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Real Madrid 2-0 Valencia: Player ratings as Los Blancos move to second place | La Liga 20-21 

Real Madrid sv Valencia CF - La Liga Santander
Real Madrid sv Valencia CF - La Liga Santander
Joshua Ojele
ANALYST
Modified 15 Feb 2021
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Real Madrid beat struggling Valencia 2-0 at the Santiago Bernabeu to move second in the 2020-21 La Liga table.

The game sparked to life after just 12 minutes when Karim Benzema curled a superb finish to grab his 17th goal across all competitions this season.

Real Madrid’s world-class midfielder Toni Kroos doubled his team's lead before the half-time whistle after he was set up by Lucas Vazquez in a superb attacking move.

In the second half, Valencia threw men forward, as they sought a way back into the game. But a dogged Real Madrid defence stood firm.

Maxi Gomez had the visitors' best chance of the second half when he fired a long-range strike aimed at the top right corner. However, Thibaut Courtois did well to palm the ball away to safety.

Real Madrid controlled proceedings and scored a third goal through Ferland Mendy. But the goal was ruled off by referee Jose Maria Sanchez.

The visitors, who appear to have found their feet this season, were looking to bounce back from a disappointing 1-1 draw against Atletico Bilbao in their last outing. But that was not to be.

Real Madrid are now five points behind runaway leaders Atletico Madrid, who have two games in hand. On that note, let us have a look at the ratings of Real Madrid players.

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Thibaut Courtois 8/10

The Real Madrid goalkeeper was not threatened by the toothless Valencia attack. Thibaut Courtois was called into action in the 52nd minute. But he did well to keep out Maximiliano Gomez's ferocious shot from outside the box.


Dani Carvajal 5/10

The Real Madrid full-back was making his return from an injury lay-off. But Dan Carvajal was subbed off the pitch in the 28th minute after he suffered yet another injury setback.


Raphael Varane 8/10

France's World Cup winner Raphael Varane was the main man at the heart of the Real Madrid defence. He controlled and orchestrated the backline, preventing the Valencia attack from getting into gear. Varane won one aerial duel and made one tackle.


Nacho 7/10

Nacho has once again proved to be reliable in the absence of club captain Sergio Ramos. He stood his ground whenever called upon and stood firm.


Ferland Mendy 8.5/10

The Frenchman simply ran the show on the left side of the pitch. Ferland Mendy was vital both in attack and defence, winning balls and driving forward with pace to send in a few dangerous crosses.

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Mendy grabbed a goal in the second half, but that was chalked off for off-side. The Frenchman also fluffed another chance to get on the scoresheet.


Casemiro 8/10

A routine performance from the industrious midfielder. Casemiro provided a defensive shield in midfield for his backline, as he threw himself into tackles. He won six tackles on the night, including three aerial duels and one key pass.


Toni Kroos 9/10

The Real Madrid veteran midfielder bossed the game after returning to the fold after serving his one-match suspension. Toni Kroos calmly dictated the pace and tempo of play for Real Madrid, and provided the assist for Karim Benzema’s opener.

He grabbed Los Blancos’ second goal of the night, and also completed four key passes. Kroos had a staggering 94% passing accuracy on the night.


Luka Modric 8/10

The Croatian international was simply everywhere. Luka Modric's adept reading of the game was visible, as he kept play ticking in midfield and was quick to react whenever Real Madrid lost the ball. Modric made a few attempts on goal, but failed to find the target. He completed over 90% of his passes while completing two dribbles.

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Marco Asensio 7.5/10

Marco Asensio relentlessly tore at the opposition defence, and put them to the sword with his quick feet. He was a threat to Valencia down the right flank, and tried to create something for his teammates.

Asensio finished the game with five dribbles before he was hooked off in the 70th minute.


Karim Benzema 8/10

The Frenchman continued his superb form in front of goal against Valencia. Karim Benzema was a constant threat to the visitors' defence.

He grabbed the opener, his 12th La Liga goal of the season, in the 12th minute after a beautiful piece of play from Toni Kroos. The Real Madrid striker had five shots on goal before he was substituted for Mariano Diaz in the 79th minute.


Vinicius Jr. 7/10

It was a decent outing from the pacey Brazilian. Vinicus Jr. had a few flashes of brilliance and was a threat to Valencia full-back Thierry Correia all match. However, he faded as the game wore on. But he did create the assist for Ferland Mendy’s second-half goal that was ruled out for off-side.

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Player ratings for Real Madrid Substitutes

Lucas Vazquez 7.5/10

Lucas Vazquez came on for the injured Carvajal in the 28th minute. Despite playing in defence, his versatility allowed him to roam forward freely to support the attack. He set up Toni Kroos for Real Madrid’s second goal of the night, finishing with five key passes and two tackles.


Sergio Arribas 6/10

The Real Madrid academy player came on for Marco Asensio in the 80th minute. Sergio Arribas was lively on the right flank in attack. In an impressive 10-minute cameo, the 19-year-old finished with one dribble, and also had one shot on goal.

Isco 5/10

Isco was subbed on for Lucas Modric for the final 11 minutes of the game. He was tidy with his passes, but failed to make an impact against Valencia, though.


Mariano Diaz 5/10

The Real Madrid striker came on for Benzema in the 79th minute. Mariano Diaz also did not have any impact on the game.

Published 15 Feb 2021, 09:25 IST
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