Real Madrid have made a massive leap in the quest to their 34th Primera Division title as they clinically beat 20th placed Espanyol to climb to the top of the rankings.
Los Blancos have now established a two-point advantage over their eternal rivals, FC Barcelona following their victory at the RCDE Stadium. Karim Benzema beautifully set-up Casemiro in the dying moments of the first half and that turned out to be the difference between the two sides on the night.
Zidane’s side were in control of the game from the very beginning and enjoyed a staggering 69% possession against a lacklustre Espanyol team who sacked their boss, Abelardo Fernández, a night ago. The three points were crucial for Los Blancos from their trip to Catalan territory, and this 1-0 victory was just about enough for Zidane who is on course to win his second Spanish top-flight title.
Here’s how Real Madrid player rated in their convincing one-goal victory against Espanyol.
Real Madrid Players Rated In Hugely Important Win Over Espanyol
Thibaut Courtois – 8/10
Courtois was called into action a couple of times and kept the Espanyol attack at bay throughout the night. The Belgian goalie registered his 15th clean sheet of the season.
Dani Carvajal – 8/10
Carvajal was industrious on the right-hand side as he constantly pressed high up the pitch.
Raphael Varane – 8/10
The World Cup winner was right on top of his game and helped Zidane’s side secure yet another clean sheet in the Primera Division.
Sergio Ramos – 7/10
Surprisingly, Ramos did not end up on the score-sheet on this occasion but had a couple of chances on goal. Defensively, Ramos was rock-solid and provided good defensive solidity.
Marcelo – 7/10
The Brazilian defender pressed high into Espanyol’s half and made life miserable for the Catalan side by not allowing them any time to settle on the ball. He had a satisfactory evening on the whole.
Federico Valverde – 7/10
The young midfielder showed his swiftness and agility on a handful of occasions. Valverde has become an integral part of this Real Madrid side under Zidane.
Casemiro – 10/10
Casemiro seemed like one of the freshest pair of legs on the field of play right from kick-off. He scored the decisive goal at the end of the first half to hand Real Madrid the three points. Casemiro had a fantastic game overall, and he will be delighted with his performance on the night.
Toni Kroos – 8/10
The midfield maestro was once again the one calling the shots for the Whites from his gameplay in midfield. Kroos’ set-piece deliveries on the night created a couple of dangerous situations but unfortunately did not result in a goal.
Isco – 7/10
Isco had a satisfactory game judging him by his previous standards. The Spaniard seems to be heading in the right direction post his return from injury. The midfielder attempted a couple of dribbles which were a joy to watch.
Karim Benzema – 9/10
Heavily involved in the game and once again proved it to one and all that Karim Benzema has much more to offer than just goals to his game. The Frenchman performed a cheeky back-heel pass which nutmegged his opponent and served perfectly on the platter for Casemiro.
Eden Hazard – 7/10
The Belgian had a rather quiet evening. Hazard did not get himself going on the night and was taken off in the second half.
Vinicius Jr – 7/10
Vinicius was lively and pacey post his arrival. The teenager replaced Hazard in the formation.
Rodrgyo – 7/10
The 19-year-old got some much needed playing time after having no involvement in the past couple of games. He had a satisfactory evening by his standards.