Real Madrid hosted Deportivo La Coruna in their final La Liga match of 2016 as it turned out to be a much more difficult match than initially expected for the hosts.

Starting Lineup:

With the Real Madrid squad travelling to Japan to take part in the Club World Cup this week, Zinedine Zidane took the decision to rest a few key players while giving others a chance to impress. The starting lineup consisted of:

Keylor Navas, Danilo, Pepe, Sergio Ramos [C], Nacho Fernandez, Carlos Casemiro, Toni Kroos, James Rodriguez, Isco, Marco Asensio, Alvaro Morata

Scorers:

Real Madrid –
Alvaro Morata (50′)
Mariano Diaz (84′)
Sergio Ramos (92′)

Deportivo La Coruna –
Joselu (63′)
Joselu (65′)

Rotations:

Personally, I’m someone who is always going to defend the rotation policy and, on paper at least, it made sense that Zinedine Zidane chose to make changes for this match but not 8/11 players! With two of our best players this season not even called up (Cristiano Ronaldo & Luka Modric), it was too big of a risk to take. In the end (and I mean the very end), things worked out and Los Blancos go home with all three points but that doesn’t mean things went well in the game. Having said that, Zidane was also able to make the right substitutions at the right times of the game to help Real Madrid come out with the win as he made sure life was very difficult for the visitors during the last 20 minutes.

Danilo:

There is no way to sugarcoat this: Danilo is nowhere near good enough to play for Real Madrid. For about a season and a half he has been given chances to impress and we can count the times he impressed on one hand. The right-back caused us a lot of problems against Deportivo as he never looked comfortable and continuously made mistakes in order to make our night more difficult that it should have been.

Sergio Ramos:

I honestly have no idea how he always manages to do it but Sergio Ramos has saved us once again in the only way he knows how to: A header in extra time which gave Los Merengues all three points on the night and guaranteed a 6-point advantage on the top of La Liga!

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Zinedine Zidane:

People will always call him lucky and that’s fine but the truth is out there: Zinedine Zidane has now gone 35 games unbeaten with Real Madrid. I don’t know what luck would do that but it’s time to accept that, even though he still has a lot to learn as a manager, he is still a very good manager. The Frenchman knows what he’s doing and, even though he will make mistakes just like he has done in the past, it is very difficult to deny that he is the right person for the job at the Real Madrid helm.

My Personal Player Ratings:

Keylor Navas – 7.5/10
Danilo – 3/10
Pepe – 7/10
Sergio Ramos – 8.5/10
Nacho Fernandez – 8/10
Carlos Casemiro – 5.5/10
Toni Kroos – 7/10
James Rodriguez – 6.5/10
Isco – 7/10
Marco Asensio – 7/10
Alvaro Morata – 7.5/10

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