Real Madrid hosted Malaga in La Liga in a must-win match after failing to record a victory in their past three games. Even though Los Blancos left with three points in the bag, there are still some worries that need to be fixed.
Zinedine Zidane knows the importance of a win for Real Madrid and wasn’t in any state to take risks on the night as he named a strong team. The starting eleven consisted of:
Keylor Navas, Nacho Fernandez, Raphael Varane, Sergio Ramos [C], Marcelo, Carlos Casemiro, Luka Modric, Toni Kroos, Lucas Vazquez, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Karim Benzema
Real Madrid –
Sergio Ramos (35′)
Sergio Ramos (43′)
Picked ahead of Danilo at right-back with the injury to Daniel Carvajal, Nacho continued to show just how important he is to the Real Madrid squad. The Spanish defender definitely does not get the credit that he deserves and has been able to demonstrate why every single manager that comes to the team makes sure that Nacho is part of the squad. He continuously does his job perfectly and is always prepared to play whenever the coach needs him.
With the injury to Marcelo during the first half, many expected Zidane to take him off for Danilo. Instead, Isco was the man chosen while Lucas Vazquez took his positing as a wing-back for the first time since joining Real Madrid. The Spaniard was having a great match before it and, even though he got a little quieter up front after the change of position (which makes sense), he was still influential throughout the 90 minutes.
I am on the side that Carlos Casemiro in fact is extremely important to our side but there is one thing about him I just cannot ignore. A player in his position needs to be aggressive but he needs to be smart enough to know when to foul players and when to let things go. He jumps into tackles way too much and sometimes it happens during times where it’s definitely not needed! The problem is that he runs the risk of being suspended due to yellow cards and it could end up happening in a match where we really need him.
Sergio Ramos scored twice against Malaga to bring his tally up to 6 goals this season. To put that into perspective, the only Real Madrid player to score more goals than him is Cristiano Ronaldo. Also, the Spanish defender now has more goals than some of the big attackers in Europe such as Neymar, Jamie Vardy, and Dybala. Another great and memorable night for the defender.
Another disappointing game from Cristiano Ronaldo, which will make me bring up a point that I have said so many times on here before. Cristiano Ronaldo is a wonderful player and there is no denying just how influential he has been for us ever since the day he arrived. Even on his “bad” seasons, he has continuously helped us in so many different ways. Having said all that, no player should be invincible. Zidane was able to convince the Portuguese that there are games where he should be resting and Ronaldo seems to agree with that. Whenever Cristiano does play though, he shouldn’t be able to play the full 90 minutes and stay on no matter how bad his form is! Yes, he was able to create a few chances on the night but he wasn’t anywhere close to his best and was obviously getting frustrated throughout the game. We have players who could take his place in these situations and it’s disappointing not to see that happen once in a while.
Zinedine Zidane and the Real Madrid fans are all worried and understandably frustrated as Los Merengues have to play a waiting game to see how things go with their players. Marcelo was forced off during the first half after a hamstring injury as many people seem to think the Brazilian left-back will be out for around a month. Luka Modric had to be subbed off in the second half after feeling discomfort as both him and Danilo will be taking further tests on Sunday to see the extent of their injuries…
My Personal Player Ratings:
Keylor Navas – 8/10
Nacho Fernandez – 8.5/10
Raphael Varane – 8/10
Sergio Ramos – 9/10
Marcelo – N/A
Carlos Casemiro – 7.5/10
Luka Modric – 8.5/10
Toni Kroos – 9.5/10
Lucas Vazquez – 8.5/10
Cristiano Ronaldo – 5.5/10
Karim Benzema – 6.5/10