While it was second from the top against second from the bottom, this match was fairly balanced between Real Madrid and Real Valladolid. In the end, it was Casemiro to the rescue as Madrid scrape by with a 1-0 win to close the gap in La Liga.
See player ratings below.
Thibaut Courtois—8.5: Multiple important saves in the opening 10 minutes as Madrid looked shaky. Will be upset with his defence for that sequence of errors. Then made an even better save in the second half on Orellana’s volley. Once again single-handily kept the team in the match. MOTM.
Lucas Vazquez — 7.5: In as makeshift right-back tonight but did well. Acted as an outlet on the wing for the attackers and that helped Madrid open up Valladolid. One soft shot in the second half was comfortably saved. Finished with two shots, 91% pass completion rate, one aerial won, two key passes and six tackles.
Raphael Varane — 7.5: The captain tonight. Did very well to defend those scary opening 10 minutes and did so calmly, which is important. Always alert and partnered well with Nacho. Finished with six aerials won and one tackle.
Nacho — 7.5: Another strong individual performance replacing Ramos and was solid with Ramos. Wasn’t afraid to be physical against Valladolid, either. Lucky not to get a penalty called against him late in the match. Finished with 93% pass completion rate and three aerial duels won.
Ferland Mendy — 6: Operated as a good outlet down the left and threatened Valladolid with his runs. Made a huge mistake in the second half that almost led to Madrid conceding, though. Finished with 92% pass completion rate, one dribble, one aerial and one tackle.
Casemiro — 8: The most alert attacker tonight (yet again coming to the rescue). Wasted some opportunities in both halves but finally hit the target on his fourth attempt to earn the victory. Finished with four shots, five aerial duels won and three tackles.
Toni Kroos— 8: An out-of-character poor pass led to Valladolid’s attacking in the opening 10 minutes. Turned it around with some impeccable crossing as the match went on. Provided the assist for Casemiro’s goal. Finished with one shot, one dribble, one aerial duel won, four key passes and four tackles.
Luka Modric — 7.5: A good individual performance but couldn’t find the magic touch on anything. Very good in transition and working the ball forward to get Madrid moving but teammates couldn’t carry out his plans. Finished with two dribbles, two aerials won, two key passes and three tackles.
Marco Asensio — 5: Started with intent but died out quickly. Just one shot attempt which went well over the bar in the first half. Took a lot of fouls for the team. Subbed after 66 minutes. Finished with two shots, one dribble and one aerial won.
Mariano — 5: Looked confident and eager, finding the net twice, but both attempts were well offside. If the runs were timed better, the end result could have been more comfortable for Madrid. Subbed off after 66 minutes. Finished with three shots and only had 18 touches.
Vini Jr. — 5: Played with the right intentions but couldn’t see any plays through, often costing Madrid possession in the process. Needs better decision making and has to have his passes meet the foot of his teammates. Can’t waste opportunities anymore. Subbed after 66 minutes. Finished with one shot and 91% pass completion.
Isco — 5: Came on for Vini Jr. in the 66th minute. Not much to offer in the last half an hour and only had 21 touches on the ball. Finished with three dribbles.
Sergio Arribas — 5.5: Came on for Asensio in the 66th minute. Good positioning and sprints forward. Inches away from meeting Modric’s cross. Decent performance and looks eager to improve. Finished with two dribbles and one aerial won.
Huge Duro — 4: Made his debut with the senior squad replacing Mariano in the 66th but wasn’t too active.