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Real Madrid 4-0 Espanyol: Player Ratings

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Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid have done it! After 34 gruelling match days, Los Blancos are champions of Spain, and deservedly so. Like the vikings they are, Los Merengues fought tooth and nail to get to and remain at the summit of the league table, comfortably winning their record 35th league title.

The level of performance was worth the title of champion, as Madrid nimbly dispatched a weak Espanyol side by four goals to nil. In light of their sumptuous victory, join Madrid Universal as we explore how each individual fared in this episode of the match ratings.

STARTERS

Thibaut Courtois: 7

No La Liga match is complete without a save from Courtois. The Belgian was in top form, comfortably saving every shot that came his way, just as he has done all throughout the season.

Mr Reliable. (Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS / AFP) (Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP via Getty Images)

Lucas Vasquez: 7

Granted the Spaniard did not have a world-class display, he did enough in the right-back role to keep Espanyol at bay. Vasquez even had a shot of his own unfortunately go marginally wide.

Jesus Vallejo: 7.5

Seeing Vallejo play is a rarity, as he had not been a starter since before the start of the pandemic. He did brilliantly this time in defence, in a performance that made it seem as though he played week in, week out.

Carlos Casemiro: 8

Despite playing out of position, and having a new partner in Vallejo at the back, the Brazilian was amazing. He marshalled his backline and even stepped into the attacking third from time to time.

Marcelo Vieira: 8

Marcelo rarely ever plays, however, this time around, he demonstrated his class despite his age. The Brazilian gave an assist to Rodrygo to begin the rout, and overall he was a class act, creating plenty of attacking opportunities.

If he is leaving Real Madrid this season, then at least it will be with a league title in his potentially final year as captain.

Luka Modric: 8.5

Yet another phenomenal performance from a man ageing like wine. Modric created enough chances to end the evening with three assists, as all his passes into the box came with clarity of thought, only to be met by lacklustre finishing.

Classy as ever. (Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP via Getty Images)

Eduardo Camavinga: 8.5

It is rare to see a youngster play with such maturity. Camavinga made all the correct decisions, be it offensively with a beautiful assist, or defensively with a perfectly timed interception.

Dani Ceballos: 8.5

No goal, no assist either, but the fans had plenty to cheer about with ths performance from Ceballos. The Spaniard had the crowd’s mouths aghast with his silky footwork, with perhaps the highlight of his night coming through a filthy nutmeg in the second half.

Marco Asensio: 8.5

More often than not, Asensio is the villain of the story. The Spaniard this time diligently did his job, scoring through a quite exquisite finish in the second period to add the cherry on top of what was a beautiful performance.

Mariano Diaz: 7.5

Mariano had a solid game. Initially, he made mistakes in the final third, due to a limited pace of thought. The Dominican was, however, crucial to Madrid scoring their second goal, as his pressure allowed Rodrygo the chance to score his second of the match.

Rodrygo Goes: 9.5

Rodrygo had a phenomenal first half, scoring two well-worked goals on either side of the post. At just 21 years of age, he shows that he can very much become an elite finisher. 

SUBSTITUTES

Toni Kroos: 7

Having come on in the second half of the game, Kroos did well to circulate possession, and his passing was always progressive.

Karim Benzema: 8

Who better than the best player in the world to seal a comfortable victory for Real Madrid? Benzema scored his TWENTY-SIXTH league goal, thanks to yet another brilliant combination with Vinicius Junior. 

Insurmountable, unstoppable, inevitable. (Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP via Getty Images)

It is always a beautiful sight to have him showered with praise by the Real Madrid fanbase, given all he has done for the club. His 42nd goal, and counting, this season.

Isco Alarcon: 7.5

Having come on as a substitute, Isco did splendidly well to circulate possession. He added to the scoresheet, only for his strike to be ruled out for an offside. Comes to show that despite not playing he still does possess a lot of quality.

Mario Gila: 7

Coming on as a substitute, Gila did well in defence to circulate possession and nullify Espanyol’s attacks. 

