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8/10 duo Asensio, Benzema star; Six or more for everyone

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Marco Asensio and Karim Benzema were the stars of the show as Real Madrid secured a 2-0 victory over SD Eibar in La Liga on Saturday.

Real Madrid made an eventful start to the game with Karim Benzema drawing a save from the Eibar goalkeeper before having a goal disallowed for offside within the first ten minutes. Halfway through the first half, Marco Asensio came close, striking the woodwork from a free-kick before having a goal chalked off for offside by VAR in the 36th minute.

The opener did come five minutes later though, with Asensio putting Real Madrid in front with a peach of a finish after being found by Casemiro. The Spaniard continued to pose a threat after the break, having a shot stopped by Marko Dmitrovic, while Benzema had another strike chalked off for offside before eventually getting his goal from a free header in the 73rd minute.

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Eibar never really looked like making their way back into the contest but Thibaut Courtois had to be alert to stop Takashi Inui’s shot late on as Zinedine Zidane’s men cruised to a 2-0 win to move up to second place in the La Liga table. Here’s how we rated the performances of the Real Madrid stars on the evening at Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano.

Thibaut Courtois: 7/10

An early save to stop Pape Diop aside had very little to do for most of the game. Was alert to deny Inui a late goal. A comfortable clean sheet for the Belgian.

Eder Militao: 7.5/10

A rare start for the Brazilian and he did not look out of his depth or struggle. Instead, Eder Militao put in a largely commanding display that saw him complete a match-high four interceptions, along with six clearances. Also won the most number of aerial duels on the evening (7) while misplacing just seven of his 72 attempted passes. Impressive.

Nacho: 7.5/10

Took charge of the Real Madrid defence in the absence of Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane and organised it well, ensuring that Eibar never really managed to get a sniff of the goal. Swept up everything that came his way, making a match-high seven clearances along with three interceptions while winning five aerial duels.

Ferland Mendy: 7/10

Starting in an unfamiliar role as the left-sided centre-back, Mendy did well to reign in his natural attacking instincts and provided a solid base for the ones in front of him to build upon. Made a couple of clearances and interceptions and was accurate with his distribution from the back.

Lucas Vazquez: 7/10

Had the tricky task of going up against a lively Bryan Gil but got the better of the youngster in the duel. Provided good offensive support as well, completing three key passes over the course of the ninety minutes. Such a handy player for Real Madrid.

Luka Modric: 7/10

Slightly more withdrawn than usual in the middle of the park, the Croatian still managed to keep Real Madrid driving forward with his precise passes, of which he completed 93%. His presence was key to the home team controlling the proceedings. Taken off at the hour mark.

Casemiro: 8/10

A terrific, all-round performance from the Brazilian who was typically rock-solid in his defensive duties as he made two tackles, three interceptions and four clearances while also winning four defensive aerials. Showed good quality on the ball as well and got the assist for Asensio’s goal after he had won back possession.

Marcelo: 7/10

Handed a rare start, the Brazilian thrived in the wing-back role, getting forward on a constant basis and to dangerous effect. Fired in the cross that Benzema headed in from an offside position and played in several such threatening balls into the box. Linked up well with the Frenchman as well as Isco. Positive outing for the veteran.

Marco Asensio: 8/10

Having had a disappointing campaign so far, it was important that Asensio rediscovered his form amid talks about his future at the club. Did just that on Saturday as he was a major threat to the Eibar defence each time he was on the ball.

Struck the woodwork from a free-kick, had a goal disallowed for drifting narrowly offside, before eventually finding the back of the net with a fine finish. Had another shot saved afer the break before going off at the hour-mark. Will be a huge confidence booster for Asensio.

Isco: 7/10

Played Asensio in for the goal that was chalked off for offside in the first half. Regularly involved in Real Madrid’s attacking moves as he played a game-high five key passes. Had some nice moments linking up with Marcelo in the left-side channel. A positive display from a player who has fallen down the pecking order at the club.

Karim Benzema: 8/10

The Player to Watch in our match preview, Benzema was involved in almost everything positive on the evening for Real Madrid. Lively start wherein he had a shot saved and a goal ruled out for offside. Showed great understanding with Asensio as well as Vinicius after he came on. Got his goal in the second half and finished with three key passes – the second-most in the game.

SUBSTITUTES

Toni Kroos: 6/10

Replaced Modric at the hour mark. Kept ticking things along nicely with his accurate passing.

Rodrygo Goes: 6/10

Came on to replace Asensio for the final half-hour. Wasn’t able to do much of note during his time on the field, although he did play one key pass.

Sergio Arribas: 7/10

Sent on in place of Isco in the 68th minute, the youngster enjoyed a bright cameo. Composed and mature on the ball, did his bit off the ball and started the move leading to Real Madrid’s second of the day.

Vinicius Junior: 7/10

Came on for Marcelo in the 68th minute. Looked lively, linked up well with those around him and got the assist for Benzema’s goal.

Mariano Diaz: N/A

Replaced Benzema for the final ten minutes or so.



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