After Barcelona and Atlético Madrid both earned three points over the weekend, Real Madrid needed to match their success as they chase the La Liga title.
Fortunately for Zinedine Zidane’s side, they maintained complete control over Valencia and cruised to a 2-0 victory.
See player ratings below.
Thibaut Courtois—8: Wasn’t threatened too much by Valencia who struggled to have any attempts on target. Made one save to keep a clean sheet. Should be happy with another strong defensive performance.
Dani Carvajal — N/A: After returning to the starting line up from injury, Carvajal only played 28 minutes before pulling up again and being subbed off. Will have to hope it’s nothing too serious.
Raphael Varane — 7.5: Led the backline to back-to-back clean sheets. Was hungry to keep his goal scoring record going, too. Finished with one aerial won, one key pass and one tackle. Solid performance.
Nacho —7.5: Another decent performance from the veteran in place of Sergio Ramos. Played well alongside Varane and helped track any threat from Valencia. Finished with 98% pass completion (including a stunning long ball to find Mendy in the build-up to the disallowed goal).
Ferland Mendy — 8: Talk about versatility in a player. Mendy executed his strengths in both defence and attack against Valencia. Made darting runs all night and worked well with Vini Jr. down the left. Scored a goal but it was disallowed, had another chance but couldn’t capitalize. Finished with 90% pass completion, one dribble, one aerial won and one tackle.
Casemiro — 8.5: Instrumental as always and his movement and awareness of the opponents helped Madrid maintain their dominance. Finished with 91% pass completion, one shot, one dribble, one key pass, three aerial duels won and six tackles.
Toni Kroos — 9: Returns to action after serving a suspension and what a boost it was for the team. Played almost a perfect first half and dictated the tempo all match. Assisted Benzema’s opener and scored the second. Finished with 94% pass completion, four key passes and one tackle.
Luka Modric — 8.5: Still can’t believe how Modric is playing so well at this age, may it last forever. Against Valencia he was a key figure for Madrid, intercepting passes and regaining possession for Zidane’s side. Finished with 90% pass completion, four shots, three key passes and two dribbles. Substituted after 79 minutes.
Marco Asensio — 8: Didn’t end up on the scoresheet but was another key figure in the victory, specifically for his tracking and 1-v-1 duels against the opponents. Really developing his game off the ball. Finished with 91% pass completion, three shots, five dribbles and one tackle. Substituted after 70 minutes.
Karim Benzema — 8.25: Had a very strong game, especially after having his Achilles tendon stepped on in the opening minutes. Scored a beautiful first goal which proved to be the winner. Finished with five shots but a very low 77% pass completion. Substituted after 79 minutes.
Vini Jr. — 7.5: Had some good moments throughout the match so a decent performance overall. Nothing too influential but nothing negative either. Finished with 92% pass completion, one key pass and two tackles. Could have earned an assist if Mendy’s goal stood.
Lucas Vazquez — 8: Available tonight after recovering from an injury and came on for Carvajal around the 30-minute mark. Showed his versatility again and played well in a defensive role but also helped in the attack. Assisted Kroos’ goal. Finished with 93% pass completion, one dribble, two tackles and five key passes.
Sergio Arribas — 6.5: Earns the nod from Zidane and came on for Marco Asensio for the last 20 minutes. Looked eager to get in on the action and had a shot on goal himself. Finished with one dribble. One to watch for the future for sure.
Isco — 6: On for Modric after 79 minutes but didn’t add too much to the game (the tempo was dying out, anyway). Finished with one dribble.
Mariano Diaz — 5: Replaced Benzema after 79 minutes. He can be so decisive on the pitch but lately hasn’t been too influential. Really need to see more from him as a substitute soon, especially if the injury crisis continues.