In an interesting night of football, Real Madrid beat Valencia 2-0 in a game of two-halves.
Valencia dominated the first-half against Madrid and had a goal chalked off by VAR, but Madrid came out of the break with renewed vigour and blitzed Los Che with two goals to get a comfortable win.
Here’s how the players rated at Estadi Alfredo di Stefano:
Thibaut Courtois – 8 – Some good sweeping work. Fabulous save to deny Rodrigo early on and continued to be an imposing presence.
Dani Carvajal – 8 – A burrowing presence on the right, driving the ball through the Valencia defence. A superb cross for Karim Benzema and an incredible block from Ferran Torres the highlights. Always standing tall when Madrid needed him.
Raphael Varane – 7 – Another solid performance from the Frenchman.
Sergo Ramos – 5 – Poor positioning. Constantly caught out by Valencia’s movement on the break and lucky to not be punished.
Ferland Mendy – 6 – A fairly quiet display but then roared to life when he blitzed Wass to create Madrid’s second goal.
Casemiro – 6 – A bit sluggish defending Valencia’s counter-attacks. Inexplicably avoided getting booked but did manage one absolutely show-stopping tackle to start the move that led to Madrid’s third goal.
Luka Modric – 7 – A quiet first-half, but broke the game open with a lovely slide rule pass to put Eden Hazard through on goal where he would then create Madrid’s opener.
Karim Benzema's 20+ goal campaigns:
2007/08: 31 goals
2008/09: 23 goals
2010/11: 26 goals
2011/12: 32 goals
2012/13: 20 goals
2013/14: 24 goals
2014/15: 22 goals
2015/16: 28 goals
2018/19: 30 goals
2019/20: 20 goals
10 out of the last 13 seasons. pic.twitter.com/mI6hw0khKH
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) June 18, 2020
Toni Kroos – 6 – Almost scored a replica of his goal against Eibar in the first-half. Got outplayed first half but as Valencia collapsed he strolled into his comfort zone, posting his usual impressive numbers.
Fede Valverde – 4 – Worked hard, but didn’t look comfortable on the right-wing at all.
Eden Hazard – 7 – Had a great chance to open the scoring but missed. Repeatedly denied in full-flight by Guillamon but picked up a superb and unselfish assist for Madrid’s opening goal.
Karim Benzema – 9 – Excellent link play. Wasted a great chance to score early on by trying to pass to Hazard, but opened the scoring when supplied by his strike partner. That made it four straight Madrid goals against Valencia involving the Frenchman (three goals and one assist). Asensio broke that streak but Benzema was back at it against Los Che scoring what may be the goal of the season, juggling the ball and then thundering it into the top corner. A sublime goal from Real Madrid’s no. 9. When he’s in this kind of form, he’s liquid metal – unstable but uncontainable and simply mesmeric to watch.
Marco Asensio (for Valverde 74′) – 9 – Scored 31 seconds after coming on the field with a beautifully crisp volley. His first touch after a year out with a horrible injury. A wonderful moment and he added to it by picking up an assist minutes later for Madrid’s third. Turned an edgy 1-0 lead into a 3-0 canter. A heart-warming and game-changing performance from Marco Asensio, the bolt of lightning in a white shirt.
Marco Asensio had not played for Real Madrid in a competitive game since 19th May 2019.
With his first touch 329 days after tearing his ACL in a friendly, he scored.
Welcome back, Marco. ? pic.twitter.com/g2VXkFuMBL
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) June 18, 2020
Vinicius Junior (for Hazard 82′) – 6 – Threatened a couple of times with his pace.
Jasper Cillessen – 7 – Handled himself well vs. Madrid’s shooting gallery, including a big 1v1 save against Eden Hazard. Could do nothing in the second half as Los Blancos rattled three past him.
Daniel Wass – 5 – Ran well up and down the touchline, always providing width. Completely obliterated for Madrid’s second.
Hugo Guillamon – 7 – Really impressive showing from the young defender in just his second Valencia start. Calm and composed when intervening to deny Los Blancos time and time again. Tired as the game wore on and got rinsed for Benzema’s second.
Eliaquim Mangala – 7 – Mostly solid but then was caught out of position for Madrid’s opener. Solid again after that.
José Luis Gaya – 6 – Worked hard to get involved with Valencia’s build-up play. Defended well and moved things forward.
Geoffrey Kondogbia – 8 – Supreme in the middle of the park. Defended diligently and was calm and composed in possession. Always moved the ball forward and kept his side on the front foot. The best midfielder on the park and deserved so much better.
Dani Parejo – 6 – A stable performance in the heart of midfield, ably assisting Kondogbia.
Ferran Torres – 6 – Some great runs. Dawdled too much with a chance in the first-half but in general looked bright.
Carlos Soler – 6 – A lovely through-ball for Rodrigo’s disallowed goal but was otherwise fairly quiet.
Rodrigo – 7 – Should have opened the scoring for Valencia when put clean through in the first-half. Did open the scoring when played through by Soler, but it was chalked off for a precision offside. Constantly battled the Madrid defenders.
Maxi Gomez – 6 – A lovely turn and pass to put Rodrigo clean through on goal. Good hold-up play in general and him leaving the pitch coincided with Valencia wilting.
Goncalo Guedes (for Ferran Torres 59′) – 4 – A non-event in attack when he came on. Worse still, Madrid’s third goal came from him being dispossessed by Casemiro.
Kevin Gameiro (for Maxi Gomez 60′) – 4 – Awful first touch off the bench, giving the ball away in the lead-up to Madrid’s opening goal. Did nothing after that. A baffling sub who ruined Valencia’s momentum.
Denys Cheryshev (for Soler 69′) – 5 – Anonymous.
Francis Coquelin (for Parejo 69′) – 5 – Did absolutely nothing until he injured his hamstring.
Kang-in Lee (for Rodrigo ) – 3 – Did nothing with the ball and then got sent off for a wild hack at Ramos.