There was a lot of tension heading into the match against Levante as an injury stricken Real Madrid kicked off their heavy schedule. After the international break the players came in with a new attitude and started strong but ended shakily.
During the first half it took a while for Real to get into the game but once everyone found their feet the team was lively and entertaining. A brace from Karim Benzema and goal from Casemiro had the team up 3-0 at the half.
In the second, Madrid turned off the radar a bit and opened up the game to Levante but regardless they managed to claim the three points.
Full player ratings below:
Thibaut Courtois - 7: Didn’t have much to do in the first half of the match but couldn’t keep a clean sheet when Levante came out in the second. Were the goals his fault, it’s hard to say. However, his first and only save of the game prevented a 3-3 tie.
Dani Carvajal - 7.5: Down the right hand side the Spaniard was performing some of his best work, peak stuff if you will. Did well to help move the ball up top through players rather than relying on crosses but was at fault for Levante scoring their second of the night.
Raphael Varane - 7: Also didn’t have much work to do in the first half. Helped Madrid keep a clean sheet and really stepped up the leadership role when the captain was substituted off. Made good clearances in the second half but still, two goals went in.
Sergio Ramos - 7: Right from the start it was clear the Captain had every intention of leading his team to three points. Made some good clearances and kept everyone level headed and moving forward. At fault for Borja Mayoral’s goal, substituted off early (assuming as a precautionary).
Marcelo - 7.5: Looking very comfortable back in his role at left back. The Brazilian was adding some flare while assisting teammates up top. Still found ways to make it back to help defend which was good. Sometimes let players slip behind him but put in the effort to make up for his mistakes.
Casemiro - 8.5: With limited midfield options, Casemiro’s job today was more important than ever as the defensive midfielder. He was the focal point for the club and helped dictate the route of play. Often cut out Levante’s passing lanes and regained possession for Real Madrid. Scored the winning goal too.
Toni Kroos - 8: Everything on the pitch was moving through the German. Alongside Casemiro he helped dictate the route of play and stepped it up in the second half. Registered some good shots on target but has to work of those corners, not as accurate as usual.
James Rodriguez - 8.5: It was a great day at the Santiago Bernabeu today for the Colombian who played in replace of Luka Modric. Throughout 90 minutes he was one of the team’s creative outlets and his involvement crucial, especially regarding the second goal. That back heel was also sublime.
Lucas Vazquez - 7.5: As usual, Vazquez put in the work today as he took over the right wing. In the first half he had lots of opportunities and was very involved in the attack working well with Carvajal. Died off a bit in the second half.
Karim Benzema - 9: At the start of the season Benzema was asked to bring out some of his best work and within recent games he has certainly done that. The Frenchman was eager to move towards goal and was creative in the process. Made the right decisions when needed and scored a brace in the process.
Vinicius Junior - 7.5: At first the Brazilian seemed a bit timid on the pitch and had to grow into the game which he did successfully. Made the assist for the winning goal and had good opportunities to score but had a goal disallowed. Good showing for what the future will be, just needs time.
Eden Hazard - 7.5: The Belgian really couldn’t have gotten a quicker start after coming on for Casemiro. He immediately got into the action linking up with James and Vinicius then seconds later he had a shot of his own. Still waiting for him to bring out his best work, will take some time.
Eder Militao - 7: Had the opportunity to get some minutes when he came on for Ramos and played a few offside traps. Needs to get more comfortable with his team.
Luka Jovic - NA: Not enough time on the pitch to judge.