UEFA Champions League: Real Madrid 5-1 Legia Warsaw - Player Ratings
Real Madrid demolished Legia Warsaw 5-1 in a Group F encounter of the UEFA Champions League at the Santiago Bernabeu. In what was a frenetic start to the match, Real Madrid opened the proceedings through Gareth Bale in the 16th minute. Soon after, two goals were scored in a span of six minutes, an own goal from Jodlowiec after he deflected Marcelo’s shot past Malarz and then in the 22nd minute, Radovic converted from the spot to reduce the deficit.
Los Blancos, after a frenzied first 25 minutes, composed themselves and started to dictate the flow of the game. The sustained pressure eventually reaped rewards as Marco Asensio then scored after Cristiano Ronaldo’s pass found him clear on goal and the first half ended with the scoreline at 3-1.
Real Madrid started the second half on the front foot as well but were not able to increase their lead. Zidane then played a masterstroke, making a couple substitutions. He brought in Lucas Vazquez for James Rodriguez and Alvaro Morata for Bale.
Within 5 minutes of coming on, both the substitutes combined to score Real’s fourth of the night. Ronaldo then showed a brilliant bit of play to beat a couple of Warsaw defenders and poke the ball in path of Morata, who scored Real’s fifth and final goal of the night.
There were quite a few Real Madrid players who stamped their authority on the game and ran the show. Here are the player ratings to get a more detailed perspective on how each player fared in the match.
Keylor Navas – 6.5/10
The Costa Rican shot-stopper gave an assured performance and guarded his goal well on all occasions but one. He might be deemed unlucky that despite not making any mistakes, he was unable to hold on to the clean sheet.
Danilo – 6/10
If something accurately defines a mixed performance, it has to be Danilo’s outing in the match. He was pretty impressive going forward and even set up Bale for the opener, however, a lapse in concentration on the other side led to the penalty after he brought down Radovic with his challenge.
Pepe – 6/10
The defensive duo of Pepe and Varane were largely untested throughout the match as Legia were not able to pose any serious threat to Real’s goal except a couple of attacks in the former stages of the match.
Raphael Varane – 6/10
Like his defensive partner, did not have much to show for in the match due to the shortcomings of the opponents. Ventured forward on a number of occasions and was pretty decent on the ball.
Marcelo - 7/10
Marcelo was a menace on the left flank for the visitors. The Brazilian was never shy of making marauding forward runs, one of which resulted in the second goal for Real. Considered as one of the best left-backs in the game, Marcelo would be very happy with this performance.
Marco Asensio – 7/10
Asensio was one of the best performers for Los Blancos. Deployed in a midfield three alongside Kroos and James, the youngster created all sorts of confusion in the Warsaw defence and went on to score the third goal for his side after coming close on a couple of occasions.
Toni Kroos – 6/10
Stationed in the centre of a 4-3-3, the German saw a lot of ball but was not very authoritative in his gameplay and lost the ball on some occasions as well.
James Rodriguez – 7/10
The Colombian showed a lot of attacking instinct and played his part in making sure the front three of BBC thrives with his incisive passing and intelligent manoeuvres.
Gareth Bale – 8/10
The Welshman wreaked havoc in the Warsaw ranks as his piercing runs on the right flank troubled the visitors throughout. After a fanatical first few minutes, Bale opened the scoring with an intelligent low strike past the Warsaw goalkeeper. He partnered up well with his fellow attackers and helped Real sustain pressure on the visitors as long as he was on the pitch.
Karim Benzema – 7/10
Benzema was more often than not in the thick of action. The Frenchman's positioning was commendable but there was no finishing product as he failed to score from situations, where he would have easily scored any given day. However, his activities in and around the box helped the home team and played a part in majority of Real's attacks.
Cristiano Ronaldo - 7.5/10
The Portuguese superstar despite not being at his brilliant best, bagged a couple of assists in the match. First, Ronaldo cleverly teed up Asensio in the 35th minute and then set up Morata after going past two defenders in the latter stages of the match.
Lucas Vazquez – 7/10
Vazquez came in for Rodriguez in the 63rd minute and scored within 5 minutes of coming on after combining with Morata and finished brilliantly with a finely struck volley.
Alvaro Morata – 7.5/10
Morata, after setting up Vazquez for Real’s fourth, got on the scoresheet himself with a neat finish at the near post in the 84th minute of the match.
Mateo Kovacic – N/A
Kovacic came on for Asensio in the 79th minute and held the ball well.