Real Madrid dismantled a poor Valencia side at home in the Santiago Bernabeu. Karim Benzema and Vinicius Junior continued their goal-scoring hot streak, Marco Asensio produced one of his best performances in a Real Madrid shirt, Mendy massively improved in the final third, Courtois managed one world class save, and Toni Kroos as well as Luka Modric dominated the midfield. It was a positive night for Los Blancos as they maintain their lead at the top of the table.
Full match player ratings below:
Thibaut Courtois—9: Made a superb save to deny Wass in the second half and then followed that up with a penalty save on Guedes, only to have the rebound fall to the Portuguese. In total had 6 saves and produced yet another goal-denying save per game.
Lucas Vazquez—7: The Lucas-Asensio tandem dominated the Gaya-Guedes duo. The Valencia two were kept quiet while the Madrid right flank had a number of good combinations that nearly led to goals.
Eder Militao—8: Almost scored in the 6th minute of the match after connecting with a Toni Kroos set piece. Played countless long diagonal passes to release Vinicius down the left. Even managed a tame 50-yard shot on Cillessen’s goal.
David Alaba—7: Maxi Gomez was non-existent in this match and that was in large part down to the marking of David Alaba. One of the highlight’s of the Austrian’s match was a 50/50 physical duel with Maxi Gomez that saw the Uruguayan fall to his feet due the strength and composure of Alaba.
Ferland Mendy—8.5: His best offensive performance of the season. Burning players with his change of speed, dropping his shoulder and carrying the ball large distances, cut-backs, 3 key passes including 1 assist. The Frenchman did well to provide width down the left, allowing Vinicius more space to cut in centrally.
Casemiro—7.5: Made a crucial intervention in the middle of the pitch, gobbling up a square pass from Gaya inside the Valencia half and then driving towards goal and earning a penalty kick to help Madrid open the scoring.
Toni Kroos—8: Just quietly puts in a midfield master class game after game. The German had a team high of 114 touches, 94 passes (95% accuracy), 3 key passes, 12 of 14 completed long balls, and won 4 of 5 ground duels. Nearly nabbed an assist with a curled in set piece that met the head of Eder Militao.
Luka Modric—8: The Croatian is having quite the season at 36-years-old. He continues to dominate matches in the midfield and against Valencia it was no different. Musah, Wass, and Guillamon were a class below the likes of Modric, Kroos, and Casemiro.
Vinicius Junior—8.5: It took the Brazilian some time to feel his way into the match, but once he did he showcased his maturity and development from this season. The winger made astute choices while on the ball in the final third and managed to score two goals.
Marco Asensio—9: Far and away the Mallorcan’s best performance of the season. Good combinations with Lucas and Modric down the right flank, purposeful off ball runs with the intent of creating space, and Asensio even tracked back on multiple occasions including a crunching tackle on Gaya in the first half. Valencia had to result to just fouling Asensio by the end of the game — he was the most fouled player on the pitch (5). His game just lacked a goal and he was unfortunate not to nab one after having two big chances in the match — one from a volley on his right foot in the first half and the other set-up perfectly for a curled left footed shot inside the box but was blocked.
Karim Benzema—8: Scored two great goals — a precision penalty and a classy composed finish in the box for Madrid’s fourth. Reached a massive milestone in scoring his 300th and 301st goals for the club.
Dani Ceballos—7.5: A positive introduction off the bench. Replaced Modric in midfield and managed a “pre-assist” on the fourth goal. Played some sweeping long diagonal passes to release Vinicius into space.
Eduardo Camavinga—3: Forced into the lone pivot role in place of Casemiro and did not look entirely comfortable. Dribbled his way into trouble and loss the ball in Madrid’s half leading to a Valencia counter. Lost possession 3 times in his 19 minutes. Had a funny moment where he nearly secured yet another yellow card, by sliding into two Valencia players to try and win the ball.
Fede Valverde—N/A: Entered in the 87th minute for Vinicius Junior, but switched with Asensio and played on the right flank.
Isco—N/A: Entered in the 89th minute for Karim Benzema.
Nacho—N/A: Entered in the 87th minute for Lucas Vazquez at right back to shore up the result.