And breathe. Real Madrid’s Champions League fate came down to matchday six of the group stage as a drop to the Europa League lingered.
A determined performance with two quality goals sees the club move on to the knockouts.
See full player ratings below.
Thibaut Courtois — 7.5: Wasn’t tested too often but will be relieved to have a clean sheet. Came up big to prevent Gladbach from tying the match early on. Organized his defence well.
Lucas Vazquez — 8.75: Another workhorse performance from the Spaniard. Was a key player during the match to help Madrid open up wide. Delivered a pin-point cross to Benzema for the opening goal plus he hit the woodwork a few times himself. Finished with one tackle, 92% pass completion, three shots and five key passes.
Sergio Ramos — 8: What would this squad do without Ramos? In his return for the club the captain directed his side towards a vital three points and helped calm down Madrid’s nerves. Finished with two aerial duels won and one attempted on goal that was saved.
Raphael Varane — 7: Got off to a shaky start as his position let Gladbach attack on the counter, lucky to have Ramos help him out by tightening the angle. Afterwards, regained his composure and finished with two aerial duels won, three tackles and one shot. The lapse in focus sees him drop some points.
Ferland Mendy — 7.5: Very necessary to Madrid’s attacking threat today and once again linked up well with Vini Jr. (which is becoming a great partnership). Had some misplaced passes and finished with a low completion rate (79%) but also had one dribble and four tackles.
Casemiro — 7.5: A very quiet night for Casemiro but he was an integral piece in Zidane’s game plan tonight. Did well to help the club disposes their opponents and maintain possession. Ways always in the best position on the pitch. Finished with one dribble and one tackle.
Toni Kroos — 8.75: Another dynamic performance from the midfield maestro. Together with Modric, Kroos was directing the game for Madrid all night and his influence was key to their success. Finished with a 97% pass completion rate, two shots on target, five key passes and one tackle.
Luka Modric — 8.75: We say this every week, but how is Modric 35-years-old? The Croatian was dynamic on the pitch and helped dictate the flow of the game for Madrid. Though not on the scoresheet, Modric was influential for both goals and played a full 90 minutes without slowing down. Finished with 94% pass completion, four dribbles, and three shots.
Rodrygo — 8: Seems to be earning more trust from Zidane and his confidence is running high as a result. Was very involved throughout the match and integral for the team’s second goal. Fought to gain possession and provided a wonderful assist for Benzema (which Modric happily celebrated). Finished with 90% pass completion, two shots (one of which forced a strong save), one dribble, one aerial duel won and one tackle. Subbed after 74 minutes.
Karim Benzema — 9: Man of the match tonight. When Madrid needed goals Benzema rose to the occasion. Scored two brilliant headers in tonight’s win and could have added a few others as well. Was a constant threat against Gladbach and eager to play on the counter. Finished with a staggering two goals, 95% pass completion rate, five key passes, two dribbles, four aerial duels won and seven shots.
Vinicius Junior — 7.5: A decent night for the young Brazilian but couldn’t get too involved. Vini is improving on his defensive duties but still needs to work on his finishing. Had a great opportunity to score but fumbled it. Finished with three dribbles and one tackles but was dispossessed five times. Subbed after 74 mins.
Marco Asensio — 7: Came on at the 74th minute as part of the double change. Nice to see him earn some minutes but didn’t bring much as a substitute. Just nine touches on the ball which was almost half of what Arribas had. Finished with one dribble.
Sergio Arribas — 6.5: Earned his Champions League debut in the 74th minute. A few miscommunication blunders but was deemed ready to play by Zidane.