Real Madrid 5-0 Deportivo La Coruna: Player Ratings
Real Madrid legend and new manager Zinedine Zidane got off his managerial career to a memorable start with a 5-0 win over a tricky Deportivo La Coruna side, with Gareth Bale scoring a hat-trick and Karim Benzema bagging the other two goals. Here’s how the players fared.
Keylor Navas: 7/10
Largely quiet night for the Costa Rican, as Deportivo’s reliance on crosses failing to bother for large periods of the game. A powerful drive by Luis Alberto in the second half proved to be the only attempt which came close to testing him, and Navas proved equal to it. His organisation of the defence was decent after a torrid period in the beginning of the game. An assured performance in Zidane’s first game in charge.
Dani Carvajal: 7.5/10
The Spaniard combined well with Gareth Bale throughout the game and exploited Deportivo’s weaker left flank consistently with well-taken crosses, assisting the second goal of the game. Could still prove to be a defensive liability against more capable teams, with the opposition taking regular advantage of the openings arising from his imperfect communication with the centre-backs. Along with Alvaro Arbeloa, Carvajal’s relative inconsistency continues to justify the decision to buy Danilo, even though the former Porto man has only appeared sporadically.
Had a relatively shaky start to the game, notably in terms of his communication with Carvajal, only to subsequently grow in influence. Paired up well with young Raphael Varane in the second half, proving a major factor behind a largely quiet night for Keylor Navas. Continues to maintain a position beyond doubt in the team despite advancing age.
Sergio Ramos: 7/10
A largely settled performance despite initial hiccups, displaying an excellent understanding with Marcelo and the midfield to lock down Madrid’s left side. Subbed off at half-time for Raphael Varane with Real holding a fairly commanding 2-0 lead.
The energetic Brazilian gave one of his trademark performances, marauding down the left flank repeatedly to contribute to attacks without neglecting his defensive duties. Supplied testing crosses at regular intervals, and could have had a shot himself when he beat a couple of defenders to enter the box, only to be dispossessed. Real Madrid have been guilty of being overly reliant on him for his position, but his consistency merits the honour.
Toni Kroos: 8/10
Another powerhouse performance by the German, against one of the most physical sides in the division. Was calm and accurate in his passing, and launched into tackles with an impressive amount of energy for someone naturally an attacking midfielder. It remains to be seen whether he can satisfactorily perform the same role against more capable sides.
Luka Modric: 8/10
Delivered another composed, technically fluid performance usually expected of him. The pairing with Isco seemed to benefit him, as he went about orchestrating the play in his naturally unassuming manner. Looks set to spearhead the Croatian challenge in Euro 2016 at this rate.
If distracted by transfer speculation linking him to Juventus and Chelsea, Isco did nothing to show it, slotting in his preferred position alongside Luka Modric like a glove. Proved fundamental to Madrid’s forward play, often taking up initial attacking positions himself unlike Modric and combining well with Cristiano Ronaldo while supplying the odd cross himself. Subbed off in the 66th minute for James Rodriguez having delivered a distinguished performance.
Gareth Bale: 10/10
A perfect start for the much-maligned Welshman under the new manager, proving to be a constant threat on the right alongside Carvajal. Seems to enjoy the freedom Zidane granted him, frequently moving inside to finish, as exemplified by each of the goals he scored at the receiving end of crosses. If he can remain consistent, he may well force Real Madrid to reevaluate their stand to continued interest from United and Chelsea, and the club’s own interest in Eden Hazard.
Karim Benzema: 9/10
One of the likelier prospects to blossom under Zidane, Benzema delivered a fine performance in his compatriot’s first game in charge, opening the scoring by directing a mishit volley into the net. Continued to contribute to the game with his usually unsung cooperation with his two more illustrious partners, before rounding the game off with his second goal towards the end of the game. A quiet, classy performance which requires a slight dose of an initiative to bode well for France in the summer.
Cristiano Ronaldo: 7.5/10
Provided a motivated performance, notably testing the Deportivo defence with a few good drives in the early part of the game. Responded to a good defensive show on his side by Deportivo by taking a more creative approach, setting up Bale to finish for the third goal of the game, before nearly scoring one himself only to blast over from close range. Promises to be a key cog in Zidane’s offence for games to come.
Raphael Varane: 6.5/10
Zidane’s young protégé took over from Ramos in the second half, delivering a controlled performance and confirming his growing stature as one of Europe’s most promising young defenders.
James Rodriguez: 5.5/10
The Colombian’s performance, though energetic, seemed partially disruptive to a midfield which had been functioning like clockwork under Isco and Modric, reflecting the imperfect integration he has had in Madrid. Zidane needs to channelise his exuberance in the right direction for it to be productive to Madrid.
Jese Rodriguez: 5/10
Appeared with the game largely wrapped up and largely remained a passenger as Madrid looked to see the game out, doing nothing to either benefit or harm his growing reputation.
Deportivo La Coruna
German Lux: 5.5/10
Impressed in the early stages, making a couple of fine saves, notably one off Cristiano Ronaldo while proving completely blameless for the first goal. Struggled later at organising his defence, being frequently exposed against the Madrid forwards in one on one situations.
The Spaniard gave one of the few impressive performances for Deportivo, holding his own in a largely unequal battle with Cristiano Ronaldo, while moving upfield to supplement offensive moves on occasion. Deserved greater cooperation from the centre backs and midfield to have a greater impact on the game. One for oppositions to keep an eye on in future games.
Alejandro Arribas: 3.5/10
After an imperious start to the game, keeping out Real’s offence in the early part of the game, Arribas was eventually overrun as Isco and Modric began moving forward to supplement the attack. Rounded off an unimpressive night with a booking which will result in a suspension for the next game.
Like Arribas, he started well before losing influence. Not helped by a shockingly poor performance for left-back Fernando Navarro, as Deportivo’s left side leaked chances throughout the game.
Fernando Navarro: 2/10
A shockingly poor display with Carvajal and Gareth Bale completely dominating the left-back. Seemed equally absent when Cristiano Ronaldo switched flanks to supply Bale for the third goal. Deportivo fans will hope that the performances only improve from such a display.
Alex Bergantinos: 4.5/10
Struggled to break Real’s tight grip over the game in midfield, apart from the odd shot or contribution to counter-attacks.
Same feedback ss Bergantinos, with his one speculative shot flying embarrassingly over the bar.
Luis Alberto: 5/10
Contributed quickly to counter attacks whenever he received possession, with one long drive testing Keylor Navas impressively in the second half. Suffered from his defence being overrun by the Real midfield leading to a conspicuous lack of quality service.
Faycal Fajr: 5.5/10
A constant threat to the Real defence when in possession, winning his battle with Dani Carvajal for a large period of the game. Needs to improve on his crossing, as most were swiftly snuffed out by Keylor Navas.
Fede Cartabia: 4/10
Completely closed out by Marcelo throughout the first half, leading to a well-deserved early substitution for former Newcastle man Jonas Gutierrez.
Lucas Perez: 4.5/10
Deportivo’s danger man cut a frustrated figure in the game, often trying speculative shots or failing to finish when granted quality supply in the box. Not the ideal way to carry good form into a big game.
Jonas Gutierrez: 5/10
Did bring a greater presence on the right, but could do little as Real Madrid killed off service, and eventually the game itself.
A marked improvement on Navarro, but could do little as the game had all but ended and Real opted to see the game out.
Oriol Riera: 4/10
A passenger as service upfront died up, and Real maintained a vice grip over the proceedings.