Real Madrid hosted Rayo Vallecano for the final La Liga game before the International Break. The aim was to go into the break in first place and Los Merengues did that perfectly with a win against Rayo Vallecano on the night.

Starting Lineup:

The two major surprises of the starting lineup were Keylor Navas starting in goal while Nacho was the man chosen at right-back. Also, Isco was benched as Gareth Bale returned. The starting lineup consisted of:

Keylor Navas, Nacho, Pepe, Sergio Ramos [C], Marcelo, Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, Gareth Bale, James Rodriguez, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Karim Benzema


Real Madrid –
Gareth Bale (9′)
Sergio Ramos (40′)
Toni Kroos (55′)
Karim Benzema (59′)
Cristiano Ronaldo (83′)

Rayo Vallecano –
Alberto Bueno (44′)

Keylor Navas:

Did Keylor Navas have the perfect game? No. Unlucky for him, he still wasn’t able to get himself a clean sheet in a Real Madrid jersey after playing three games as he conceded one-goal per game. With that said, he showed great signs of the goalkeeper that he is and it’s a simple case of lacking match practise. The reason he played was because Carlo Ancelotti said that he will play a few La Liga games in order to stay fit for the Copa del Rey and therefore the game against Rayo was one of them.

James Rodriguez:

James Rodriguez was not at his best against Rayo Vallecano as his lack of concentration led to Rayo’s only goal of the night. He has had his ups and downs and yesterday wasn’t a positive memory. The Colombian midfielder will need to put some more consistent performances for the team and he has proven that he is capable of a lot more on the pitch. Personally, I don’t think that the game against Rayo needs to be looked into a lot for the player but, if he keeps up the inconsistency, the Spanish media are going to be far from forgiving.

Sergio Ramos:

Sergio Ramos was able to score against Rayo Vallecano as it marked his 50th goal for the club in 419 official matches. For a defender, that is simply marvellous! The Spanish defender has always played with his heart for the club and has been able to score his 50th goal with the captain’s band around his arm. A memory that will stick with him and a player who has established himself as a legend at this great club.

Toni Kroos:

What a game by Toni Kroos! The German midfielder arrived in the summer from Bayern Munich and has quickly established himself as one of the most important players in the team. He has hardly put a foot wrong and was finally able to score his first goal for the club with a wonderful strike. It is very clear that Carlo Ancelotti has a lot of dependence on Kroos and it’s clear as to why. He was able to adapt to the team very well from day one and, at only 24-years-old, there is a lot more that he has to offer.


Gareth Bale:

Gareth Bale was finally able to be named in the starting lineup after returning from injury and he was able to show his capabilities right away. Some great runs, long-shots, and a goal show that the Welshman knows what is needed to be done in order to be a part of the starting eleven at Real Madrid. Bale has had his ups and downs at the club but, in a little over a year, he has become loved my Madridista’s everywhere.

My Personal Player Ratings:

Keylor Navas: 7/10
Nacho: 8/10
Pepe: 8/10
Sergio Ramos: 9/10
Marcelo: 8/10
Toni Kroos: 9.5/10
Luka Modric: 8.5/10
Gareth Bale: 7.5/10
James Rodriguez: 6.5/10
Cristiano Ronaldo: 8/10
Karim Benzema: 8/10