Real Madrid returned to winning ways in steady fashion on Sunday as they beat Las Palmas 3-0 at the Santiago Bernabeu
The hosts were the stronger of the two sides all through the night as Las Palmas aimed to sit deep and deny them from creating many chances. But, Los Blancos could have grabbed the lead in the early stages when Karim Benzema’s shot was saved by Raul Lizoain.
The visitors did come close once through Vitolo, who was thwarted by Kiko Casilla. Cristiano Ronaldo’s drought continued as he failed to covert from two chances on the other end. But, the deadlock was finally broken with four minutes left in the first half, as Casemiro headed home from a corner.
Real Madrid continued to assert their dominance post the break and they took just 10 minutes to double their advantage as Marco Asensio scored from a wondrous long-range strike. The game was finally put to bed when Isco and Ronaldo combined brilliantly, with the former calmly finishing the Portuguese’s cross.
— Real Madrid C.F.🇬🇧 (@realmadriden) November 5, 2017
The result saw Real Madrid maintain their eight-point deficit to Barcelona, clawing back into third place in the La Liga table. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over Zinedine Zidane’s men after a successful night on Sunday.
Kiko Casilla: 7/10
A quiet night that the Spaniard would have been thankful for after the onslaught he faced against Tottenham in the Champions League. Casilla was only called into action twice, with the save off Vitolo’s early chance, in particular, being impressive. Otherwise, he had little to do on the night, and he did well to keep a clean sheet.
Starting as right-back on Sunday after an underwhelming outing at the heart of defence in the midweek loss, Nacho was back to his dependable best. At the back, he was rarely troubled as he contained the threat well, and the Spaniard got his fair hare of action in the opposition half as well, although he could do better with his end product.
Jesus Vallejo: 7/10
With Raphael Varane still out injured, Vallejo finally earned his maiden start in La Liga for Real Madrid, and the youngster was quite promising. In particular, the Spaniard used his pace to good effect, although he was caught out of position on a few occasions.
— Real Madrid C.F.🇬🇧 (@realmadriden) November 5, 2017
All in all, though, it was an impressive debut for the youngster who would now be hoping for an increasingly bigger role in the first-team setup.
Sergio Ramos: 7/10
After the disappointment on Wednesday, Ramos did well to rally his troops to return to winning ways as he led by example and provided a sense of calmness at the back after a nervy moment early on. He was also a threat in set piece situations, and could have had a goal to cap off a solid performance.
Coming into the game after two sub-par outings in the last one week, and with pressure growing from a burgeoning Theo Hernandez, Marcelo needed to redeem himself on Sunday, and he did just that. He was particularly impressive in the final third, where he overlapped to good effect, while linking up well with Isco.
But, the Brazilian still has a lot of work to do at the back as he left a lot of place that could have proven to be disastrous. Nevertheless, he acquitted himself well on the night, and would look to improve from here.
Toni Kroos: 6.5/10
The German maestro has seen better days, but it wasn’t one of his worst performances either. Kroos was involved quite in build-up play from deep in midfield, linking up well with his partner in midfield Casemiro.
He could have had a goal for himself, one that would have perhaps been talked about in the same breath as Asensio’s, but Raul Lizoain denied him with a smart save.
— LaLiga (@LaLigaEN) November 5, 2017
The 2017-18 season hasn’t started off on a strong note for Casemiro, who has been accused of being a bit too reckless at times. On Sunday, though, the Brazilian was diligent and assured in his defensive duties, with five successful tackles a testament to the solidity he provided.
To cap off a strong performance, he also got a goal, a fine header that broke the deadlock and set Real Madrid up for a comfortable win.
The brightest player on the night for Real Madrid, Isco always had a trick up his sleeve as he charged forward with purpose while linking up brilliantly with Asensio and Marcelo. One thing that he could be faulted for is that he lost possession unnecessarily at times.
All in all, though, the Spaniard announced his return to form in style, with a fine goal to cap his night as well as he combined effortlessly with Ronaldo to round off the win.
Marco Asensio: 8/10
4 – Marco Asensio has scored more goals from outside the box than any other La Liga player this season in all competitions. Missile. pic.twitter.com/1C2HLe9dbR
— OptaJose (@OptaJose) November 5, 2017
Another player who returned to form on the night, Asensio was lively from the word go as he made himself a menace for the Las Palmas defender with his nippy movement. To top it all off, the youngster scored what is an early contender for Goal of the Season, firing home a first-time half-volley to rediscover his scoring touch.
Karim Benzema: 5/10
While it was mostly a night of positives for Real Madrid, one man’s slump in form is becoming a huge cause for concern for the supporters and Zinedine Zidane. Time and again, Benzema’s form in front of goal has been frustrating, and it was more of the same on Sunday as he spurned two great chances to return to goalscoring ways.
While the Frenchman’s link up play is unmatched in Zidane’s side, that can only get him to a certain point. With Borja Mayoral breathing down his neck, Benzema needs to rediscover his best touch soon.
Cristiano Ronaldo: 6.5/10
The goals continue to desert the Portuguese superstar, but Sunday’s outing was not poor by any stretch. Ronaldo was instead heavily involved in build up play, combining well with each of his teammate while also providing the assist to Isco. Having said that, the drought needs to end soon and he needs to find a way to ruffle the net.
Marcos Llorente: 6/10
On for the final quarter of the game, Llorente took over the responsibility of keeping things tight in the middle from Casemiro, and did so smartly.
Lucas Vazquez: N/A
Typically energetic during his short stint on the field, although Vazquez couldn’t create a lot of impact.
Dani Ceballos: N/A
Sent into a heap as soon as he came on, Ceballos recovered well, and continued where Kroos had left off.