Real Madrid reclaimed third place in the league standings, after emerging victorious from a thrilling goal fest against Girona FC at the Santiago Bernabeu.
A quartet of goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and 2 more from Gareth Bale and Lucas Vazquez helped Zidane’s men secure a big win against a fearless Girona side. Amateur set-piece defending nearly proved to be their undoing, but their attacking quality proved too much for the visitors to handle.
Los Blancos dominated possession right from the get-go and made good use of it as well. Cristiano Ronaldo drew first blood in the 11th minute, but Cristhian Stuani pulled one back in the 29th minute. In response, Ronaldo completed his hattrick and set up Vazquez as well, before Stuani could respond again to make it 4-2.
In the 86th minute, Gareth Bale scored to make it 5-2 and Juanpe scored his side’s third, before Cristiano Ronaldo fittingly, rounded off the scoring in the 91st minute to make it 6-3. While Zidane will no doubt be pleased to see his side’s attacking display, questions will be raised about his side’s ability to defend set pieces.
Keylor Navas: 6/10
Could do nothing for any of the goals and apart from that, had only three saves to make. Isn’t used to picking out the ball from the back of net three times in one night and will be disappointed that his defence didn’t mark their men better.
Dani Carvajal: 6/10
Lost his man for the first goal, was beaten in the air for the second. An extremely disappointing night for the Spaniard, who also picked up a booking. Did however, play a part in Real Madrid’s fourth goal of the night.
Raphael Varane: 7/10
The Frenchman put in a decent shift in the middle of the park. Isn’t quite the leader that Sergio Ramos is in defence, but did his best. Was good in the air and distributed well.
Nacho Fernandez: 7/10
Was caught ball-watching for Girona’s third goal. Besides that, the Spaniard actually had a good game in defence with 3 interceptions, 7 recoveries and 4 aerial duels won. Portu and Stuani didn’t make life easy for him, but he dealt with whatever they threw his way calmly.
Didn’t go forward nearly as much as he would’ve liked, as Maffeo and Garcia kept him busy. Dealt with most of which came his way well enough and he did play a part in setting up Real Madrid’s third goal of the night. A difficult evening, but wasn’t at fault for any of the goals.
Lucas Vazquez: 8/10
Had a goal wrongly ruled to be offside. Had to do his fair share of defensive work to deal with the threat of Mojica and Portu. Was ultimately rewarded for his hard work with a goal by applying the finishing touch on a wonderful Real Madrid counter attack.
Mateo Kovacic: 8/10
The Croatian has been improving with each passing game. He pressed well, distributed intelligently and helped his side transition from defence to attack and vice versa. Combined well with Toni Kroos and taken off in the 71st minute to some well deserved applause.
Toni Kroos: 8/10
The German international set up Real Madrid’s first and final goals of the evening with some slick passes to Cristiano Ronaldo. He kept things ticking in the middle of the park alongside Mateo Kovacic, but contributed in defence with some key tackles as well. Misplaced only 3 passes of his 102 attempted passes the entire evening. Engine.
Marco Asensio: 7/10
Not his best performance in a Real Madrid shirt, but a good one nonetheless. Helped set up Real Madrid’s fourth goal of the night, but otherwise he was the quietest of Real Madrid’s attackers. Got close to getting on the scoresheet with a superb freekick, and did well to drop back when Maffeo and Ramalho barged forward in attack.
Karim Benzema: 8/10
Despite not getting on the score sheet, the Frenchman had an extremely good outing. He set up Cristiano Ronaldo’s second goal of the night with a superb pass and even played a role in his third and Real Madrid’s fourth.
Barring a few passes that missed their mark, he linked up well with everyone around him and his superb movement in the Girona box kept the defenders busy and cause havoc in their defence, drawing them away from the likes of Ronaldo, Vazquez and Bale.
Cristiano Ronaldo: 10/10
It was quite simply the perfect performance for a center-forward. He played a direct role in 5 of the 6 goals that Real Madrid put past their visitors. His 4 goals and 1 assist on the night took his tally to 37 goals and 6 assists for the season, in a mere 35 games across all competitions. He’s picked up his form right toward the business end of the season and there’s still 2 months left to play.
Gareth Bale: 8/10
What a relief that goal must have been for the Welshman. Brought on as a 70th minute substitute for Marco Asensio, he kept the defenders occupied with his runs and movement, before eventually scoring what was only his 12th goal of the season.
Luka Modric: 8/10
The Croatian was brought on for his compatriot Mateo Kovacic in the 71st minute and continued the good work his colleague was doing in the middle of the park. Though not nearly as defensive, he kept things ticking in the middle of the park and helped set up Gareth Bale’s goal with a clever pass.
Was brought on for Karim Benzema in the 83rd minute. Didn’t play a role in any of the two goals Real scored. Hardly had any time to make an impact.