Real Madrid travelled to Moldova on a revenge mission. Sheriff provided one of the worst losses in Real Madrid history at the Santiago Bernabeu back in October. There would be no messing around with Carlo Ancelotti’s starting XI. The Italian rolled out what appears to be his “once de gala” with Rodrygo replacing Marco Asensio on the right wing. Madrid were comfortable throughout the match and finished the game with a clean sheet and three goals. Full match player ratings below:
Thibaut Courtois—8: Five saves and one from inside the box, there were a flurry of chances for Sheriff late on, but Courtois dealt with the danger.
Dani Carvajal—6: Another solid performance from Dani Carvajal as he continues to recover from his long term injury woes.
Eder Militao—8.5: Militao was one of the best performers on the night — he won all of his ground duels (3/3) and won 5/6 aerial duels.
David Alaba—8: Scored the go-ahead goal with a well struck free kick that ultimately deflected into the net. Came off with a knee injury in the 60th minute.
Ferland Mendy—5: Wayward cross early on which led to a dangerous Sheriff counter-attack. Quiet in the attack on a night where Real Madrid dominated possession.
Casemiro—8: A monster defensively - team high of 6 tackles and 5 clearances. The Brazilian was crucial at keeping Real Madrid on the front foot and denying any counter attacks.
Toni Kroos—9: Words do not do Toni Kroos justice — the German is in formidable form. 117 passes in a single match with 95% pass accuracy and 8/10 long balls completed. Scored a beautiful team goal after hitting the underside of the crossbar with a gorgeous curled in shot.
Luka Modric—8: Like Toni Kroos, the Croatian has been in great form and showed no signs of slowing down vs Sheriff. Combined well with Rodrygo down the right.
Rodrygo—8.5: One of the best players on the pitch. Rodrygo was a constant threat to the Sheriff defense. Recorded an assist on the Kroos goal after combining with Vinicius Junior. Has formed a good chemistry with Carvajal and Modric down the right.
Vinicius Junior—5: A quiet game for Vinicius Junior’s high standards. Failed to leave his mark on the match.
Karim Benzema—6.5: Scored a well taken goal from outside the box with a precision shot that nestled into the bottom corner of the net.
Nacho—7: Professional and serious performance after coming on for Alaba in the final 30 minutes. Put in a few crunching tackles to let the Sheriff attack know he was no push-over.
Lucas Vazquez—6: Played at right back for the final 20 minutes of the match and had a few good switches of play.
Marcelo—6: Heavily involved in the attack combining with Vinicius Junior and Karim Benzema. Put in a few pin-point crosses including an opportunity that fell to Marco Asensio which nearly led to a goal.
Marco Asensio—7: Nearly scored twice in his 10 minute cameo — looked active and involved, continuing his good form despite the brief appearance.
Antonio Blanco—6: Had plenty of touches in his 10 minute cameo (16 touches) and completed all 15 of his passes with 100% pass accuracy.