Another La Liga match passes, and another lackluster win produced by Real Madrid. The important thing at this stage is getting the results, but the team will need to click up a gear heading into the second half of the season.
Thiabut Courtois—8.5: Another performance where he has earned the team 3 points. Came up huge in the dying minutes of the match to prevent Rayo from equalizing after having two point blank chances within the six yard box.
Dani Carvajal—7.5: Back to his more comfortable right back position, Carvajal performed admirably well. Got involved well in the attack with 3 competed dribbles, 5 of 6 long balls hitting their target, and 88 passes—one behind Toni Kroos.
Raphael Varane—7: A solid game with very little threat from Rayo offensively. The Frenchman was composed on the ball and helped circulate possession.
Sergio Ramos—7.5: One of the best of the backline helping keep a clean sheet. 4 interceptions, 4 clearances, and 2 tackles coupled with a 97% pass accuracy from 90 passes (the most on the team)
Marcelo—6: A quieter game from the Brazilian who is still finding his rhythm after injury.
Marcos Llorente—7: Another very strong performance from Marcos Llorente, who is becoming Mr. Consistent after starting 6 matches in a row. Allows Kroos and Modric the ability to push forward and liberate them of as many defensive responsibilities.
Toni Kroos—9: The German was phenomenal in his first game back since a niggling knee injury. The rest must have done him some good as he was everywhere and at the heart of every Madrid attack. Completed 6 tackles (the most on the team) and had 2 key passes in a game that some him touch the ball 113 times.
Luka Modric—8: Presented the Bernabeu with his golden ball and put in one of his better performances this season.
Lucas Vazquez—7.5: Received yet another start from Solari and brought some production with a lovey assist to Benzema on the lone goal of the match. As always, worked tirelessly all night long and had 4 tackles from the RW position.
Marco Asensio—6.5: A more encouraging performance from Marco, but still plenty of room to improve. He had the lowest amount of touches from the starters (50) and you would hope to see him more involved, taking the game by the scruff of the neck.
Karim Benzema—8: A crucial part of the attack tonight. After a couple of very poor performances, Karim redeemed himself with the game winning goal. Came off injured in the 77th minute.
Dani Ceballos—7: the first substitute for Marco Asensio operating down the left wing. Had some good touches and an intricate passing sequence that almost produced a second goal.
Vinicius Junior—6: Came in at the striker position for the injured Benzema and brought a lot of energy. Saw very limited involvement (8 touches).
Fede Valverde—7: Given the fact that he came on in the 91st minute and immediately made a tackle and set the team on a counter attack, he deserves recognition for taking advantage of such limited minutes