Real Madrid played against Osasuna during the first leg of the Copa del Rey as they were able to come out with a 2-0 victory on the night.
Carlo Ancelotti left nothing to chance as Angel Di Maria and Isco were left on the bench and Jese Rodriguez was given a very deserved place in the starting lineup. The starting lineup consisted of:
Iker Casillas (C), Alvaro Arbeloa, Pepe, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo, Asier Illarramendi, Luka Modric, Gareth Bale, Jese Rodriguez, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Karim Benzema
Real Madrid –
Karim Benzema (19′)
Jese Rodriguez (60′)
Jese Rodriguez keeps on proving himself as a player who can have a huge future at Real Madrid as he keeps showing everything he has whenever he’s on the pitch. Whether he is a starter or a substitute, he keeps giving 100% to the team. He was able to get himself on the scoresheet yet again last night to give Los Merengues a more comfortable advantage going into the second leg. The 20-year-old is able to have a massive future with the team but simply needs minutes and it seems as though Carlo Ancelotti is willing to make that happen during this season.
Yet another slightly poor performance by Cristiano Ronaldo on the night as it seems like something may be bothering him since the new year. He was able to get two goals during Celta de Vigo earlier in the week but his performance was below average (in comparison to his very high standards) and it happened yet again against Osasuna. He missed some very easy opportunities and didn’t make any major impact on the game. Don’t get me wrong though, he kept trying and running into open spaces but it looks like it simply wasn’t his night. Knowing the Portuguese though, he will bounce back very soon and show everyone what he is really capable of once again.
Could it be that he just returned from injury? I’m not sure but Gareth Bale wasn’t himself last night. Also, during the first half, the team seemed like they weren’t incorporating him into the game as he was open during many of the attacks last night. It actually reached a point where the Welsh midfielder wasn’t being marked by the Osasuna defenders as much as he needs to be since the team weren’t giving the ball to him that much. Whenever he got the ball though, he was able to make some damage but nothing major. Almost scored if it wasn’t for Cristiano Ronaldo blocking the shot by mistake and also almost got himself an assist on the night.
I honestly do not know what more I can say about Karim Benzema. Personally, I have tried many times to take his side and all that but it reaches a point where you cannot do that anymore. Yes, he scored and I know that is his job but he simply cannot play the ball well when he gets it and has to either pass or dribble. His passes went astray and his dribbles always ended up with an Osasuna player getting the ball! It may be too harsh to say that Real Madrid will need to offload him in the summer but one thing is for certain which is that he needs to improve drastically especially with Los Blancos having some very important games coming up during the second half of the season.
My Personal Player Ratings:
Iker Casillas: 8.5/10
Alvaro Arbeloa: 8/10
Sergio Ramos: 8/10
Asier Illarramendi: 7.5/10
Luka Modric: 9/10
Gareth Bale: 8/10
Jese Rodriguez: 9/10
Cristiano Ronaldo: 7/10
Karim Benzema: 6/10