Real Madrid returned to winning ways after three disappointing defeats, as they beat Real Valladolid 4-1 away at the Estadio Jose Zorrilla on Sunday night.
Things began on an ominous note for Real Madrid on Sunday, with Real Valladolid starting very strongly. The hosts saw Ruben Alcaraz blast a penalty over the bar, while two goals from Sergi Guardiola were ruled out for offside, before Valladolid finally broke the deadlock through midfielder Anuar Mohamed.
Real Madrid were able to reinstate parity only five minutes later, however, with Raphael Varane tapping in from close range. Six minutes after the break, Los Blancos had taken the lead, as Karim Benzema converted a penalty expertly after Alvaro Odriozola had been fouled in the Valladolid box.
The Frenchman would then go on to double Real’s lead eight minutes later, heading in a Toni Kroos corner to put the visitors in cruise control. There were a few nerves for Santiago Solari’s side when midfielder Casemiro was sent off after his second yellow card of the night in the 80th minute, but Valladolid failed to capitalize on their numerical advantage, as Luka Modric made it 4-1 to seal the win.
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Real Madrid remain in the third position in the La Liga standings, five points shy of second-placed Atletico Madrid and six points clear of Getafe, who occupy the fourth spot. And here’s how Solari’s band of superstars fared on Sunday night;
Thibaut Courtois: 5/10
No chance with any of the three strikes that ended up in the back of the net, although only one counted. The Belgian international doesn’t always exude confidence between the sticks and was booked for time-wasting in the second period.
Alvaro Odriozola: 6/10
Handed a rare start owing to Dani Carvajal’s injury, the Spaniard did not start on the best of notes, as he gave away a penalty early in the game, but Real Madrid went unpunished. Defensively wasn’t always sound, but made an impact with his forward forays, especially in the second period. Won the penalty that Benzema converted for 2-1.
Raphael Varane: 6/10
The Frenchman endured a difficult first half an hour, as he struggled to deal with the crosses coming in from the flanks, while not being able to keep Guardiola quiet. Sparked the comeback by scoring the equalizing goal. Much more comfortable after the break with his team doing most of the attacking.
Starting at the heart of the defence despite his struggles against Ajax last time out, owing to Sergio Ramos’ suspension, Nacho struggled to keep a lid on the home team in the early phases of the game. Did get the assist for Varane’s goal, but defensively left a lot to be desired, with Guardiola causing him a lot of problems.
Sergio Reguilon: 5.5/10
Given a lot of problems by Valladolid winger Keko, who constantly got the better of him and delivered crosses into the box. Booked for a challenge on Alcaraz. Did offer some threat on the overlap, but one of his poor performances in recent memory.
Luka Modric: 7/10
Did not start all too well, much like the entire Real Madrid side, but grew into the game with time. The Croatian midfielder worked very hard to regain control in the middle of the park and make things happen for the visitors. Got the fourth goal for the Merengues late on.
The Brazilian international struggled to stop Valladolid in the initial periods of the game, offering little security to his backline. Two bookings in the space of 11 minutes in the second period led to the first sending off in his Real Madrid career.
Toni Kroos: 6.5/10
The German international has been poor in recent matches and the way the match began on Sunday, it looked like he would be in for another disappointing outing. However, after having withstood the early barrage from the home team, Kroos helped Madrid calm things down in the middle and act as a conduit between the two halves of the pitch. Got the assist for Benzema’s second with a precise corner.
Marco Asensio: 5/10
Handed an opportunity to nail down a starting berth in attack, owing to the injuries to Lucas Vazquez, Gareth Bale and Vinicius Junior, the Spanish international failed to make the most of his chance on Sunday night. Apart from one ball over the top to create a chance for Dani Ceballos, Asensio hardly did anything of note as he struggled to make any sort of impact on the proceedings.
Karim Benzema: 8/10
The Real Madrid captain on the night got very few touches of the ball in the first period, with his team being overrun. But stepped up nicely after the break to take his chances. Dispatched an expert penalty, before getting his second with a solid header. Went on to assist Modric for the Merengues’ final goal.
Dani Ceballos: 5/10
Starting his first match in almost a month, the Spaniard was stationed in an unfamiliar role on the left flank and it showed as he struggled to make any meaningful contribution in attack, although not for the lack of trying. Had some nice moments with the ball, but should have done better with a chance created by Asensio.
Federico Valverde: 6/10
Replaced Kroos for the final 15 minutes or so. Helped fill in the gap in the middle following Casemiro’s sending off. Neat and tidy on the ball.
Jesus Vallejo: N/A
Late substitute for Varane.
Late substitute for Reguilon.