Rating the Real Madrid Players in Their 6-2 Win Against Malaga
That the result of this match was never really in doubt from the first whistle is testament to the hard work and professionalism of the Madrid players.
The match was full of incident as Malaga had two players sent off and goalkeeper Willy Caballero replaced before half-time after injuring himself whilst saving Cristiano Ronaldo's 21st minute penalty.
Using the rating system below, let's take a look at how the Real Madrid players fared in this comprehensive win.
2—No production whatsoever
3—Very little production
4—Worse than average
8—Very high production
9—Nearly perfect performance
Goalkeeper and Defence
Diego Lopez 6/10
Real Madrid's No. 1 didn't have an awful lot to do in this game, such was the dominance of the "all whites" in this match. Unable to do anything about either goal, the keeper showed his alertness and concentration by racing out quickly on 90 minutes to stop a late chance for the visitors.
Rafael Varane 8/10
A player that gets better and better with each game. You can understand why Pepe is being kept out of the side when the youngster delivers performances like these.
Elegant and calmness personified, Varane did very little wrong. Sweeping when necessary, he passed well and diligently but was guilty of watching as Malaga's Antunes made space to shoot for the visitors' second goal.
Raul Albiol 6/10
Great leap for the first goal of the match and although this was a quiet game by his standards, he was on point when required.
Made a couple of important clearances late on.
Nacho Fernandez 6/10
Got forward relatively well when required. Very strong against Isco on 31 minutes to prevent the goalscoring opportunity. A couple of wasteful shots when teammates were better placed and wasn't decisive enough for Malaga's second goal, allowing Antunes too much time and space.
Fabio Coentrao 7/10
Went about his work doggedly and with purpose. Delivered a beautiful cross to Ronaldo on 38 minutes, but unfortunately the attacker had strayed offside. Worked well with his fellow defenders to stop Malaga's attacking foray.
Mesut Ozil 8/10
Ozil found himself in acres of space for his goal on 33 minutes and with it all to do, but using his skill he out-foxed the defender and sent Caballero the wrong way for a fine finish.
Dovetailed well with Luka Modric, interchanging position as necessary and worked the channels astutely all evening.
Xabi Alonso 8/10
Xabi Alonso did what Xabi Alonso does best. Constantly snapping at the heels of the opposition, he closed down space effectively.
He was dominated by the younger and quicker Isco on a couple of occasions, but this was a performance of maturity from the Spaniard.
Michael Essien 7/10
Alongside Alonso, Michael Essien was responsible for breaking up the opposition rhythm, a role he delivered with aplomb. As usual, the Ghanaian was strong and forceful in the tackle and, a couple of misplaced passes aside, there was little to criticise him for.
Luka Modric 9/10
Man of the match by some distance, Modric was everywhere and at the hub of all of Madrid's attacking intent. Incisive passing and great movement were a feature of the Croatian's fine all-round individual performance.
A smart back-heel and a through ball to Ozil on 13 minutes particularly caught the eye.
He took his goal beautifully, and the only black mark in his copybook will be for when he got in the way of Cristiano Ronaldo to deny the Portuguese a certain goal on 29 minutes.
Cristiano Ronaldo 8/10
An all-action captain's performance from Ronaldo right from the off, with a long run down the left side in the first minute setting the standard.
He was unlucky to miss his penalty on 21 minutes but took his goal brilliantly just minutes later, exploiting the space on the far side of the Malaga goal expertly, Cabellero giving him far too much to aim at.
Rightly booked for a theatrical dive late in the game, Ronaldo should've added another goal in the last minute but shot just wide.
Karim Benzema 5/10
Got in the way of Raphael Varane when the defender was well placed to clear the corner that led to Malaga's first goal.
He couldn't really miss the target with his goal on 46 minutes after some wonderful team interplay.
A badly executed volley on the turn on 65 minutes was systematic of his night's work.
Making his debut, Real Madrid canterano Fabinho looked assured and polished when called upon.
He kept things nice and simple, and did not try to make a name for himself on his first run out. Fabinho played the one-two with Angel di Maria for the Agentine's goal.
Gonzalo Higuain 5/10
Higuain was judged to be offside when almost scoring with his first touch, the ball striking the bottom of Malaga's post. The player tried to link up play as often as possible but in truth didn't really have too much time or opportunity to impose himself.
Angel Di Maria 7/10
Incisive, sharp and full of energy, this was a great cameo by Di Maria. Executed some great cross-field plays and a beautiful slide rule finish for Madrid's final goal rounded off a short but decisive performance.
Do you agree with my ratings? Was Luka Modric your man of the match? Leave your comments below.
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