Real Madrid visited El Madrigal in a game which has proven to be quite tricky in recent years. Los Merengues were able to come out with a 2-0 win on the night thanks to goals from Luka Modric and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Carlo Ancelotti named a very expected starting lineup on the night as he left players such as Asier Illarramendi and Isco on the bench. The starting lineup consisted of:
Iker Casillas [C], Daniel Carvajal, Raphael Varane, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo, Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, Gareth Bale, James Rodriguez, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Karim Benzema
Real Madrid –
Luka Modric (32′)
Cristiano Ronaldo (40′)
Gareth Bale hasn’t really been himself in the past few games even though he was able to start every single one. Usually, a good play or a goal would cover up his disappearance from the games but tonight it simply didn’t work out for him. The Welsh midfielder wasn’t able to show up during the game and was nowhere to be seen throughout some big periods against Villarreal. He will need to find the form that he had at the beginning of the season as Los Blancos will be needing him soon with big games coming up. I personally think that he should be rested in midweek against Ludogorets and maybe that will help him come back next weekend.
Because of Pepe’s injury, Raphael Varane was able to play his third game in a row for Real Madrid and he continues to impress. It seems as though the French defender is what Real Madrid have been missing this season as his calmness and defensive capabilities keep shocking people with every single game. It’s true that their recent opponents have been slightly on the weaker side but we shouldn’t take anything away from Varane, who has had some great displays. It will be interesting to see what Carlo Ancelotti does once Pepe returns to full fitness.
Luka Modric has been consistent with his displays for Real Madrid this season but, against Villarreal, he was able to take it to another level. The Croatian controlled the midfield perfectly and was also able to score a brilliant goal from outside of the box which left Villarreal’s goalkeeper, Sergio Asenjo, stuck in his place. Hopefully, we will be able to see more performances such as this one from Modric this season.
Iker Casillas was able to reinstate his spot in the starting lineup after being dropped to the bench against Elche. Against Villarreal, he was able to produce some massive saves and did his job really well on the night. This was arguably his best performance for Real Madrid so far this season as it seems as though he is slowly getting his confidence back. The clean sheet will undoubtedly help with his confidence as well as the team now look forward to their second game of the season in the UEFA Champions League in midweek.
There is not much more that anyone can say about Cristiano Ronaldo as he was able to break yet another record after scoring his tenth goal in the season. The Portuguese now has 265 goals in 250 games and he is already in the top 10 highest scorers in the history of La Liga. It only took him five seasons to reach that mark. Incredible start to the season for Cristiano Ronaldo and it seems that (hopefully) his injury problems are finally behind him.
My Personal Player Ratings:
Iker Casillas: 8.5/10
Daniel Carvajal: 7.5/10
Raphael Varane: 9/10
Sergio Ramos: 8/10
Toni Kroos: 8/10
Luka Modric: 8.5/10
Gareth Bale: 6.5/10
James Rodriguez: 7.5/10
Cristiano Ronaldo: 8/10
Karim Benzema: 8.5/10