After a stumble against Getafe and missing a multitude of players such as Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, Eden Hazard, Fede Valverde and others, Real Madrid were able to keep themselves in the La Liga title race.
Against Cádiz, a dominant first-half performance from Karim Benzema was enough to propel Zinedine Zidane’s men to victory and go level with Atlético Madrid at the top of the table.
See full players ratings below.
Thibaut Courtois — 7.5: Another clean sheet for the Belgian goalkeeper who made three saves against Cádiz. He also managed a massive improvement in his pass completion rate (91%). Will be happy with the return of many defenders and their strong performance.
Eder Militão — 7: Continues to be in a good run of form as he stands in for Sergio Ramos which is a confidence booster for sure. Played all 90 minutes in two different positions and wasn’t afraid to help in the midfield or even the attack. Should have done better with the opening header, though. Finished with 90% pass completion, one shot, one tackle and one aerial duel.
Raphael Varane — 7: One of the many returnees tonight after recovering from COVID-19. His experience in this team is another massive boost for the club. Had a strong showing and was confident alongside Nacho and Militão in a back three. Finished with 95% pass completion and three aerials won. Subbed after 61 minutes.
Nacho — 7: Another player who returned to the pitch and was back to doing what he does best. Managed to silence any threat from Cádiz alongside his teammates and ended the match as captain. Finished with one shot and one aerial won.
Alvaro Odriozola — 7.5: Handed the start once again with Dani Carvajal easing into his return and Lucas Vazquez and Ferland Mendy out. Had a match to remember, too. Managed to score his second-ever goal for the club (903 days after the first!) from a tight angle. Could have done better with his crosses into the box. Finished with one shot, one aerial won, one key pass and one tackle. Subbed off after 61 minutes.
Antonio Blanco — 7.5: I think many fans were asking themselves why Blanco hasn’t played in more senior matches this season. Handed a start after coming on as a sub against Getafe. Anticipated Cádiz’s movements very well and played the entire 90 minutes. Finished with 93% pass completion, one shot and one tackle.
Casemiro — 8.5: Returned to the line-up and even without Kroos and Modric, Casemiro was able to lead Madrid’s midfield forward. (Which is no easy task given that trio is often Zidane’s go-to line-up). Partnered well with young Blanco and was a physical presence. Finished with one shot, one assist, one key pass, one dribble and five aerials won
Marcelo — 7.25: Returns to the line-up and wore the captain’s armband for most of the match. Eager to work with the attack and propel Madrid forward but wasn’t too influential. Finished with a low 67% pass completion but countered that with one key pass and team-high five tackles. Subbed after 74 minutes.
Rodrygo — 7.5: Handed a start and played an entire match for what feels like the first time in forever. A decent performance but nothing too spectacular, seems to be easing back into form. Collided with Vini Jr. at times which was a problem but often helped out in the midfield. Finished with four shots, one dribble, one aerial and two tackles.
Karim Benzema — 9: He’s on top of the world at the moment. After a somewhat silent half-hour, it only took 10 minutes for Benzema to give Madrid complete control of the tie. Two goals and a beautiful assist for Odriozola set up the team’s win. Now only two goals behind Lionel Messi for the Pichichi (21 compared to 23). Finished with four shots, one aerial won, two key passes and 95% pass completion. Subbed after 74 minutes.
Vini Jr. — 7: A bit lucky to have VAR rule in favour of the foul in the box to earn the penalty. Showed good intentions but still had some difficulty with his decision making. Collided with Rodrygo multiple time which is an issue. Finished two dribbles, one aerial won and one tackle. Subbed off after 61 minutes.
Dani Carvajal — 6.5: Makes his return from injury after being out for weeks. Handed 30 minutes to get back on the pitch after coming on for Raphael Varane and had a good showing. Finished with a 97% pass completion rate, one key pass and two tackles. Strong showing.
Marco Asensio — 6: Surprised to see him drop to the bench but also handed half an hour to add a bright spark into the team but couldn’t really do so. Would like to see him get back to scoring as the club pushes for the UCL and La Liga titles. Finished with one aerial won and one key pass.
Isco — 6: Came off the bench for Odriozola and slotted into the midfield alongside Casemiro and Blanco. Couldn’t seem to get in on the action too much and was dispossessed three times. Finished with a 92% pass completion rate and one key pass.
Miguel Gutiérrez — 6: Handed roughly 15 minutes after coming on for Marcelo in the back. Decent performance, not too much to say. Almost got himself into trouble when clearing a ball out of the box but managed to do so fine. Another youngster with plenty of potential. Finished with one dribble.
Mariano Diaz — 6: Like Asensio, would have liked to see more from Mariano during his cameo. Subbed on for Benzema and had 15 minutes to make an impact but couldn’t make the most of his one chance. Caught offside way too often for a player with his experience. Finished with one shot but a low 67% pass completion.