A physical and frustrating opening first half left the match wide open with both teams failing to score. Neither team could find any sort of rhythm due to the stop-start nature of the game. But once again, it was a tale of two halves as Madrid came out with more intention in the second half. Asensio provided an inch perfect cross in the 47th minute to Karim Benzema to open the scoring. The Frenchman would ultimately net a hat-trick and see Madrid stroll to a comfortable 3-0 victory. Full match ratings below:
Keylor Navas—6.5: Had relatively little to do for most of the match, but came up big with a kick save to deny Inaki Williams in the 85th minute.
Dani Carvajal—5.5: A poor first half from Dani, who had some heavy touches and was sloppy in possession, having misplaced a number of simple passes. Improved in the second half and locked down the right side denying Cordoba or Yuri any opportunities.
Jesus Vallejo—7.5: A great performance from a young player who has managed just two minutes of La Liga play prior to this start. Battled all night long with Inaki Williams and kept him in his pocket. Looked strong in the air, aggressive to step out, and timed his interventions well. Made a crucial sliding tackle to deny a low cross to Inaki which would have almost certainly been a goal. Madrid immediately countered after that play and scored the opening goal of the game.
Raphael Varane—7: A very strong performance from Varane, who was assured in possession and a monster in the back. Completed 10 out of 11 long balls and had a team high of 9 clearances.
Marcelo—4.5: The effort was there, but the Brazilian lacked that final bit of quality— be it in the final pass, in his dribbling, or his 1v1 defending. All were a bit lacking today.
Casemiro—6.5: A typical Case performance, where he had 2 tackles and 5 clearances in a solid defensive display and then kept his game plan simple— finding Luka and Toni to build play out.
Luka Modric—6: A very poor first half, where Luka struggled to compete with the physicality in the match and had some misplaced passes. Like the rest of the team, kicked it up a gear in the second half and a had a team high 3 key passes.
Toni Kroos—7: One of the German’s best games for a while— was at the heart of most Madrid attacks, including driving at the Bilbao backline to help facilitate the opening goal. Completed 11 of his 11 long balls and was the metronome in the middle.
Lucas Vazquez—6: As always puts a tremendous amount of work into each match. Had a resounding six tackles from the right wing position and still managed two key passes. Lacked the final ball and failed to be decisive to the attack, thus his rating has been impacted despite the positive stats.
Marco Asensio—7: Deployed on the left today and had a few bright moments in the first half but overall was quiet. Then, in the second stanza, turned it up a notch and provided the assist on a beautiful one time cross to Karim Benzema’s head for the first goal. Grew in confidence as the match wore on and provided some lovely skills including a roulette on Yeray.
Karim Benzema—9: Hat trick hero. Has now scored 30 goals in all completions including 11 from headers. Scored two headers tonight and completed his hat trick with an open net in the 90th minute.
Isco—5: Came on on the 69th minute for Toni Kroos. Had two completed passes and circulated possession, but did little else.
Gareth Bale—6.5: Tried to get in behind the Bilbao defense on multiple occasions and successed twice. The first time missing a 1v1 with Bilbao goalkeeper Herrín and the second time providing the assist for Karim’s hat-trick.
Brahim Diaz—7: Fun 7 minute cameo from the youngster. Immediately ran at the Bilbao backline and drew an applause from the Bernabeu after some beautiful skill to beat his man 1v1.