Rodrygo Goes and Karim Benzema starred as Real Madrid beat Galatasaray 6-0 in a UEFA Champions League Group A clash at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Real Madrid were off the blocks quickly, with Rodrygo handing them the lead in the fourth minute, scoring from close range after being picked by Marcelo. Moments later, Los Blancos were two to the good, with Rodrygo and Marcelo combining again. And, Real Madrid had added to their advantage before a quarter of an hour was even up.
Sergio Ramos converted the penalty after Toni Kroos had been fouled in the Galatasaray box. At the stroke of half-time Karim Benzema scored Real Madrid’s fourth, after being teed up by Rodrygo. The second half saw the hosts being in cruise control, before Benzema netted his second goal of the game in the 81st minute, tapping in from Dani Carvajal’s cut-back.
The win was then rounded off in injury time when Rodrygo completed his hat-trick, with Benzema repaying the favour by setting him up. The comfortable result meant Real Madrid grabbed their second Champions League win of the season to inch closer to a place in the Round of 16. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over Zinedine Zidane’s men.
Thibaut Courtois: 7/10
A quiet game for Courtois, with Real Madrid thoroughly dominating the proceedings. Had more work to do with his feet than with his gloves, and he was assured while distributing the ball. Made a couple of regulation saves, remaining sharp to deny to Mario Lemina in the second half. A fourth successive clean sheet, which ought to feel good.
Dani Carvajal: 7/10
Up against Ryan Babel, Carvajal had a tricky evening ahead at kick-off. But, the Spaniard was rarely put under the cosh by the Galatasaray winger. His forays down the right flank ensured Rodrygo helped overload central areas. And, it was his low cross that was converted by Karim Benzema for his second of the night.
Raphael Varane: 7/10
Real Madrid’s dominance meant Varane was hardly tested by Florin Andone. But, whenever he was called into action, the Frenchman was typically unassuming, sometimes even absorbing the threat higher up the pitch. A step in the right direction.
Sergio Ramos: 7/10
Much like Varane, Ramos was attentive to the primary task at hand and completely shut Andone off and made 9 recoveries over the course of the match. And, as is the case with him in such games, the Real Madrid captain was adventurous and moved forward plenty of times through the game. Scored the third goal, converting the penalty with a cheeky Panenka.
Marcelo started the game in electric fashion, providing the assist for each of the first two goals. For the first, he found Rodrygo clear in the box, while the second was a peach of a cross that his compatriot nodded into the goal. Was diligent in his duties at the back and seemed to be well in the groove before a leg injury forced him off ahead of half-time. A bitter blow.
Federico Valverde: 8/10
Another Champions League start, indicative of his growing stature in the first-team setup. Valverde was his industrious self, moving up and down the pitch as per the demands of the game. Quite the game changer for Real Madrid, who are driven up the pitch much quicker with the Uruguayan playing. Such an asset at Zidane’s disposal.
A typically solid performance by Casemiro, who was a rock in the middle of the park against Galatasaray. Nothing went past him in central areas and he even ensured there were no runs in behind Carvajal, covering the areas vacated by the Spaniard. Sloppy on the ball at times, that was only a minor blip in a colossal showing. Taken off at the hour mark for a well-deserved rest.
Toni Kroos: 7/10
Real Madrid’s chief playmaker was at his creative best, pulling the strings in midfield and linking up marvelously with Eden Hazard and Rodrygo. Controlled the game beautifully, just as he had in the reverse fixture, by making sure that he rarely lost possession and was astute in the defensive phase as well, supporting Marcelo and later, Ferland Mendy quite well.
Rodrygo Goes: 10/10
😎 New wonderkid in town: Rodrygo 👌
⚽️ Left foot, header, right foot = perfect hat-trick
😮 2nd youngest player in #UCL history to score treble
🇧🇷 2nd youngest Brazilian to score a hat-trick in European competition, after @Ronaldo #UCL pic.twitter.com/m9E2CyihFB
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) November 6, 2019
Perfect, just perfect. What more can a manager ask from a youngster on the rise than such a display so early in his career? On a record breaking night, Rodrygo first scored the fastest brace in Champions League history, which were also his first two goals in the competition. The finish for the first was simply exquisite, placing the ball into the bottom left corner after a deft touch.
For the second, his movement was out the copybook of a top class striker before he caressed his header into the net. With these goals he had already become the youngest Brazilian to score in the Champions League and he wasn’t finished as he set Benzema up for his first with a superb cut-back – his link-up with Benzema all through the night was a stuff of delights.
Ended the night with his first hat-trick – a perfect hat-trick no less – in Real Madrid colours, also becoming the second youngest player to net a treble in Europe’s premier club competition. The youngest, a certain Raul. Rodrygo is going places and at this rate, he is becoming an indispensable player for Real Madrid.
Karim Benzema: 9/10
The brilliant Rodrygo overshadowed a rather superb performance by Benzema, who was in his elements against Galatasaray. As is usually the case with him, the Frenchman put the Galatasaray defence under tremendous pressure with his tricky movement off the ball. Tapped the ball in from Rodrygo’s pass to go level with Alfredo Di Stefano on 49 Champions League goals.
Benzema then went one ahead to complete a half century of goals, and with these two, he had become only the second player to score in 15 consecutive Champions League seasons. Then repaid Rodrygo with a fantastic give-and-go, setting the teenage prodigy up for his hat-trick. Mr. Dependable at his best yet again.
Eden Hazard: 7/10
Hazard was, by no means, anonymous on a night that was dominated by Benzema and Rodrygo. But, with his two attacking partners dominating the Galatasaray defence, the Belgian never really got in on the act, instead exploiting the free role he was given to control the game along with Kroos. Finishing needs improving, but otherwise, Hazard continues to grow with each performance.
Ferland Mendy: 7/10
An early substitute, Mendy was thrown into the game due to Marcelo’s injury. The Frenchman only continued from where his fellow left-back had left off, pinning Sofiane Feghouli back while also being proactive at the back. Mendy’s display showed just how spoilt Zidane is for choices.
Luka Modric: 6/10
On for Casemiro, Modric assumed the deepest of the three midfield slots. But, while he was not bad per se, the Croat was slow in building up play at times, showing just why Valverde is giving him a run for his money. Nevertheless, he helped Real Madrid see the game out.
Introduced in place of Hazard, Isco had around 20 minutes to prove that he deserved more game time. And, in his cameo, he did just that, nearly scoring with his first touch. Energetic and full of purpose, the Spaniard looked to put the Galatasaray defenders under even more pressure, clearly in a bid to make an impression.