Finally, a win for Real Madrid after a spell of losses and draws we can exhale, but just a little. The first half of the match was quite aggressive with Leganes committing ten fouls on the night. The second half saw a Leganes side that was putting it all on the line in the attacking third causing some serious trouble for Madrid. In the dying minutes of the match, an incredibly tight angle goal ensured the win for Los Blanco’s giving them the advantage heading into the return leg which will be played next week.
Here is a look at Madrid’s Starting XI:
Kiko Casilla - 8
The goalkeeper fulfilled his role in the Copa Del Rey once again and dove right into action ensuring his team's success. Casilla was not tested much over the course of two halves but when he was called upon Kiko made an incredible diving save to the near post.
Dani Carvajal - 7
Dani got away with some very dangerous tackles all throughout the game when it came to his defensive duties. His lack of discipline at times could have put Real in danger but the referee thankfully took a more lenient stance. In his offensive duties, Carvajal did well to push forward with great passing but did not create many chances through his deliveries.
Jesus Vallejo - N/A
The fine prospect that is Jesus Vallejo was given the opportunity to showcase his talents once again but picked up an injury early requiring a substitution just 15-minutes in. The specifics of the injury are unclear but we’ll let you know all the detail as they happen.
Raphael Varane - 8
Varane not only deputized the back line today but was also given the Captains armband, which is a huge vote of confidence from Zidane. The centre-back was valiant in his efforts pushing the ball up to the mid-field when needed, using his pace to track back and getting involved in set pieces. The Frenchman was unable to put home a couple of chances but made up for it where it mattered most.
Theo Hernandez - 7
The other Frenchman in Madrid’s squad against Leganes was a little more subtle. In the first-half Theo was very quiet but came into his own more in the second. Strong play down the left flank showed positive signs that he can fill in for Marcelo more often.
Dani Ceballos - 6
Well, we got another rare opportunity to see the former Betis youngster play in the midfield but there was not much consistency in his game. Ceballos had a couple shots but none caused Leganes keeper any harm. Dani took the initiative to drop deeper to dry building the play but was not able to do so.
Marcos Llorente - 7
Like Theo, Llorente seemed a little hesitant to start with but came alive as the game progressed. The Spaniard was rifling around the mid-field like a jackrabbit making smart passes and even better interceptions. It was nice seeing a possible Casemiro replacement come through.
Mateo Kovacic - 6
Mateo has not looked like the best shade of himself since that dreadful loss to Barcelona back in December, as was the same against Leganes. He’s running through the middle of the pitch with the ball was all fine and dandy but his inability to pull off that deadly pass through the defence was missing. Kovacic also had the best chance of the match after a great high press but his eyes illuminated with the thought of scoring a little too quickly. Let’s hope he is able to be more impactful come next week if he is to play.
Lucas Vasquez - 7
Not his best performance but also not his worst. His rating of 7 is more a thank you for a hard-working shift and not related to the few number of chances you created. Fortunately, that is what you get from Lucas, even if he is not accurate with his crossing or playmaking his work rate is always formidable.
Marco Asensio - 8.5
It wasn’t a Spanish Super Cup performance from Asensio, but when Los Blanco’s needed a saviour, he was there. Marco worked tirelessly through the match and in the 89-minute it paid dividends. His tight angle goal helped Madrid snatch an away goal in the two-legged fixture as well as a huge boost of confidence for the team.
Borja Mayoral - 5
Call me harsh but even a 5 may be generous for the striker who was less active than our goalkeeper. Listening to the commentary through the whole match I never really heard the Spaniard's name, and whilst watching I often times forgot he was even on the pitch. Had Vallejo not picked up an injury Borja would have likely been subbed off.
Nacho (for Vallejo, 15th minute) - 7
The Birthday boy was called upon early after Vallejo was injured just 15 minutes into the match. The versatile defender had a good performance albeit the time he fell asleep leading to Leganes’ best opportunity on the night with Casilla saving him by pushing the effort aside. Nonetheless, Happy Birthday Nacho!
Luka Modric (for Ceballos, 67th minute) - 7.5
Luka came on for Ceballos and did exactly what he was unable to do. His addition to the squad added the cohesion in the midfield that was desperately missing for most of the night. Modric had great touches on the ball showing that skill can be learnt but maturity and game IQ takes time.
Isco (for Llorente, 73rd minute) - 7.5
From the get-go, Isco came on and turned up the heat on what was looking to end as a very grim and cold night. Isco moved around the pitch with grace taking on a couple players at a time. He was even involved in the buildup that led to the goal by Asensio. Just 17-minutes to make an impact and the midfielder did just that.