Santiago Solari’s men looked to continue their good run of form with a victory against Alaves. Both Barcelona and Atletico Madrid dropped points this weekend and it was an opportunity for Real to capitalize. The revival of Madrid has been in large part to the clinical form of Karim Benzema and the dynamism and bravery of young Vinicius Jr. Each would be at there best again today— Karim Benzema scoring his 18th goal in all competitions and Vinicius JR scoring the second before coming off to a standing ovation in the 86th minute. It wasn’t as impressive a display as the last four to five matches, but the team continue to get results and 3-0 victory over a good Alaves team will only provide more confidence heading into the Camp Nou.
Thibaut Courtois—6: Had very little to do all night long as Alaves only had 29% possession and of the opportunities they managed to create, they shot directly at the Belgian. Will be happy to come home with another clean sheet.
Alvaro Odriozola—7.5: Another bright performance from the youngster out of San Sebastián. His width and speed always provided an outlet for Madrid to switch the field and break out of pressure. Looks to be improving on his first touch. Delivered a lovey cross for Mariano to score the third and final goal right before the final whistle.
Nacho—7.5: Very solid performance from the center back, who looks to be another formerly injured player getting into top gear. Covered well for Ramos and Odriozola, finishing the game with 2 tackles, 3 interceptions, and 2 clearances.
Sergio Ramos—7.5: Captain-like performance. A wall at the back, who snuffed out anything Calleri or Jony tried to get on the end of.
Sergio Reguilón—7.5: Match after match, he consistently performs at a very high level. It was the Spaniards underlapping run past Vinicius that allowed the Brazilian to play a red-carpet pass into space which Reguilón then drilled across the net for Benzema to tap home.
Casemiro—8.5: The Brazilian was at his best tonight, an absolute monster defensively. A team high 6 tackles, 4 interceptions, and 2 clearances.
Dani Ceballos—7.5: Another very good game from the former Betico. Finished the match with four key passes and a 96% pass accuracy from 90 passes. Worked tirelessly and fits seamlessly into the team when replacing one of Kroos or Modric.
Luka Modric—7: A slow start to the match where he uncharacteristically gave the ball away a few times, but as his presence grew so did Madrid’s play. Finished the match with team high 5 key passes and continues to show his best form of the season during Madrid’s five game consecutive win streak.
Gareth Bale—4: Did very little during his 62 minutes on the pitch. Swapped back and forth between the left and right flank, but failed to leave any type of mark on this match.
Vinicius JR—9: The Brazilian put in a man of the match performance. He was crucial to all of Madrid’s transitional play. His ability to receive the ball, turn, and then be direct and beat players has been vital to Madrid’s turn around in form as it creates space and opportunities for his teammates in attack. At 18 years of age, their is new limit to the youngsters potential.
Karim Benzema—7: The Frenchman’s fine goal-scoring form continues as he netted his 10th La Liga goal and 18th in all competitions. As always, connected well with Vinicius JR, but his role may have been more subdued due to the lack of connection with Gareth down the right.
Marco Asensio—7: Young Marco entered the match around the 62nd minute and finished the game with an assist to Vinicius JR. Those two, much like Benzema and VJR, have a good connection— which goes back all the way to the pre season. The Spaniard looked good and to have him back from injury is always a positive.
Mariano—6: In his twenty or so minutes on the pitch, Mariano worked tremendously hard, but did have quite a bit of rust. His touch was heavy and he seemed over eager. Nonetheless, he capped the match off with a goal— a diving header off an Odriozola cross in the 90th minute.
Isco—7: Entered the match in the 86th minute for Vinicius JR. Looked good in his limited touches and was the architect to the third goal. Played a beautiful defense splitting long ball which Odriozoa latched onto and subsequently crossed for Mariano to head home.