Real Madrid opened their La Liga campaign with a solid away win vs Deportivo. Goals from Gareth Bale, Casemiro, and Toni Kroos made the difference. Keylor Navas kept a clean sheet and the boys in white put in a commanding performance. Zidane rolled out the same starting line up that took on Manchester United and Barcelona in the first leg of the Spanish Supercup with the exception of Nacho for Varane.
#RMLiga#RealMadrid XI @RCDeportivo#HalaMadrid #RMMovistar pic.twitter.com/5QhhPWKxnD— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadriden) August 20, 2017
Keylor Navas — 8.5: The Costa Rican shot-stopper was crucial in the opening 15 minutes, making two big one-on-one stops against Andone who had slipped his way through Nacho and Ramos. Keylor was a commanding presence throughout and even had some good distribution with his feet. It looks like the surgery is finally behind him and he has his confidence back. Saved Andone’s poor penalty to keep the clean sheet.
Dani Carvajal — 6: A few easy giveaways in the first half where the ball seemed to be stuck to his foot for half-a-second too long. Still working to get back to the standards he set last season. Gave away a needless penalty in the 88th minute of the game.
Nacho — 8: Strong performance from the Canterano. Nacho continues to impress when called upon. He battled with Andone and Bakkali all night and nine times out of ten, won the battle. Read the game superbly and timed his interceptions and tackles throughout the night. His speed is an underrated asset of his game and makes up for the pace left behind when Varane is not in the line up.
Ramos — 6: Sergio Ramos led the backline well and helped keep Deportivo off the scoresheet. He, like Nacho, battled with Andone all night. The Romanian got through on a couple of occasions, but for the most part was kept quiet. Had a goal-line saving block on Andone’s header near the hour mark which could have turned the game on its head had the captain not stepped up. The two yellow cards he received, leading to yet another suspension for the former Sevilla man, hurt his score. He can feel hard done by the referee, as the second yellow was controversial.
Marcelo — 8: Great performance from the Brazilian left back. Pressured high up the field, never giving Deportivo an outlet on the right side. His inch-perfect cross to Casemiro for the second goal was something he has spoiled us Madridistas to on a number of occasions. As always, he was a constant outlet and constant attacking threat on the left side.
Casemiro — 7.5: The midfield anchor has seemed to found his goal scoring boots as of late—he scored his seventh goal of 2017. More and more we have seen Casemiro venture up the field and more and more we are seeing his name on the score sheet. It is another added dimension to his game and to Madrid’s attacking scheme.
Modric — 7.5: The Croatian once again dictated the tempo of the game. He was the constant link between defense and attack. He patiently waits for the play to find him at the top of the box when Madrid builds an attack. That patience was almost rewarded with a goal as he unleashed a shot from outside the box that Ruben could only bundle. Benzema was there to follow up and pass to Bale for the opening goal.
Kroos — 8.5: Like Modric, the German put in another midfield dominating display. He picked his passes with ease and his late runs into the box were always a threat. Was teed up by Gareth Bale on one such late run and finished it off for the third goal. Even late in the game he was putting slide tackles in to win the ball. A MOTM performance from Toni.
Isco — 7.5: Isco continues to prove that he is deserving of his spot in the starting XI. He was all over the pitch, connecting with teammates via quick one and two touch passes. It was his run that led to the third goal as he sliced open the center backs and put Gareth Bale through to set up Kroos.
Benzema—7.5: No goal today, but an assist to his name and major role in the third goal for Madrid. He was a poacher on Madrid’s opening goal and set up Gareth for the easy tap-in.
Bale — 7: An opportunistic goal as the Welshman was ready for the easy tap-in. Was not a dominating performance by his standards, but he did end the game with a goal and an assist. Hopefully will be able to build on this performance and continue on a consistent goal-scoring run while Cristiano is suspended.
Asensio — 7: First man off the bench and was lively and active during his cameo appearance. Linked up well with his teammates and hit a solid free kick in the 85th minute that Ruben had to punch away.
Marcos Llorente — 7:Came in around the 70th minute mark for Casemiro and did not put a foot wrong. He completed all his passes and his positioning was spot-on to snuff out any counter attacks. An encouraging sign that he got some minutes as many Madrid fans are hoping he will stick around this season rather than go back out on loan.
Lucas Vazquez — 6.5: The third and final sub. Didn’t have much time to make an impact, but won a free kick late in the 85th minute. Always full of running and effort, and has looked to be back in good form since the start of the new season.
Zinedine Zidane — 9: A commanding 3-0 away win to open La Liga. Zidane and his men came out with intensity and were always in search of a goal. The defense was solid and despite the adversity of the penalty kick and late red card, they were able to keep the clean sheet. His substitutions did not miss a beat, especially as Isco was looking tired. Zidane was able to give some minutes to Marcos Llorente which will give him a confidence boost heading into the season after being left out of the first three squad lists.