Real Madrid traveled to Barcelona to take on Espanyol and though it was a gritty and physical game, Zinedine Zidane’s men came away with the win. There was a few instances where the home side could have scored first or tied the game but it all went Madrid’s way. They now lead La Liga with 71 points.
See player ratings below.
Thibaut Courtois—7.5: Another good performance and another clean sheet for Courtois. He’s been continuously strong since return to action. He made a few quick saves to keep Real Madrid with the lead and conversed well with the centre backs.
Dani Carvajal—6.5: Not a great night from Carvajal but not a terrible one either. Was dispossessed once but for the most part did well in his position. Two tackles and two blocks from the game.
Raphael Varane—7: Like usual Varane was a rock at the back. He stayed back to cover ground when Ramos moved up. Had to deal with a few scares in the first half but handled the situations well. Was very strong against the physical opponents.
Sergio Ramos—7.5: Like in past games he moved up the pitch acting as an extra forward. Could have opened the scoring early but his header flew well over the bar. Defensively speaking Ramos kept his cool against RDT and Wu Lei. Completed 97 percent of his passes.
Marcelo—6.5: Got caught out of position a few times and Espanyol (particularly Wu Lei) almost made him pay for it. But, he managed to use his veteran experience to make it up for it. Had three tackles, three interceptions and one clearance.
Casemiro—8: Great game for the Brazilian. Scored the winning goal and was covering ground all over the pitch. Won 5 aerial duels, three interceptions, one tackle and had the most shots (6).
Fede Valverde—7: This was a quiet game from the Uruguyan but he was still very influential. In previous games Valverde would often be seen using his speed but this time it wasn’t the case. Instead he was a wall. Finished the game with five blocks and two tackles to help Real keep a clean sheet.
Toni Kroos—8: You can expect nothing less from Kroos than a stellar performance. Yesterday’s game was another strong one for the German midfield maestro. Helped pace the game against a physical Espanyol. Finished with two key passes and one block.
Isco—6.5: Started the game well but the physicality of the game made it difficult for Isco’s playing style so he played tight to the right wing but couldn’t link up with Carvajal well enough. Finished with one key pass and one and one dribble. Substituted after 64 minutes.
Eden Hazard—6.5: A mixed performance from the Belgian. Did well with his feet in close range to the opponents but couldn’t capitalize on any opportunities. Two successful dribbles and one shot on target but also left the game after 64 minutes.
Karim Benzema—8.5: The performance from the Frenchman was the best of the night. Always a part of the team’s build up and made himself known across multiple areas of the pitch. Finished with 95 percent pass completion, two key passes, one tackle and of course THAT back-heel nutmeg assist for Casemiro. Sublime.
Vinicius JR—6.5: Came on for Hazard just after the hour mark (which seems to be a popular substitution pairing for Zidane in recent games). Helped switch the game to go along the wings and did well to attack the goal. Booked later on in the game.
Rodrygo Goes—6.5: Came on for Isco as the second half of the double substitution. Acted as a threat along the wing and managed to have one block, one dribble and a shot on target. Decent outing but nothing too note-worthy.