Real Madrid vs Barcelona: Spanish Super Cup, Player Ratings
Real Madrid defeated Barcelona 2-0 in the 2nd leg of the Supercopa de Espana, to lift the trophy over two legs with an aggregate scoreline of 5-1.
In a comprehensive dismantling of Barcelona, Los Blancos looked comfortable throughout, witht Marco Asensio opening the scoring in the 4th minute, while Karim Benzema doubled the lead in the 39th minute.
Here's how the players rated:
Keylor Navas - 7/10
The Costa Rican goalkeeper put in an assured showing in goal, as is the norm for him against Barcelona. Navas was alert and eager to come off his line, once denying Messi by smothering the ball at his feet with the score at 1-0. He kept out the Argentinian with a smart save yet again in the second half.
Dani Carvajal 7/10
The Spaniard was extremely energetic in both the attacking and defensive phases of play. He made a couple of important headed interceptions at the back, while constantly offering himself as an option going forward, dovetailing well with Lucas Vazquez.
Sergio Ramos - 6.5/10
The Real Madrid captain looked a bit rusty early on, when a slip in the box nearly had catastrophic results only for his keeper to bail him out. There were a couple of misplaced passes, but those were balanced by some excellent marking and tackles. A needless minor tiff with Leo Messi could have backfired, but then again that is what makes Ramos, Ramos.
Raphael Varane - 7.5/10
The Frenchman looked the more assured defender, playing out from tight spaces at the back with remarkable composure. Varane also showed great recovery pace to deal with the through balls to Luis Suarez and made a couple of important blocks to goal-bound shots in the box.
The Brazilian is the best left back in the world, and underlined why with a performance that was equally good going forward and while defending. Marcelo tormented Sergi Roberto in the first half, and got on the assists chart with a well-placed low cross for Karim Benzema in the box. He dealt well with Barca's threat down the right in the second half.
Mateo Kovacic - 8/10
The Croatian is far too good to be backup to Casemiro. It was a little surprising to see him come off on the hour mark, as he'd been one of Real Madrid's best players on the pitch. The number of times he managed to wriggle out from tight spaces with a smart pirouette was crucial in Madrid's ability to transition into attack.
Toni Kroos - 7.5/10
The German does everything to such perfection that the rare blemish does stand out. Kroos was a bit more adventurous in his passing than normal, which didn't always come off. He ought to have gotten on the scoresheet though, after miscuing a cutback in the box.
Luka Modric - 8.5/10
The conductor to Real Madrid's brilliant orchestra, Barcelona simply could not cope with the Croatian as he roamed all over the pitch, requiring the Catalans to foul him with regularity. Modric repeatedly negated Barca's defensive block with a piercing pass forward, while a lovely chip & turn to bamboozle Andre Gomes will be replayed over and over again.
Lucas Vazquez - 8/10
The Real Madrid winger is usually content to come off the bench over the course of the season, but on the back of this display, is seriously knocking on Zidane's door for game time. Vazquez displayed superb dribbling in tight spaces, which usually ended with great crossing. He toyed with Jordi Alba positionally and was unlucky to hit the post.
Karim Benzema - 9/10
The perfect definition of a modern striker, Benzema's contributions do go unnoticed by his own fans at times. The Frenchman's incessant pressing right from the off unsettled Barca at the back, setting the tone for the rest of the game. Benzema constantly made great runs to open up spaces for Asensio and Vazquez, and his goal was a brilliant bit of predatory instinct in the box, stealing ahead of his marker and finishing with aplomb.
Marco Asensio - 8.5/10
Paris St-Germain may have triggered the wrong release clause. Asensio is all set to explode this season, and thus give Zidane a real headache to accommodate him and BBC over the course of the season. The opening goal in the 4th minute was characteristic of the young Spaniard, rocketing into the top corner. He did fade a little in the second half, but remained a thorn in Barca's side throughout.
Casemiro - 6.5/10
The Brazilian came on and kept things tidy, although a couple of fouls and misplaced passes dented Madrid's ability to attack.
Dani Ceballos - 6/10
The youngster looked assured in possession, without doing too much with the ball.
Theo Hernandez - 6.5/10
The left back was full of running in the few minutes he was afforded on the pitch and even sent in a couple of tempting crosses.