Real Madrid clawed their way to a tense, hard fought victory against a fearless and resilient SD Eibar side at the Ipurua Muncipal Stadium.
Two goals from Cristiano Ronaldo, which included an 83rd minute winner helped the reigning champions secure all three points and keep up the pace with Valencia. Not much separated these two sides in terms of quality however, with Los Armeros giving their visitors an extremely difficult time.
They dominated possession for a majority of the first half, passing well and when they lost the ball, they were quick to put pressure on Zidane’s men and disrupt their play. However, a momentary lapse of concentration and a brilliant pass from Luka Modric was all Real Madrid needed to take the lead.
Cristiano Ronaldo finished well to give his side the lead, but the hosts got back through a fine header from Ivan Ramis in the second half after Sergio Ramos was caught ball watching. Then, just as it seemed as if they would have to settle for a single point, Cristiano Ronaldo was at hand once again to head Real Madrid into the lead, allowing Zidane and the rest of the Madrid bench to let out a huge sigh of relief.
Keylor Navas: 7
Organized his defence well, made two good saves and did well under pressure. However, he could do nothing for the goal.
Dani Carvajal: 8.5
Dani Carvajal vs Eibar
Duels: 16 (11)
Accurate passes: 84%
Key passes: 2
Crosses: 1 (1)
Long balls: 8 (8)
Dribble attempts: 5 (4)
Great game and assist today 💪 pic.twitter.com/1tv1gsGBMX
— Carvajal Stuff (@carvajal_stuff) March 10, 2018
Set up the winner for Cristiano Ronaldo with an inch perfect cross. The Portuguese international didn’t even need to leap into the air to get to it. Takashi Inui gave him a good challenge, but he was up to the task. With 3 interceptions, 4 takeons and 5 aerial duels won, it was a solid all round performance from the Spaniard.
Raphael Varane: N/A
Was taken off in the 28th minute with a head injury.
Sergio Ramos: 6
Was at fault for the equalizer. Besides that, he did well and wasn’t too troubled. Positioned himself well, was good in the air. Could have distributed the ball better, gave it away too many times.
Didn’t have the best evening. Kept busy in defence by Pedro Leon and didn’t venture forward as much as he would’ve liked as Eibar kept possession well for large parts of the game. Dealt with Pedro and Capa well and kept them as quiet as possible. However, his passing was really off on the afternoon.
Didn’t have the best game in midfield. Eibar using their wings to good effect meant that he had to drift away from the center at times. Combined well with Modric and Kroos, allowing them to deal with the distribution. He forayed forward on a few occasions as well.
Luka Modric: 9
1 assist, 2 blocks, 3 tackles, 4 takeons and he recovered possession for his side 15 times over the course of the game. He also had a role to play in the buildup to the winner. Deserved a goal, but couldn’t take the opportunity he made for himself in the second half. Easily Real’s best player of the match. Owned the midfield and was at the forefront of nearly every Real Madrid attack.
Toni Kroos: 6
Didn’t stand out as much as Luka Modric did, but had a good game nonetheless. Distributed well and kept his side ticking, didn’t get forward too much, left that to his Croatian partner. Sacrificed for Karim Benzema as Zidane looked to attack more.
The Spaniard had a good game in the middle of the park, but he was unable to contribute through a goal or an assist. Drifted into spaces behind Bale and Ronaldo in an attempt to try and create something meaningful for his side, but found it difficult due to Eibar’s pressing and solid backline. The fact that none of his three crosses bore fruit didn’t help either.
Gareth Bale: 7
The Welshman had his moments, albeit not too many of them. Setup Ronaldo with a nice square ball in the second half, but the Portuguese couldn’t convert it. He met the cross from the subsequent corner well, but only managed to head it wide.
Seemed a little lost at times, wasn’t on the same wavelength as many of his teammates. Only 1 of his 3 shots was on target and the formation change didn’t help him too much either. A frustrating afternoon for the 28-year-old and these kind of performances won’t help his case with Zidane, especially with Vazquez and Asensio in such fantastic form.
Cristiano Ronaldo: 9
2 mistakes from Eibar, 2 goals from Ronaldo. The Portuguese was at his clinical best on the night. He could have had four, had it not been for the brilliance of Marko Dimitrovic.
Eibar barely gave Real opportunities to get on the scoresheet, but he was there to capitalize on the few errors made by the hosts and eventually helped his side snatch all three points in the end. These goals take his tally to 31 in 33 matches this season. World class.
Nacho Fernandez: 7
Came on for Raphael Varane early on in the game and didn’t put a foot wrong the whole afternoon. Kept the Eibar attack at bay and dealt with everything that came his way well.