A Gareth Bale brace and a goal from Karim Benzema helped Real Madrid secure all three points against a hapless UD Las Palmas side at the Estadio Gran Canaria.
A Gareth Bale goal in each half, on either side of a well taken Karim Benzema penalty was enough for Los Blancos to secure victory against Paco Jemez’s men. They were gifted two penalties by their hosts in each half and that made things a lot easier.
While it was an easy victory for the reigning champions on the afternoon, it was by no means their best performance. They were defensively sound and very good in midfield, but the finishing was appalling by Real Madrid standards. Had they been at their best, they would have easily won by by a 6 or 7 goal margin.
Keylor Navas: 7
The Colombian had a comfortable afternoon in goal. Had three saves to make, which he did well enough. He had some to make some routine ball recoveries from corners and freekicks. Gifted the ball to Erik Exposito in his box, but thankfully for him, the youngster could only blast wide.
Nacho Fernandez: N/A
Suffered the first ever injury of his career at 28. Reported to be in tears after being subbed off in the 29th minute. The injury was to his hamstring and it remains to be seen how much he’s able to participate for their upcoming games.
Raphael Varane: 7.5
The Frenchman had a good game in the heart of the defence. Didn’t have too much to do, but kept everything that came his way out.
Jesus Vallejo: 7.5
Didn’t seem to put wrong the entire night. Arguably his best performance this season. Met everything that came his way head on, was good in the air and didn’t let any of their attacking players get the better of him. This performance will come as a huge boost of confidence.
Theo Hernandez: 7.5
The Spaniard had a good game on the left flank. Made one superb run with the ball from his own half, all the way to the Las Palmas box, but the final ball wasn’t good enough for Gareth Bale to latch onto. Was a bit too over eager with his tackles at times, but defended well and ensured that the hosts didn’t get through from his flank.
Lucas Vazquez: 8
The Spaniard won the penalty for Karim Benzema’s goal. He was a constant menace to the Las Palmas defence. He saw a lot of the ball and distributed well. Completed three take-ons on the afternoon. Only thing missing form this performance was a goal.
Had an easy game in the middle of the park. Supported Modric in midfield and kept the Las Palmas attack at bay. Barely let them get through to the defence and positioned himself well. Subbed off in the 62nd minute, keeping in mind their match against Juventus on Tuesday.
Luka Modric: 8
He kept things ticking for his side in the middle of the park for well over an hour, before being substituted. It was a good warm up for the Croatian before facing Juventus on Tuesday. Set up Gareth Bale with a characteristic defence splitting pass from his own half.
Gareth Bale: 9
Could have left the Gran Canaria with a lot more goals had he finished better. However, it was a super performance for the Welshman, one that will certainly get Zidane thinking about giving him a starting spot against Juventus in midweek.
He constantly made a lot of threatening runs in behind the Las Palmas defence and used his pace to good effect. Finished extremely well to give his side the lead and cooly slotted home his penalty in the second half to put the game beyond doubt. These two goals take his tally to 14 goals for the season across all competitions.
Marco Asensio: 7.5
Asensio didn’t see a lot of the ball this game and he scoffed a really good chance early in the game, after being put through by Gareth Bale. He worked hard defensively, making three tackles and kept sending in a fair few crosses. His influence faded as the game went on.
Karim Benzema: 8
The Frenchman finally got on the scoresheet and netted what was only his 9th goal of the season in all competitions, and 5th in the La Liga. He insisted on taking the penalty ahead of Gareth Bale and finished with aplomb. However, he should have scored more goals.
However at this stage, he will be happy with the one he got. It was his first goal since February and it was desperately needed for his confidence. His hold up play was good and he combined well with his teammates. The Captain’s armband looked like it certainly helped.
Achraf Hakimi: 7
Brought on for Nacho Fernandez in the 29th minute, the young Moroccan had a good game on the right side of defence. Used his pace well and ensured that Las Palmas had no luck from his flank.
Mateo Kovacic: 7
The Croatian was brought on for the his compatriot Luka Modric in the 62nd minute and wasted no time and wasted no time in taking control of midfield. Continued the great form he’s been showing over the past few months and seems to get better with each game.
Marcos Llorente: 7
Came on for Casemiro in the 62nd minute and gave the ball away in Real Madrid’s box within the first few seconds. However, he found his stride as the game went on and slowly settled into the middle of the park and managed to met everything that came his way with ease.