Real Madrid have momentarily created daylight between themselves and their eternal rivals, FC Barcelona by recording their second consecutive El Clasico victory with a 3-1 win earlier this evening at the Camp Nou. The Whites have now established a five-point lead over Barcelona. However, the Cules have a game in hand.
After both sides found the back of the net in the opening exchanges of the fixture, it was Real Madrid’s seniority and chemistry that helped them go past the line. Valverde scored the first goal of the evening after a brilliant lay off by Karim Benzema. Barcelona were quick to draw level with a close-range finish by Ansu Fati.
Barcelona seemed to be out of sorts and were even dominated in possession by a determined-looking Real Madrid. The Catalans seemed extremely focussed post the half time break for a healthy 15 minute period before the Whites were awarded a penalty. That seemed to be like the nail in the coffin for Barcelona as reflected by their body language.
Luka Modric put the icing on the cake with a spectacular finish in the dying moments of the match when Ronald Koeman put his belief in as many as five attackers on the field of play. Here’s how Real Madrid players are rated in their fixture against FC Barcelona:
GK : Thibaut Courtois – 8/10
The Belgian goalie had a tremendous night like his counterpart, Neto. Courtois made some splendid stops to keep Madrid in the game early on in the second half when Barcelona came with all guns blazing
RB : Nacho Fernandez – 7/10
The make-shift defender put in a good shift before being subbed off just before the half time break. Nacho probably picked up a knock and was not able to continue. Lucas Vasquez was brought on to replace him.
CB : Raphael Varane – 8/10
A rock-solid defensive night for Varane who seemed to be at his very best. The Frenchman barely put a foot wrong in the fixture.
CB : Sergio Ramos – 9/10
El Capitan was tremendous on both sides of the pitch. Apart from carrying out his defensive duties with ease, Ramos even scored a decisive penalty around the hour mark.
LB : Ferland Mendy – 8/10
Ferland Mendy absolutely dominated things down the left-hand side. Mendy’s inclusion in the starting eleven was justified by the man himself with the added defensive solidity he provided.
CM : Federico Valverde – 8/10
The Uruguayan midfielder made things extremely lively for Zidane & Co. in midfield. Valverde was industrious and made those box to box runs look rather easy. After being unlucky against Shakhtar in midweek, Valverde scored the opening goal of the Clasico at the Camp Nou after a well-timed run and an even better finish
CM : Casemiro – 9/10
Casemiro very rarely disappoints in a fixture of this magnitude. The Brazilian tank pocketed the notorious and lethal Lionel Messi. The Argentine did not really possess any danger to Los Blancos at the Camp Nou stadium.
CM : Toni Kroos – 8/10
Toni Kroos weaved magic from midfield right throughout the ninety minutes of the game. The German kept the play ticking for the Whites.
RW – Marco Asensio – 8/10
Marco seemed to have hit top form this evening with some fine piece of dribbling displayed by the Spaniard. This was one of the games were Zidane wanted Marco to step up his game and he did not disappoint his manager.
ST – Karim Benzema – 7/10
Not one of the greatest of nights for Karim Benzema who failed to finish a rather easy looking chance from point black range. The Frenchman has only scored once in La Liga this season and it will surely be a cause of concern for Zidane. Nevertheless, the striker assisted the opening goal of the night.
LW – Vinicius Jr – 7/10
Vinicius had a rather dull evening where he did not seem to make the right decisions in the final third. However, the Brazilian teenager put in a hard shift and was seen defending deep right across the length of the game.
RB : Lucas Vasquez – 7/10
Vasquez did a rather satisfactory job after replacing Nacho. Real Madrid were extremely lucky on the night with the fact that Koeman & Co. did not choose to target the right-back position.
CM : Luka Modric – 8/10
Modric picked up exactly from where Valverde left off and Los Blancos looked comfortable throughout. The 35-year-old midfielder showed some remarkable composure and patience when he tucked in Madrid’s third goal of the night.
RW : Rodrygo – 6/10
Rodrygo did not have much involvement in the game post coming on.