Karim Benzema stole the show once again while Luka Modric and Rodrygo Goes shone as well as Real Madrid beat Eibar 3-1 in La Liga on Sunday.
It just took six minutes for Real Madrid to break the deadlock as Karim Benzema latched onto a lofted through ball by Rodrygo Goes to find the back of the net. Seven minutes later, Los Blancos were 2-0 up with Benzema turning provided for Luka Modric, who fired the ball into the roof of the net from inside the box.
Eibar pulled one back in the 28th minute as captain Kike Garcia breached the Real Madrid goal with an emphatic strike. Post the half-time break, both teams had there moments but a goal was not forthcoming until stoppage time when Lucas Vazquez finished from a tight angle after a neat exchange with Benzema to seal the win for the visitors.
The win at Ipurua Stadium means Zinedine Zidane’s side moved to second place in the La Liga table after Real Sociedad lost to Levante on Saturday. The Merengues are now level on points with leaders Atletico Madrid and here’s how we rated the performances of the Real Madrid stars on the night against Eibar.
Thibaut Courtois: 6/10
A fairly quiet outing for the Belgian international who could not do anything about Kike Garcia’s sensational strike for the hosts’ only goal of the game. Did make a strong save to deny Pape Diop in the second half.
Dani Carvajal: 7/10
A solid all-round display from Carvajal, who got forward with his usual purpose while remaining responsible at the back throughout the game. Attempted (5) and won the most number of tackles (3) on the night, while also making three interceptions.
Raphael Varane: 6/10
Was put under pressure by the Eibar attacking duo of Garcia and Yoshinori Muto which meant he was far from comfortable. Varane did not win a single ground duel on the night while losing four of his seven aerial battles as well. Did make a game-high six clearances but could have been a tad more accurate with his distribution.
Sergio Ramos: 7/10
— M•A•J (@Ultra_Suristic) December 20, 2020
Like his defensive partner, Ramos, too, was put under pressure by Eibar. One poor moment in the second half saw him gift the ball straight to Takashi Inui, who failed to make the most of it. Got away with a possible handball late in the game when the ball struck his elbow in the box. Made a fantastic recovery tackle to deny Pedro Bigas an equaliser just before Vazquez scored the third, which bumps up his rating.
Ferland Mendy: 7/10
Much like his fellow full-back on the opposite flank, Mendy too worked hard to try and make a difference at both ends of the pitch. Kept Inui in check for most of the game and did well to thwart a break from the hosts in the second half. Got forward with intent and played one key pass while completing one dribble.
Luka Modric: 8/10
Continues to play game after game and makes one wonder if he is really 35 years old. Drove Real Madrid forward each time he got on the ball, completing each of his four dribbles – the most by any player on the night, while he also played in one key pass.
Scored the second goal of the game with a good strike and had an impact off the ball as well, winning six of his nine duels and making two interceptions. Grew tired in the second half though and was taken off.
📉 | Luka Modrić first half v Eibar:
⏱ | 45'
⚽️ | 1
▫ | 4/4 dribbles completed
▫ | 4/6 duels won
▫ | 1 Big chance created
▫ | 41 touches
Running rings. pic.twitter.com/OYhcVpIexs
— BlancoReport (@BlancoReport) December 20, 2020
Back into the starting lineup after missing the midweek game due to suspension, Casemiro went about his job without much fuss as he broke up play effectively in the middle and aided Real Madrid’s build-up play from the back by showing up to receive the ball from the defenders at every possible occasion. Solid, if not spectacular.
Toni Kroos: 7/10
Not at his dominating best, but the German pass master helped Real Madrid stay on top under Eibar’s intense pressure with his precise distribution – completed 77 of his 86 attempted passes at an accuracy of 90%, which included a key pass.. Would have had an assist in the first half if Benzema’s effort hadn’t been ruled out for offside and played a fine through ball to create a chance for Rodrygo.
Lucas Vazquez: 8/10
A willing runner, the Spaniard worked hard off the ball, regaining possession in the lead-up to Modric’s goal. Could have scored himself in the first half but failed to connect with Mendy’s cross while seeing another effort being cleared off the line by Bigas. Linked up well with Benzema before finding the back of the net to kill the game late on.
Karim Benzema: 9/10
Karim Benzema has now been directly involved in 12 LaLiga goals this season, no player has had a hand in more.
Directly involved in all three goals vs. Eibar tonight. pic.twitter.com/AFDNUzK9AS
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) December 20, 2020
Real Madrid’s ace goalscorer turned 33 on Saturday and celebrated the occasion with a match-winning display at Ipurua. The player to watch in our match preview, Benzema got into the act just six minutes in, beating Marko Dmitrovic to put his team in front before setting Modric up for the second goal with a clever cutback.
Could have had a couple more in the first half but headed wide from a Modric cross while a brilliant strike from the outside of his boot was ruled out for offside. Came up with the goods late on to set Vazquez up for the third and seal the win for Real Madrid.
Rodrygo Goes: 8/10
Coming in for compatriot Vinicius Junior, Rodrygo looked in fine touch from the get-go as he produced a lovely dinked pass for Benzema to latch onto for the opening goal. Had a shot deflected over in the second period before being denied by Dmitrovic. Completed each of his three dribble attempts and looked a threat each time he was on the ball. A step in the right direction for the Brazilian.
Monsieur Karim Benzema opens the score
That pass from rodrygo was out of this world 🔥 pic.twitter.com/zgy5yI18Kx
— Sami (@Sami_is_Vibin) December 20, 2020
Federico Valverde: 6/10
Replaced Modric in the 72nd minute. Helped protect the lead as Eibar pushed in search of an equaliser.
Marco Asensio: 6/10
Came on for Rodrygo with less than twenty minutes left. Went close with a whipped free-kick soon after coming on.