Real Madrid kicked off 2017 in spectacular fashion with a thumping 3-0 victory over defending Europa League champions Sevilla in the first leg of their Copa Del Rey clash. Having rested Bale, Benzema and Ronaldo, their presence was left unfelt as a dominant first half showing proved to be the difference in the end.
Madrid dominated the proceedings in the first half, pressing high up and making it seem like an easy contest with two early goals. James Rodriguez scored the opener with an exquisite curler into the bottom corner before an unmarked Raphael Varane headed home the second.
However, Madrid suffered a couple of lapses in concentration which led the Sevillistas Los Rojiblancos to try and force their way back into the game with a few clear-cut opportunities, but they eventually failed.
A penalty that was converted by James then ensured Madrid went in to the break with a 3-0 lead. The men in red were left toothless as the game progressed, as they endured a bitter start to the new year.
However, the Los Blancos started their new year just as they ended their previous year, extending their unbeaten run to 38 games. Meanwhile, Jorge Sampaoli’s led Sevilla will try to make amends for the embarrassing loss when they host Madrid at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan on January 12th.
Take a look at how the players fared:
Kiko Casilla - 8/10
The shot-stopper was untroubled for most of the first half, but credit has to be given to him for the fine saves he produced on the night. He showed good positional sense in between the sticks with some crucial sweeping when needed.
Dani Carvajal - 6.5/10
Carvajal was deeply involved in the first half, delivering some dangerous crosses from the right. Managed to keep a clean sheet in the end, despite a needless booking
Raphael Varane - 8.5/10
Rock solid performance from the youngster at the back. Varane had huge responsibility on his shoulders in the absence of Sergio Ramos and he performed brilliantly. His well-taken header adds points to his rating.
Nacho Fernandez - 7/10
Nacho is not accustomed to playing the role of a central defender, and that showed on the night as the Spaniard was caught off guard on a couple of instances in the first half by Correa. Nonetheless, a clean sheet heading home should be satisfactory for him.
Marcelo - 7/10
The Brazilian fullback was more involved up front and caused havoc on the left side of the defence. Assisted Morata with some pin point crosses in the latter half, only to see them be wasted by the Spaniard.
Casemiro - 8/10
A stabilising force for the Los Galacticos in midfield. The Brazilian put pressure on the opposition right away, resulting in the opener apart from making vital interceptions. Could have had an assist to his name with a sublime off-foot pass to Danilo.
Luka Modric - 9/10
Injected a couple of neat passes wherever he created space and also won his side a penalty. There is no doubting the fact that he’s a magician with his passes, link ups and adroitness.
Toni Kroos - 7/10
Not the perfect birthday present from him to his side, as the German playmaker only had a decent outing. Kroos was a calming presence in midfield, and will be pleased with the assist for Varane’s header.
James Rodriguez - 9.5/10
Man of the match! James is proving a point about his worth. An exquisite finish for the opener followed by a cool-headed penalty for his second just before the first half. Who said the Colombian does not a future at Madrid?
Alvaro Morata - 5/10
While he should have buried some of the opportunities he was presented with, there was no doubting his work ethic.
Marco Asensio - 6/10
Worked well down the left, but more of the limelight was hogged by Marcelo. Asensio kept Sevilla on their toes, as he tried to take advantage of some shambolic defending.
Isco - 6/10
Isco looked lively coming off the bench and gradually grew into the game as it progressed.
Danilo - 5/10
Did not positively impact his side at all. Danilo was presented with an opportunity to make it 4-0 but did not do enough to beat Sergio Rico.
Mariano Mejia – 7.5/10
The wunderkind looked enthusiast coming on, making something with his first touch itself, only to see it being saved by the Sevilla shot-stopper. Gave Rami a bit of a hard time with his trickery.
Sergio Rico - 5.5/10
The youngster made a couple of noteworthy stops to save his side the blushes but could not do much else as the defence in front of him was shambolic.
Mariano - 4/10
Mariano was left baffled by his Brazilian counterpart Marcelo on the right flank. He tried to contribute offensively up front, but failed with some poor passes.
Gabriel Mercado - 3/10
Mercado had a torrid time at the back despite Sevilla trying to build up play from deep. He delivered a panicky pass to N’Zonzi that led to the opener before picking up a booking for a shove on Modric.
Adil Rami - 3.5/10
The Frenchman wasn’t given a moment to breathe with Morata constantly hounding him apart from being torn to shreds by Mariano Mejia later on.
Sergio Escudero - 5/10
Escudero had his moments in the first half but eventually James Rodriguez got the better of him. The left back should be credited for some sublime long balls he sent upfront.
Vincente Iborra - 3.5 /10
The captain definitely did not set an example for his side. Iborra went unnoticed for much of the first half and missed a sitter when presented with an open goal.
Steven N’Zonzi - 5/10
While the Frenchman may have been instrumental in Sevilla’s campaign so far, N’Zonzi’s game wasn’t up to the mark tonight. N’Zonzi threaded a couple of neat passes but couldn’t make amends for his error which resulted in the opener.
Vitolo - 6/10
Just like his other companions, Vitolo struggled up front. Had a much-improved performance in the second half, but could not find the right passes in the final third.
Paulo Ganso - 3.5/10
A lot was expected from the Brazilian creative midfielder but he failed to contribute adequately in the final third as his side were on the back foot, for most of the game.
Samir Nasri - 5/10
The Manchester City loanee wasn’t at his usual best, going unnoticed in the first half. Nasri played a more central role in the latter half, creating more space but his final passes had no weight.
Joaquin Correa - 6/10
Worked hard in front of goal with his tireless running and skills but was not rewarded for his effort. The youngster proved to be a menace for the Madrid defence but could not find a way through Casilla.
Pablo Sarabia - 6/10
Sarabio filled Ganso’s boots after being brought on, setting up Correa immediately just to see his shot go wide. Worked hard as the game progressed but wasn’t provided with the best of service.
Matias Kranevitter - 4/10
The former Atletico man did not provide the composure his side needed in the latter half as they chased the game.
Wissam Ben Yedder – N/A
Failed to make any significant impact on the game.Published 05 Jan 2017, 10:39 IST