Real Madrid came out with a 3-0 win on their return from the International Break and, even though the performance didn’t really merit the flattering scoreline, it is still 3 important points in the bag.

Starting Lineup:

Zinedine Zidane made quite a few changes to the starting lineup with a very difficult month coming up as he rested some key players. The starting eleven consisted of:

Kiko Casilla, Danilo, Pepe [C], Raphael Varane, Nacho Fernandez, Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, Isco, Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Karim Benzema


Real Madrid –
Karim Benzema (31′)
Isco (85′)
Nacho Fernandez (88′)

Alaves –

Nacho Fernandez:

I’m sure that I have mentioned this on a post before but it is worth saying it again: Nacho Fernandez should stay in Real Madrid and the club need to do everything in their power to keep him. He’s one of us and has never ever complained about the lack of playing time. Whenever the Spaniard is called upon, he delivers brilliantly. Also, if that’s not enough, he can play anywhere in defense and is quite good going forward. It is no secret that he wants to stay at the club so it’s on Los Blancos to keep him and they really should.

Mateo Kovacic:

This is a player that I honestly expected to see in the starting lineup and was quite disappointed to see that Zidane decided to keep him on the bench and use him as a substitute during the second half. Mateo Kovacic is the type of player who always delivers and has proven his capabilities so many times in the past. If you were focused on rotating players, then putting him in the middle with either Toni Kroos or Luka Modric would have made perfect sense. Unfortunately, I don’t see the Croatian staying at the club much longer even though he truly has a lot to offer.

Karim Benzema:

Karim Benzema may have had quite a few ups and downs through this season but it seems as though he has finally been able to find himself during the past few matches. The fact that he isn’t being called up to the French National Team is actually a blessing for us and the week of training and rest did wonders for the Frenchman. He was all over the place in the first half and was able to deservedly get his name on the scoresheet. It looks like he is coming back just when the team need him the most.


Raphael Varane:

For one player, it was a match to forget as he returned from injury only to find himself having to be taken off during the opening minutes of the match and was replaced by Daniel Carvajal. Raphael Varane has had a lot of injury problems in recent seasons and it has definitely been affecting his growth as a player. The French defender has a lot to offer but it’s very difficult when anyone is finally finding their best form only to be benched through injury for a lengthy period of time. Hopefully this time it’s not as serious as the previous injuries!

My Personal Player Ratings:

Kiko Casilla – 9/10
Danilo – 7.5/10
Pepe – 8/10
Raphael Varane – N/A
Nacho Fernandez – 8.5/10
Toni Kroos – 8/10
Luka Modric – 6.5/10
Isco – 8/10
Gareth Bale – 5.5/10
Cristiano Ronaldo – 7/10
Karim Benzema – 8.5/10