welcome to La Liga, kid.
Tonight’s squad showed the riches in depth that Real Madrid have. True we could use another center back, but nothing that can be done with it now. The “B” team played some really good football and it was fun to watch. I thought the rotation might be too much and come back to bite us, I’m glad I was wrong.
Next up, Valencia!