Real Madrid 6-0 Galatasaray: 5 Talking Points and Tactical Analysis | UEFA Champions League 2019-20
#4 Toni Kroos oozes his class, leading by example in midfield
Just like usual, this was another commendable midfield display by Toni Kroos - who has personally enjoyed a good start to the 19-20 campaign. The 29-year-old German international leads by example there and while Luka Modric's decline is evident for all to see, his younger counterpart continues to orchestrate attacks and create chances with seeming ease from deep-lying roles.
Over the 90 minutes, only Carvajal (119) had more than Kroos' 113 touches and the midfield metronome didn't shy away from his defensive duties either in a match that could have proved difficult, if not for Real's rapid start to proceedings.
Although not officially credited with an assist for any goals tonight, he played a significant part in their first three: releasing Marcelo with an inch-perfect pass, from which the Brazilian fed Rodrygo. For their second, he remained composed and aware to receive the ball on the turn inside the area, leaving N'Zonzi in his wake before quickly scanning options for a pass.
Again, Marcelo was there to receive and teed up his compatriot. Casemiro or Valverde for example, probably would have passed backwards or sideways, their attack snuffed out and the opportunity gone. After a lengthy delay, he also won the penalty Ramos converted having baited N'Zonzi into a needless challenge and enjoyed another subtly brilliant display: 91% pass success, five duels won, two key passes and tackles completed.
Isco has flickered in-and-out of the team with injuries and inconsistency, while Modric and James Rodriguez are both unreliable creative outlets despite their obvious abilities. If Real are to go deep in this year's competition, they'll need Kroos at his best.