Real Madrid

Espanyol vs. Real Madrid: Live Player Ratings for Los Blancos

MADRID, SPAIN - JANUARY 09:  Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid CF protests to the referee during the Copa del Rey Round of 8 first match between Real Madrid and CA Osasuna at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on January 9, 2014 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images
Alex DimondUK Lead WriterJanuary 12, 2014

La Liga, Estadi Cornella-El Prat

Sunday, January 12, 2014 

ESPANYOL 0-1 REAL MADRID

Goals: Pepe (55')

Real Madrid moved within three points of Barcelona and Atletico Madrid at the top of La Liga after a hard-fought win over Espanyol on Sunday.

Central defender Pepe grabbed the only goal of the game shortly after half-time, on a night where Real's array of attacking talents—and Cristiano Ronaldo in particular—failed to impress.

Here's some immediate half-time and full-time ratings and analysis for Real's first XI.

Real Madrid Player Ratings
PlayerHT RatingFT Rating
Diego Lopez66
Marcelo66
Pepe67
Sergio Ramos67
Dani Carvajal76
Xabi Alonso66
Luka Modric78
Gareth Bale66
Cristiano Ronaldo66
Angel Di Maria66
Karim Benzema66
B/R UK

First half comments

Diego Lopez: A virtual spectator, with Espanyol's rare chances invariably going wide

Marcelo: Failed to find his mark with a number of good crossing opportunities.

Pepe: Escaped punishment for a poor challenge on Cordoba—who caused him a few other problems—early on.

Sergio Ramos: Reasonably assured after overcoming a slightly uncertain start.

Dani Carvajal: Caused problems down Espanyol's left with his purposeful running.

Luka Modric: Perhaps Real's best player in the first half, using the ball well and constantly changing the angle of Real's attacks.

Xabi Alonso: His passing was off initially, but settled into a rhythm after the first 20 minutes.

Gareth Bale: A relatively quiet first half performance from the Welshman.

Angel Di Maria: Similar to Bale, Di Maria also squandered some decent crossing chances.

Cristiano Ronaldo: Forced a couple of good saves from Casilla, but they were all saves most goalkeepers would expect to save.

Karim Benzema: Headed one glorious opening narrowly wide, and couldn't get on the end of a couple of decent crosses into classic attacking areas.

BARCELONA, SPAIN - JANUARY 12:  Pepe (L) of Real Madrid CF scores the opening goal during the La Liga match between RCD Espanyol and Real Madrid CF at Cornella-El Prat Stadium on January 12, 2014 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
David Ramos/Getty Images

Second half comments

Diego Lopez: Same as the first half, with no real saves of note required.

Marcelo: Continued to be wasteful with some of his crossing, and was less impactful than in the opening 45.

Pepe: Grabbed the winner with a powerful header, but was not quite so assured on the defensive end.

Sergio Ramos: Was given a tough game by the enthusiastic Cordoba, but dealt well for the most part with the powerful Colombian.

Dani Carvajal: Won the free-kick that ultimately resulted in the winner, but otherwise his profligate crossing was a key area of waste for Real.

Luka Modric: Cemented a man-of-the-match display with the game's assist to go with a variety of passing. However, some of his tackling was still a bit clumsy, and he was perhaps fortunate not to be sent off for a second yellow card.

Xabi Alonso: Overshadowed for the most part by Modric, but made a fine late header to prevent Espanyol grabbing a last-gasp equaliser.

Gareth Bale: An early withdrawal for Jese underlined an underwhelming overall display.

Angel Di Maria: Was perhaps fortunate to avoid Bale's fate, but contributed less as the match went on.

Cristiano Ronaldo: Not the Ballon d'Or winner-elect's best night, as Casilla got the better of him with a number of saves.

Karim Benzema: Another to be denied more than once by Casilla, Benzema at least threatened often with his movement.

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