I’ve said it too many times already and so have many other Madridistas who finally feel that their beloved team are back: Los Merengues are at their best yet again under Zinedine Zidane!

Starting Lineup:

Zinedine Zidane stuck with his preferred starting lineup as we cannot afford any mistakes after Barcelona’s win against Atletico Madrid. The starting lineup consisted of:

Keylor Navas, Daniel Carvajal, Raphael Varane, Sergio Ramos [C], Marcelo, Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, James Rodriguez, Isco, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Karim Benzema


Real Madrid –
Karim Benzema (7′)
Cristiano Ronaldo (12′)
James Rodriguez (16′)
Cristiano Ronaldo (45′)
Cristiano Ronaldo (82′)
Oscar Duarte [OG] (86′)

Espanyol –

Luka Modric:

Yet another masterclass performance from Luka Modric! He has been revitalized under Zinedine Zidane and it shows just how important the Croatian is to his plans. Hhe was completely in charge of the midfield as his eye for passing was a joy to behold yet again. What a magnificent night from Modric.

James Rodriguez:

Slowly but surely James Rodriguez is regaining his confidence under the French manager. He wasn’t at his best against Espanyol but it was still a very good performance. One or two more games and I think we will see the same James Rodriguez that we signed from Monaco. The Colombian midfielder was also able to get his name on the scoresheet with a great strike while assisting Karim Benzema’s goal with a perfect cross.

Cristiano Ronaldo:

The hat-trick hero is back once again! This season is definitely not his best but he showed some glimpses against Espanyol especially with his second goal right before half-time. The Portuguese forward is also one of the players who seem a little happier now with Zidane in charge and hopefully this can last for a while.


Daniel  Carvajal:

There was a time where I actually said that Danilo was a better right-back than Daniel Carvajal… I gladly take those words back! The Spanish defender is unbelievable and proved it once again against Espanyol on the night. He is probably the best right-back in La Liga and I would not be surprised to see him voted as the best in the world within the next few years. What a player!!!

My Personal Player Ratings:

Keylor Navas – 8/10
Daniel Carvajal – 9.5/10
Raphael Varane – 9/10
Sergio Ramos – 9/10
Marcelo – 8.5/10
Toni Kroos – 8.5/10
Luka Modric – 9.5/10
James Rodriguez – 8.5/10
Isco – 7.5/10
Cristiano Ronaldo – 9.5/10
Karim Benzema – 9/10