Real Madrid 6-0 RCD Espanyol: Player Ratings
Keylor Navas: 7.5/10
Largely untroubled throughout the length of the game, as Real stayed on the offensive throughout, the Costa Rican made a couple of good saves, notably charging to keep Salva Sevilla out briefly before halftime. His distribution remained crucial to Madrid restarting attacks quickly.
Dani Carvajal: 8/10
Played the role of attacking full-back to perfection, allowing James Rodriguez to roam and cut inside far often than one would expect from a strict winger. Not tested on defence as Espanyol failed to bring the ball out in attack too often.
Raphael Varane: 7/10
The young Frenchman, along with Sergio Ramos, went largely untested save for the rare counter-attack made centrally by Espanyol. Zidane would look to improve the communication between these two men, as better teams would be more likely to convert the odd chance Espanyol created.
Sergio Ramos: 7/10
Same as Varane, Ramos was occasionally caught out by Espanyol’s counter-attacks, causing nerves in the Real Madrid camp. The Spaniard would do well to plug this gap with Zidane’s aid before Roma’s Luciano Spalletti plans a tactical masterpiece for the round of 16 clash.
Sublime as ever, Marcelo combined well with Cristiano Ronaldo and frequently moved forward to supplement the attack. Caught out by one counter attack led by Hernan Perez before half-time, only for Navas to save as Salva Sevilla failed to finish.
Toni Kroos: 7.5/10
The German remained the unsung orchestrator he usually is in such games, giving Isco, Luka Modric, and the somewhat positionally wayward James Rodriguez licence to break forward by ensuring a quiet atmosphere in the middle of the park. Substituted after 70 minutes for the young Carlos Casemiro.
Luka Modric: 8/10
The Croatian was a thorn in the flesh of Espanyol, supplying quality passes and chances to the three men up front. Such form will remain critical for Real’s chances ahead. Subbed off for Jésé in the 63rd minute.
Having enjoyed a revival of sorts under Zidane, Isco continues to bring a sort of energy and control often missing with James in midfield. Continues to build up a good partnership with Modric, which may be potentially crucial in the upcoming months.
James Rodriguez: 8.5/10
Despite occasionally looking like a square peg in a round hole, James managed to pose enough problems to the Espanyol defence, assisting two goals and scoring one, even if one assist came from a horribly deflected pass. Will need to work on his positioning and shooting accuracy to remain relevant to the team plans in the key fixtures coming ahead.
Karim Benzema: 8.5/10
Having opened the scoring, the Frenchman went on to play a more unsung role, egging on his more illustrious partners forward, before making way for young Lucas Vazquez after 75 minutes.
Cristiano Ronaldo: 10/10
A perfect hat-trick for the Portuguese, who remained cold-blooded as ever with his finishing, while nearly drilling home a free kick in the closing stages for good measure. Remains surprisingly prolific despite turning 31 in a week from the time of writing.
Replaced Toni Kroos in the 70th minute and basically carried on from where the German had left off, cementing his growing reputation at the Bernabeu.
Jésé Rodriguez: 8/10
Madrid’s other Rodriguez lit up the stadium in his short cameo, having a hand in both of Real Madrid’s second half goals. Continues to do well despite limited opportunities and deserves a longer run of games with Gareth Bale out injured.
Lucas Vazquez: 6.5/10
The highly rated forward got a rare chance, and did nothing to lower his high rating with Real already having wrapped things up.