Real Madrid 5-1 Elche: Post-Match Observations

Real Madrid were able to continue their great run of form with a  5-1 win against Elche at the Santiago Bernabeu where Carlo Ancelotti made a few changes and gave Keylor Navas the opportunity to make his professional debut for Los Blancos.

Starting Lineup:

Carlo Ancelotti made a few changes to the team as he gave some players much needed rest. Also, the changes were able to give Navas his first game for Real Madrid while Isco and Asier Illarramendi were give a chance to show what they were capable of. The starting lineup consisted of:

Keylor Navas, Daniel Carvajal, Raphael Varane, Sergio Ramos [C], Marcelo, Asier Illarramendi, Toni Kroos, Gareth Bale, Isco, Cristiano Ronaldo, and James Rodriguez.


Real Madrid –
Gareth Bale (20′)
Cristiano Ronaldo (28′)
Cristiano Ronaldo (32′)
Cristiano Ronaldo (80′)
Cristiano Ronaldo (92′)

Elche –
Edu Albacar (15′)

Cristiano Ronaldo:

Cristiano Ronaldo is simply unstoppable as he was able to score four goals in the game against Elche. Granted, two of the goals were penalties, but there is simply no denying the fact that he is in extremely good condition right now. Even though it was expected that he might be chosen to rest towards the end of the game, it didn’t happen as he was able to stay on and score two goals in the final ten minutes of the match. Another great night for the Portuguese as he scored his 25th hat-trick for Real Madrid.

Asier Illarramendi:

Many have wanted to see Asier Illarramendi start for Real Madrid this season and they finally got the chance to see it happen as the Spanish midfielder got a chance to play the full 90 minutes against Elche. “Illarra” was able to control the midfield beautifully and make sure that his positioning was always perfect. His performance surely gave Carlo Ancelotti a selection headache as they head into the game against Villarreal this weekend.


Isco was another player who was given the opportunity to start against Elche and he was brilliant on the pitch from the beginning until the end. The midfielder was always up for the challenges and also had a few skillful moments of his own during the match. In my opinion, he was the man-of-the-match on the night along with Cristiano Ronaldo. Some great playing and hopefully we will be able to see more of him this season.

Keylor Navas:

Keylor Navas was finally able to make his debut for Real Madrid as Iker Casillas was benched on the night. Navas wasn’t really able to show his capabilities much on the night as the only goal against him came from a penalty that was very difficult to save either way. In the coming weeks, we will probably be seeing more of him whether it’s in La Liga once again or when the Copa del Rey begins. Either way, it will be interesting to see how the Costa Rican goalkeeper does during the year.


Karim Benzema/Chicharito:

Both, Karim Benzema and Chicharito, were benched on the night as Real Madrid played with James Rodriguez as a false nine. Los Merengues were able to show that they didn’t really need a striker in order to make things work as they have players in the attacking lineup such as Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo, and James Rodriguez. With that said, it won’t be working every time and will surely need someone with the capabilities of Benzema or Chicharito during the bigger games this year.

My Personal Player Ratings:

Keylor Navas: 8/10
Daniel Carvajal: 8.5/10
Raphael Varane: 8/10
Sergio Ramos: 8.5/10
Marcelo: 8/10
Asier Illarramendi: 8.5/10
Toni Kroos: 8/10
Gareth Bale: 7.5/10
Isco: 9/10
Cristiano Ronaldo: 9/10
James Rodriguez: 8.5/10

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