For me this was a tale of two halves. But when it’s all done and dusted, the royal whites get the win and put themselves back into first place in La Liga. Let’s take a look at the Starting XI that Zizou ran out to face Celta in this makeup match.
Keylor Navas: 7.0
Navas had a decent night in goal, and has been steadily working his way back into form. It may have taken all season, but seeing him in form at this stage of the season with a possible double to pick up makes me happy. His rating might have been higher, but he wasn’t able to keep a clean sheet. Though he did make four saves, two of them in the first half. Those two saves were rapid fire, back-to-back shots.
This is one one the players in my opinion that had two vastly different halves. In the first half, he was caught out of position more than once. He drifted too far in at times leaving his flank wide open. In the second half he was much better, playing the ball well and covering his defensive duties.
Raphael Varane: 7.5
Varane put together a decent shift at the back with Sergio Ramos, though I thought that Varane was the better of the pair at times. Varane picked up four clearances, a tackle and one interception. He also completed 96% of his passes.
Sergio Ramos: 6.5
At halftime I had him rated as a 6.5, and he didn’t improve much if any in the second half. And that silly yellow didn’t do him any favours to be sure. He was all over the place, on the bright side he suffered more fouls than he committed. He only completed 84% of his passes, had three clearances and a couple failed ones as well. Overall it just wasn’t the captain’s night.
He was in the 6.5 range at halftime but made up for it in the second half. He assisted Benzema on a goal in the 71st minute. His passing was actually worse than Ramos’ at 80%. If it wasn’t for that assist he’d be rated the same as Ramos.
What you see is what you get with Casemiro. He gets the job done, he had four tackles and two clearances. He did though pick up a silly yellow just outside Los Blancos’ box that Celta failed to score on. He was brought off in the 72nd minute for Mateo Kovacic.
Luka Modric: 7.5
While he may have only completed 80% of his passing, Luka was still a pest on the pitch. It just amazes me at how consistent he is, barring the low passing tonight. He had three chances created, all in-and-around the six yard box. He even got a shot on goal, although it was blocked.
Toni Kroos: 8.0
He quietly put together a great night. Kroos did Kroos things and made them look easy. He even put the ball in the back of the net in the 88th minute on a nice feed from Benzema. He completed 91% of his passes, created 3 chances on the night as well. Like I said, he put in a solid 90 minutes.
At the beginning of the match he looked a little out of place and tried to compensate for it by drifting more centrally. In the second half he turned that around and broke out the disco moves a few times. All in all he made it a solid night, picking up two assists, on both Ronaldo goals.
Cristiano Ronaldo: 9.0
MOTM! GOAT! He was all those things tonight, once again showing why he’s the best player in the universe. He even tracked back to do a bit of defending from time to time. His first goal in the 10th minute was a laser off his left foot, rooting the keeper to his spot. It was magnificent. He would pick up his second goal of the night, shortly after re-start in the 48th minute.
Karim Benzema: 8.5
A much needed great night for Big Benz. He picked up a goal off a beautiful pass from Marcelo and then assisted on Toni Kroos’ goal as well. A lot of what he didn’t won’t show up in the box score. He was a complete player tonight, holding up the ball well. It’s nice to see him back in form, and what a time to be in form.
Mateo Kovacic: 6.0 (72nd minute for Casemiro)
With Casemiro already on a yellow and not wanting him to get sent off, Zidane pulled him out in favour of Kovacic.
Lucas Vazquez: N/A (84th for Ronaldo)
Asensio: N/A (84th for Isco)
On a night where our defense wasn’t stellar, the offense took care of the match. While it was hanging on one goal -- I was sure it was going to end up 1 -0. Instead, the Ref lost the plot, sent off Iago Aspas for a second yellow and things got a little crazy. Real Madrid were able to put three past Celta who were operating a man down.
The league is close at hand, a result at Malaga and we have our first league title since 2012. The hunt for a double is well within Real Madrid’s reach.