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Player Ratings: Real Madrid 3 - 2 Villarreal; 2018/2019 La Liga

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Club back to winning ways after goals from Mariano and Vallejo secure three points

Real Madrid CF v Villarreal CF - La Liga Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images

It was nice to see Real Madrid looking somewhat like themselves tonight as they claimed a 3-2 victory over Villarreal for their second last home match of the 2018/19 season. Despite the recent disasters against Rayo Vallecano and Getafe, every player from tonight’s game looked rejuvenated and had a hunger brewing on the pitch. This win was one of the clubs best performances in recent weeks and the following ratings are a reflection of that:

Real Madrid CF v Villarreal CF - La Liga Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images

Thibaut Courtois -7 : Had a good match tonight between the sticks. Came up with some big saves when Villarreal made their few attacking moves and worked well with the defence out in front of him. Good work from the Belgian keeper.

Marcelo - 8 : Tonight’s match was a glimpse into the past. Marcelo made interesting runs down the left, was able to have a few classic shots on goal and rarely left any space to be exploited. He was able to show us why he is known as one of the best left backs in history all while wearing the captains armband.

Jesus Vallejo - 7 : Very good performance from Vallejo tonight. He made use of all opportunities when the were in front of him and the joy on his face after scoring the second goal (his first one for the team) says it all. Barring any further injuries, the future looks bright for the youngster.

Raphael Varane - 7 : Despite not being disturbed by much, Varane did very good in place of Sergio Ramos (as he often does). The Frenchman nkew when he had to remain the sole defender at the back and once again showed how strong he is in his particular role while keeping everything controlled.

Dani Carvajal - 7.5 : Much like Marcelo, the Spaniard’s work on the ball was another blast from the past as his talents in offence and defence shone. Combined with Lucas Vazquez down the flank, Villarreal were being picked apart from the runs they made. If his strike in the opening 15 minutes didn’t hit the post, it would have made his night even better.

Toni Kroos - 7.5 : Had nice movements up into the box when they were needed and had took some of his own shots to try help Madrid take the lead in the first half. Playing alongside Fede Valverde helped develop a force in the midfield and had beautiful technique on the ball.

Casemiro - 6.5 : Unfortunate to give the ball away for both of Villarreal’s goals. But besides the slips, he did well to keep up his defensive duties when his opponent gained possession. Overall could have been better, but was not terrible.

Fede Valverde - 7 : A better match for the youngster than in recent games. He found himself with more possession on the ball and combined with his great use of spatial awareness, he created good movements for others on the team. The assist for the third goal speaks to that.

Brahim Diaz - 8.5 : Always moving forward with the ball whether he was making a run by himself or setting up a teammate. He was never afraid to take on multiple defenders, (sometimes even three or four at once) and showed his determination to find creative ways to move forward. One of the better players of the night in my opinion.

Mariano Diaz - 8.5 : Very nice to see him growing back into the kind of player he was in France and prove he can step in as the clubs leading frontman when Karim Benzema is out. He never stopped trying to find his way into the box and his spatial awareness was key to his performance. Both his goals were well deserved.

Lucas Vazquez - 7 : Did very well along the wings in the opening half of the match. Teamed up with Carvajal along the right and made multiple runs into the box while trying to find someone who could put the ball in the back of the net. Overall a good offensive performance.

Substitutions:

(62’) Isco - 6.5 : Subbed on in replacement of Fede Valverde. It took a while for the Spaniard to ease into the flow of the game but when he did, he became another source of creativity for the remaining 30 minutes of the match.

(62’) Marco Asensio -6.5 : Came on for Lucas Vazquez yet had somewhat of a quiet shift in the second half. Put in some defensive work along Casemiro and tried to create a few assists for his teammates. Would have been nice to see him put in more attacking work on his own.

Vinicius Junior - 7 : The Brazilian made his re-appearance tonight after coming on for Brahim Diaz and it was very nice to see him back on the pitch. He decided to give it his all right away and his bursts of speed and energy added another attacking source in the second half. Will be interesting to see how he plays alongside Mariano Diaz and Brahim Diaz in the future.