After taking a 3-1 lead back to the Santiago Bernabeu, Real Madrid immediately asserted their dominance over Barcelona at home. An early screamer from Marco Asensio all but erased a potential comeback.
However, Madrid did not rest on its laurels yet, as the team’s performance for the rest of the first half showed a major gulf in class between the two biggest teams in Spain. The second half was more or less cruise control for both teams, and ultimately it all culminated in yet another trophy for Zinedine Zidane and Real Madrid.
In what was a slightly surprising team selection, Zidane rotated both Casemiro and Gareth Bale for rest, and in their places chose Marco Asensio and Lucas Vazquez to provide stable wing play. Luka Modric also returned to the lineup after serving his one-match suspension.
Keylor Navas: 7.5
The Costa Rican looked slightly unsure of himself at times, but put in a strong shift for Los Blancos.
Dani Carvajal: 7.5
Did well to get forward for Madrid and combined well with both Vazquez and Modric, but occasionally was positioned poorly. Needs to be more forceful when clearing the ball. Headed many potentially dangerous chances away.
Outstanding performance from the Brazilian. Terrified Barca’s left wing, and played many dangerous balls through both crosses and long balls hit over the top. Assisted the Benzema goal with yet another great cross, and helped Madrid evade pressure and advance into the final third on more than one occasion.
Sergio Ramos: 8
Looked a tad shaky in the opening few minutes but was rock-solid otherwise. Combative and dominant for nearly 90 minutes.
Raphael Varane: 7.5
Solid yet again, intercepting passes while playing accurate ones himself. Destroyed Suarez in a foot race. Had an awful clearance fall right to Suarez in the box, but the Frenchman atoned for the giveaway with a big block.
Mateo Kovacic: 8.5
Made multiple runs through the middle of Barca’s midfield to destabilize their structure on the break. Made a poor decision in the box that nearly led to a dangerous giveaway. Press-breaking machine before his shift ended with a half hour remaining.
Kovacic is a fucking wizard yo— Managing Madrid (@managingmadrid) August 16, 2017
Luka Modric: 8.5
Was an engine all-night long. Expertly pressed Barcelona, and even skinned Andre Gomes.
Toni Kroos: 8.5
Helped Madrid dominate the middle of the park and shred Barcelona’s press. Had a great tackle to stop a streaking Messi.
Lucas Vazquez: 8.5
Vazquez’ rate has won the ball back multiple times. Dangerous down the right wing, and put in many different effective crosses. Unlucky to hit the post after great work from Karim.
Marco Asensio: 8.5
Zidane must start Asensio in Ronaldo’s absence. The Spaniard looked fantastic right from the beginning when he scored a screamer less than 4 minutes in. Looked dangerous down the left wing all match.
Karim Benzema: 8.5
Good outlet on counters but had some misplaced passes early on. His solid hold-up play in the box found Asensio whose shot was blocked. The Frenchman’s press won the ball, and his following through-ball found Lucas Vazquez, but the Spaniard’s shot was hit off the post. Scored after atrocious defending from Barca to make the deficit 2-0, and increased Madrid’s aggregate lead to 5-1.
Benz, Asensio, & Lucas all have 2 key passes & 1/2 shots OT. 1st 2 have 1 goal each, Lucas has hit the post. Proper distribution of duties.— RF/Dembélé fanboy (@OmVArvind) August 16, 2017
Casemiro (Substitute): 6.5
Typical Casemiro performance. Defended well, but gave the ball away at times. Suffered a heavy challenge from Mascherano at the end of the match.
Theo Hernandez (Substitute): 6
Lucky to not be called for a foul close to the box on Semedo. Got into dangerous positions but his eagerness to make an impression led to his crosses being overhit.
Dani Ceballos (Substitute): 6
Did well to keep possession, but was not asked to do too much on his Bernabeu debut as both teams had mentally checked out.
Zinedine Zidane: 9
Showed faith in his back-ups (can we really call them backups anymore?) and was more than rewarded.
In his 19 months as Real Madrid manager, Zinedine Zidane has won as many titles as he has lost games (7).— Phil Kitromilides (@PhilKitro) August 16, 2017
Man of the Match: Marcelo
Tough, tough choice for me here. Kovacic, Kroos, Modric Asensio, Benzema, and Marcelo all put in world class performances but the Brazilian was the most consistent attacking threat all match.