Real Madrid 5-1 Sporting Gijon: Player Ratings
Real Madrid continue to march under Zinedine Zidane with another resounding win as they beat Sporting Gijon 5-1 at the Santiago Bernabeu on matchday 20. Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema grabbed a brace while Gareth Bale struck another header.
The hosts were at their prolific best in the first half, grabbing the helpless visitors by the scruff of their necks, but injuries to Bale and Benzema left a bitter taste in Real’s mouth. Isma Lopez nabbed one back for the visitors, but a monstrous first-half in which the Whites pumped in all five goals, proved to be more than enough to secure three points.
We take a look at how the players fared today.
Keylor Navas – 8
The Costa Rican had hardly anything to do in the first half, but dealt with a few challenges in the second when Sporting came in search of consolation strikes. Navas was helpless for the goal from Isma, but was otherwise convincing enough.
Dani Carvajal – 8
The Real Madrid right-back is once again thriving in his full-back role. Carvajal weighed in with crucial contributions from the right flank and his buccaneering run down the wing enabled Ronaldo to get his second.
Rafael Varane – 7
Zidane called upon Varane in the absence of Sergio Ramos and the young French put in a good shift. His pace and power were critical in dealing with Gijon as they surged forward in numbers in the second half. He almost got on the scoresheet when he struck a bullet header at the death, but was unfortunate to see his last ditch effort saved.
Pepe – 7
The maverick Portuguese was decent in his showings for large strecthes of the game, but was caught horribly out of position when Isma struck for the visiting team.
Marcelo – 7.5
As always, the adventurous full-back was involved heavily in the attack, while also keeping his defensive duties in check. Like many of his teammates, Marcelo too slackened off a bit in the second half, and couldn’t stick his leg out enough to stop Isma from scoring.
Isco – 7.5
Isco started ahead of James Rodriguez in Zidane's line-up and repaid the manager’s faith with a beautiful lofting cross to Benzema after juggling with a few touches. The Spaniard had another convincing evening and was later substituted in favour of James.
Luka Modric – 7
Apart from a few drifting runs into the box, the Croatian midfielder was seen recycling the ball more and helped push ‘BBC’ forward.
Toni Kroos – 7.5
The former Bayern Munich midfielder set up Gareth bale for the opener with a perfectly delivered corner and was admirable in the centre of the park. Kroos kept sending in the crosses and also managed to catch some eyeballs woth his crisp passing.
Gareth Bale – 8
The Welsh winger opened the scoring with his seventh header of the season, and beyond that, also grabbed an assist to Benzema. Bale has been enjoying a great run in front of goal and could have easily added another goal or two had that calf injury not prematurely cut short his evening.
Karim Benzema – 8.5
Slightly more prolific than his aforementioned colleague, Benzema not only bagged two, but also laid an assist to Ronaldo. The Frenchman too, was having a fine time, until the toe injury forced his way off the field.
Cristiano Ronaldo – 8.5
After the first two games of 2016 saw no goals from the Portuguese hitman, Ronaldo roared his way back into the scoresheet with his 14th and 15th strike in La Liga. He had a great chance to complete his hat-trick in the second half, but his effort left a lot to be desired. Still, one of the star performers of the evening.
Mateo Kovacic – 7
The Croat was called into action after Benzema was unable to continue but solidifed things in the middle.
James Rodriguez – 6
Coming into the game late, James had hardly anything to show in the limited time alloted to him.
Jese Rodriguez – 6.5
The Real Madrid youngster couldn’t quite add an element of verve to the attack after Bale and Benzema’s departure and only had a few shots on target to show for his efforts.
Pichu Cuellar – 4
The Gijon shotstopper had a forgetful first 45 minutes and was also let down by a terrible backline.Othwerwise, it was still a disastrous evening for him.
Jorge Mere – 4
Mere was accountable for allowing the Madrid attackers too much room to build attacks and was also left in no man’s land often.
Alex Menendez – 6
The left-back was instrumental with his runs down the wings and also assisted Isma’s consolation strike.
Luiz Hernandez – 4.5
The defender got it all wrong today. His positioning was shambolic and also made some terrible tackles that summed his day up.
Lora – 5
Marcelo ran the rings around the hapless Lora and he was also caught out of position many a times.
Sergio Alvarez – 5
His recent spate of injuries has seemingly robbed him of pace as Bale got the better of him for the opener.
Nacho Cases – 5
The midfielder was completely run over by Kroos and Modric and also beaten in possession way too many times.
Isma Lopez – 6
Lopez was disappointing from the right as he failed to deal with Carvajal who held him by his throat. However, he fired home the consolation goal with a confident finish into the far corner.
Alen Halilovic – 5
The forward was nowhere to be seen in the firing line and, fed up with his sloppy showing, was subbed off at half-time.
Guerrero – 5
Just like his attacking counterparts, Guerrero too, hardly ever troubled the hosts and was a mere pedestrian.
Jhony – 5.5
The third of Gijon's attacking pivot, Jhony ventured into the final third a handful of times but lacked the cutting edge to beat the goalkeeper.
Daniel Arnaud N’di – 6.5
The Cameroonian added directness to the atack and Gijon looked more like threatening after he came on.
Rachid Ait-Atmane – 5.5
Apart from a few good crosses from the corners, he did not have much to show.
Sanabria – 4
He was the most disappointing substitute appearance and had little to no impact.