After a disappointing outing at the Estadio El Madrigal against Villareal CF in the last round of the Spanish La Liga, Rafael Benitez would definitely have urged his wards to play their guts out in the following fixture against a stuttering Rayo Vallecano side, who were loitering near the relegation zone.
Benitez’s demands were fulfilled, and how. Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo, popularly referred to as the ‘BBC’, trampled all over the Rayo team who had no answers to Madrid’s bulldozing attacking prowess.
The monumental 10-2 victory moves the Los Blancos to within two points from leaders FC Barcelona and second-placed rivals Atletico de Madrid, with the latter two having played one game less. It truly, was a drubbing of the highest order possible, as Real entertained the 61,000-strong faithful who turned up at their home stadium, the Santiago Bernabeu, with an enchanting display of football.
Keylor Navas – 6.5
The Costa Rican barely broke a sweat as his team ran riot against a hapless Rayo outfit which could hardly force a meaningful save off him. However the two red cards issued to the away team in the first half by referee Ignacio Iglesias might have been the key factor in the Real keeper not being worked.
Marcelo – 6.5
The Brazilian full-back was often found out of position in the early stages of the game, as is customary for him, but as soon as the opposition was down to nine men he was in his element, regularly overlapping.
Sergio Ramos – 6.5
He had a relatively hassle-free defensive duty to perform tonight, thanks to the toothless attacks of Rayo Vallecano after they were two men down. However he should have buried the headed chances he got from set pieces.
Danilo – 7
He was the one who kickstarted the scoring by slotting home his side’s first. But interestingly enough his solitary blip came when he lost his man as Rayo leveled terms as early as the tenth minute. He was a picture of concentration as he ran up and down the flanks, being equally adept at attacking and defending as the game wore on.
Pepe – 6
He struggled to cope up with the end-to-end nature of the game in the beginning as Rayo found an easy target in him, right until the time when they lost their two vital players. It was a better second half performance from the Portuguese defender, however.
James Rodriguez – 8
The Colombian was as focused as ever, churning out dream passes at will. It was a hattrick of assists from James, the first time a player from Madrid achieved that feat, after Mesut Ozil. It was an energetic performance from the FIFA World Cup Puskas award winner.
Toni Kroos – 6.5
Kroos was instrumental to the overall result, owing to his involvement in the foul that sent Tito packing out of the game. He tried to always force the issue on the ball. The German had a very subdued game, considering his lofty standards.
Luka Modric – 7.5
The Croatian built up play and offered himself as the outlet for many attacks, a style somewhat different from his defensive avatar. He committed very few mistakes as he played to his heart’s content.
Gareth Bale – 10
The Welshman enjoyed an ideal day out on the pitch as everything he touched turned to gold. The quadruple goals he scored, consisted also of a ‘perfect hattrick’ (goals with left foot, right foot and header). His pace and quick turns were vital in him scoring the goals with consummate ease.
Cristiano Ronaldo – 8.5
Even though it was one of those rare circumstances where Gareth Bale overshadowed the Portuguese’s performances, Ronaldo looked alarmingly sharp in most areas on the pitch. He buried home an excellently well-placed spot kick and also added to the score with a strong header. He might have had more, had he surprisingly not missed a few straightforward opportunities.
Karim Benzema – 9 The French striker was the one who opened and closed the second-half mauling. Benzema scored the landmark tenth goal in the ninetieth minute, scoring a hattrick in the process. He exercised his role as a poacher quite well.
Alvaro Arbeloa – N/A
Even though news surrounding the defender has been doing the rounds with respect to the spat with Gerard Pique the Spaniard had nothing really to do. He replaced the talismanic scorer Bale in the 74th minute of the match.
Mateo Kovacic – 6.5
Kovacic replaced James Rodriguez, and it was the Croatian’s turn to react fastest as he managed to square the ball to Benzema who blasted it in from inside the box. He assisted what was incidentally the tenth goal too.
Lucas Vazquez – 6.5
He replaced Marcelo in the 62nd minute and soon found himself appealing for a penalty, which the referee surprisingly turned down. He was brought down by Nacho Martinez as he went down under pressure.
Yoel Rodriguez – 3.5
The Rayo Vallecano custodian simply had no answers for the home team’s bombardment, as he was rendered a mere spectator to what was a spellbinding display of firebrand football from Real Madrid, as they tore apart his defence one by one.
Roberto Roman Triguero alias Tito – 3
He utilized Real’s poor defending to good effect as he hooked in a cross towards Jozabed Sanchez Ruiz who converted the easiest of headers. But it was he himself who proved to be counterproductive to his team as he flew in with a dangerous studs-up tackle on Kroos’ ankle, leaving the referee with no other alternative other than to brandish a red.
Nacho Martinez – 4.5
The defender tried hard, but in vain, to cover for two defenders almost the whole duration of the match. He almost conceded a penalty when he brought down Real’s substitute Lucas Vazquez. The appeal was turned down by the referee; one of his many dubious decisions.
Antonio Amaya Carazo– 5.5
The defender proved to be a real stonewall at the back of the Rayo defence as he managed to withhold many potent attacks from the Madrid players, bringing into play true qualities of fighting spirit and perseverance. It was he who scored the opener for his team in the tenth minute.
Ze Castro – 5 He proved to be another tough nut to crack as he was effective in being an able aide to Amaya while defending balls played in from wide areas. He ensured safety quite a few times, showing a brave face even when two of his teammates were shown the exit door.
Roberto Trashorras Gayoso – 5
It was Trashorras who played in the corner that led to the Rayo leveler in the tenth minute, scored by Antonio Amaya. The assist led to an early scare as Rayo did not let up since conceding the early goal. But Trashorras had issues of fatigue understandably, as the match wore on, owing to his team’s numerical inferiority.
Raul Baena – 4.5
Raul Baena got his first caution when his trailing leg caught Toni Kroos while he was going past the former. His second yellow, however, was something he did not deserve, as the referee wrongfully decided that Baena pulled a player down in a scramble for a cross. His dismissal also resulted in a penalty kick being awarded to Real, which was put away by Cristiano Ronaldo.
Jozabed Sanchez Ruiz – 6
Jozabed managed to stun the home crowd as his goal put his side 2-1 up against a strong Real Madrid team, albeit briefly. He was allowed a great deal of time before he steered his header comfortably into the net. He utilized the abysmal defending from the home side for his goal.
Pablo Hernandez – 5
The ex-Swansea City midfielder could not offer a lot as the team management used him as the scapegoat to be sacrificed as an early first-half change in response to the red card. Till then he showed a lot of vigour and energy.
Alhassane Bangoura alias Lass – 4.5
It was a desperate situation for Rayo as they had to recover from the double blow of losing two key players early in the first half. Lass, being the attacking player that he is, did not hence get enough chances to attack, nor could he capitalize on a counter attack. He did not see much of the ball.
Javi Guerra – 5
The striker mostly cut a forlorn figure at the front as he seldom received assistance from his midfielders who delved deeper and deeper as the game progressed. There was however, one good chance which came his way, but he shot wide of the back post when he got the ball.
Joaquin Jose Marin Ruiz alias Quini – 6
Quini replaced Pablo Hernandez as early as the twenty-first minute in the first half and put in a very decent performance, considering the circumstances in which he was roped in.
Tiago Manuel Dias Correia alias Bebe – 5.5
The ex- Manchester United striker put an end to Bangoura’s misery as he replaced the Guinean in the sixty-fourth minute of the match. His touch did not go awry at all, but apart from that he could offer nothing.
Jonatan Montiel Caballero – N/A
He replaced Ze Castro, but could not do anything substantial.