Dani Carvajal scored from an excellent volley as Real Madrid edged Real Betis to secure a 1-0 victory on Saturday.

Real Madrid head into the international break remaining at the top of the La Liga table, at least momentarily, after securing a narrow 1-0 victory over Real Betis on Saturday.

It was a cagey affair, to say the least, as both sides tried to make things happen in the final third but were unable to create too many clear cut opportunities. Real Madrid dominated possession without providing any sort of creativity, which led to Real Betis looking more dangerous, though they were also unable to trouble the opposition.

The two teams drew goalless at half-time and that is when Real Madrid upped the ante. They dominated the possession as well as creating chances in the final third, with Karim Benzema notably finding the back of the net. Unfortunately, his goal was ruled out due to offside.

Moments later, Real Betis were handed an excellent chance to score a counter. But they were unable to find the final pass, leading to another deadly move from Los Blancos that eventually led to the opener from Dani Carvajal. It was the only goal of the game, with Real Betis struggling to create any opportunities thereafter and were wasteful on the ones they were given.

Here, at The Hard Tackle, we will rate the Real Madrid players in their narrow win over Real Betis at Estadio Benito Villamarin this weekend.

Thibaut Courtois: 8/10

Thibaut Courtois was excellent in between the sticks for Real Madrid. He did not have a quiet game as Betis tried to attack Los Blancos at every turn, which meant he had to remain vigilant throughout the game. The goalkeeper did a fantastic job to keep out Nabil Fekir from scoring in the first half while making a crucial late save to rescue two points. He had made multiple saves in between, so it was a deserved clean sheet for the Real Madrid shot-stopper.

Dani Carvajal: 7.5/10

Replacing Lucas Vazquez on the team sheet, Dani Carvajal’s return at right-back was a boon for Real Madrid. He initially had a slow start to the game, struggling to offer much going forward. But he settled in well as the game progressed, looking quite solid in defence while scoring from an excellent volley to hand all three points to his team.

Eder Militao: 7/10

It was not a polished performance from Eder Militao. The Brazilian did look clumsy and incompetent on certain defensive moments. But on most occasions, he remained determined to protect his goalkeeper and retain Real Madrid’s clean sheet. Got into good positions as well, preventing the opposition attackers from having a clear sight at goal.

David Alaba: 7/10

David Alaba slotted in at centre-back in the absence of Nacho Fernandez. He had certain difficulties settling into his new role, but the Austrian did offer the aggression that was required at the heart of Los Blancos’ backline. Needs to improve defensively, though it was largely a decent showing alongside Militao, especially in the second half.

Miguel Gutierrez: 7.5/10

Miguel Gutierrez was given a rare start in the absence of Nacho, Marcelo and Ferland Mendy. The youngster ended up making a good impression, particularly with his determination to win back possession and attack the opposition. Although it wasn’t a polished performance by any means, he certainly has the quality to become a potential first-team option for Carlo Ancelotti.

Federico Valverde: 6/10

Federico Valverde had an off game against Real Betis, as he was unable to create anything going forward other than the trademark driving runs into opposition defences. The midfielder did not make any mistakes defensively, though there were certain lapses of concentration. Needs to improve his game, especially when Toni Kroos or Luka Modric are not there to partner him.

Casemiro: 7/10

Casemiro was involved in the game as usual, acting as the hub of the Real Madrid midfield. However, the sheer dominance just wasn’t there as the Brazilian was often asked to track back and do the dirty work that he usually does. It affected the flow of his game, even though he was unquestionably the best performer among the Real Madrid midfielders.

Isco: 5/10

Starting in the absence of Kroos and Modric, Isco had an off game as well. He was unable to act as the usual ball-carrier he is, often relying on set-pieces to create chances for the visitors. The playmaker didn’t offer much in the second line of press either, relying on teammates to do his bidding. It was not a helpful performance, knowing he will likely be benched once again in the next game.

Gareth Bale: 6/10

Gareth Bale was almost anonymous in the first half, offering very little going forward. The Welshman did have an impressive start to the second half, though, notably creating a good chance for Karim Benzema early on. But his influence on the game faded once again as the game progressed. He needs to do so much more than being an outlet out wide, knowing he just doesn’t have the pace anymore.

Karim Benzema: 7.5/10

Karim Benzema was exemplary in the attacking third, as always. He offered a lot of work ethic, trying everything he can to make things happen, though he was culpable of getting into an offside position multiple times. The Frenchman, nevertheless, led the Real Madrid frontline really well, using his creativity and experience to good effect. And, it was he who assisted Carvajal for the winner.

Vinicius Junior: 7/10

Vinicius Junior looked like a man on a mission during the first five minutes of the game. After being handed the start over Eden Hazard, very few could blame for offering so much determination to the proceedings. The Brazilian wasn’t as impressive as he was in the first couple of matches, but he was still a dynamic presence out wide, making Los Merengues quite deadly on the counter.

Substitutes

Marco Asensio: 6/10

Marco Asensio replaced Isco midway through the second half. The attacker looked selfish and frustrated, notably attempting two shots on goal that were way off target.

Lucas Vazquez: 6.5/10

Lucas Vazquez was introduced in the 66th minute at the expense of Bale. Provided the additional cover defensively, which was important in helping Real Madrid see out the game.

Eden Hazard: N/A

A late replacement for Vinicius. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.

Rodrygo: N/A

A late replacement for Gutierrez. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.

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