Vinicius Junior: 7.5

Vini added yet another assist to his expansive tally, with a brilliant pass to Benzema today. That was his fifth assist to the Frenchman in what has been an indubitably magnificent season for the Brasil international.

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Features

Real Madrid World Cup Spotlight: Vinicius, Rodrygo, Militao advance to the Round of 16

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Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

The second round of group-stage fixtures in Qatar came to a close on Monday in what was a day of very high-quality football. The first two games alone accounted for 11 goals in what was the highest tally in a day in this edition.

The first game saw Serbia and Cameroon face off in an epic clash that saw no end of twists and turns. The game ended 3-3 with the teams sharing the points.

The next game saw South Korea go 2-0 down quickly against Ghana before coming back in the second half. However, the African side scored once again on demand to steer themselves to a win.

Brazil needed a late winner from Casemiro to break the deadlock against Switzerland in the third game and secured their spot in the Round of 16.

The last game between Portugal and Uruguay was expected to be a match of equals. That perception quickly changed when the Europeans produced a dominant performance and killed off the game with two goals.

Madrid Universal brings you an overview of the performances of Real Madrid players on Monday.

Vinicius Jr (Brazil vs Switzerland)

Over the past few years, Vinicius Jr has carved out a reputation for being a thorn in defenders’ feet, be it with his world-class dribbling or his antics. As one of the best young wingers in business, he stands out in chance creation even when faced against the best in the business.

However, it appeared like Silvan Widmer had Vinicius in his pockets for large parts of the game. The two created a fabulous battle down Brazil’s left-wing but it was often the Real Madrid player who came second best.

The youngster scored a goal in the 66th minute with a perfectly placed shot after beating his man. However, it was ruled out for an offside intervention after the VAR review.

Apart from sporadic moments of magic, Vinicius did not offer much. He had just one shot on target, completed just one of his five attempted dribbles and missed one big chance. Moreover, he did not complete a single cross accurately and lost more than 50% of his duels. But he was involved in the buildup to the goal.

Eder Militao (Brazil vs Switzerland)

After spending 90 minutes on the bench against Serbia, Militao received his first World Cup start on Monday night. However, the manager deployed him as the right-back as opposed to his usual position in central defence.

Despite playing in a foreign position, the Brazilian was convincing in defence and stopped the likes of Ruben Vargas and Ricardo Rodriguez.

Understandably, Militao did not look to burst into the final third and create chances like a traditional full-back but was still heavily linked in the build-up play. He completed 87% of his attempted passes, five out of eight long balls and even provided a key pass.

Rodrygo Goes (Brazil vs Switzerland)

Rodrygo impressed after coming on from the bench (Photo by NELSON ALMEIDA/AFP via Getty Images)

After Brazil’s underwhelming first half, the manager turned to Rodrygo at the start of the second period. The youngster came on for Lucas Paqueta at halftime in an attempt to ramp up Selecao’s threat in the final third and the decision paid off.

It was the young sensation who assisted Casemiro’s goal in the 83rd minute. Receiving the ball from Vinicius, Rodrygo just flicked the ball away from defenders and into the feet of Casemiro to set up an ideal half-volley.

Apart from his assist, the Real Madrid man came painfully close to scoring in the 94th minute only to be denied by Manuel Akanji. He had one shot on target, one blocked, and a key pass.

Federico Valverde (Uruguay vs Portugal)

Uruguay have perhaps been the most disappointing team in the World Cup this year. The squad is filled with quality players from Rodrigo Bentancur and Darwin Nunez to Luis Suarez, Federico Valverde and Diego Godin.

The South Americans once again dished out an average game against Portugal, but it was Valverde who seemed the most inspiring in the Uruguayan team.

The in-form midfielder did not pose much threat to the goal on the night but worked like a machine off the ball. He recorded three interceptions, and two tackles, and won two tackles against Fernando Santos’ side in addition to a key pass and a big chance created. 

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