Jesus Vallejo and Gareth Bale were brilliant for Real Madrid as they eased past Las Palmas
Without their skipper Sergio Ramos, talisman Cristiano Ronaldo, midfield general Toni Kroos and full-backs Marcelo and Dani Carvajal, Real Madrid made a light work of Las Palmas as they defeated the hosts 3-0 at the Gran Canaria last night.
Welsh forward Gareth Bale scored a brace while Karim Benzema, who captained the side in his 400th appearance for the club, got his name on the score sheet after scoring a penalty.
But, the biggest worry for Zinedine Zidane should be the injury to defender Nacho Hernandez as the Spanish international left the field in tears after suffering an ankle injury. Las Palmas hardly posed a challenge as Real Madrid warmed up for their upcoming Champions League quarter-final clash against Juventus.
The goalkeeper couldn’t have done much as the Real Madrid forwards were creating havoc up-front. He made a fine save to deny Marco Asensio early on in the game but apart from that, he couldn’t have done much as the forwards were clinical in finishing.
Michel Macedo 5
With Theo Hernandez and Marco Asensio playing on the left and Gareth Bale running riot on the wing, Macedo was like a sorry figure in the Las Palmas defence. He failed to match Bale’s pace for the first goal and was taken off at half-time.
Alex Galvez 6
Alex Galvez was the best player of the night for the hosts as he was the only one who was defending for his team. He wasn’t backed well by his teammates and couldn’t do much because of the lack of support. He was involved in a tackle that saw Nacho hurting his ankle and leaving the field.
Ximo Navarro 3
Navarro was all over the field against Real Madrid. He found himself at the wrong place that led Modric to provide a brilliant ball to Bale to make it 1-0. He was also at fault for the second penalty as he fouled Gareth Bale inside the ball before the Welshman netted Madrid’s third.
He looked good in patches as he was troubled by the pace of Lucas Vasquez and Hakimi. His poor positioning also led Vasquez to control the game from the right side.
Javi Castellano 5
A lot was from Castellano against the Madrid midfield of Casemiro and Modric but the defensive midfielder failed to do what was expected of him and let the Madrid midfield duo dictate the game.
Vincente Gomez 4
A poor game from the 29-year-old throughout the first half led to a substitution at half-time.
Momo had a below-par game as he tried to break the Madrid defence on a lot of occasions but failed in doing so. He could have played a lot better as he was pitted against a young Hakimi but he was kept quiet on the left side.
Alberto Aquilani 6
The Italian had a decent game as he found some space and created a lot of chances that were squandered by the forward.
Alen Halilovic 7
The former Barcelona midfielder was the best player in the attack for Las Palmas as he found Theo Hernandez on the wrong foot on a few occasions but due to the lack of support up-front, he couldn’t do much for the hosts.
Jonathan Calleri 5
Along with Ximo Navarro, Jonathan Calleri was the worst player on the pitch. He had a clear-cut chance early on in the game but a fine save from Keylor Navas denied the hosts a 1-0 lead. Apart from that, he didn’t do much in the attack and conceded a penalty by fouling Vasquez, which was comfortably scored by Karim Benzema.
Jairo Samperio 5
After replacing Michel in the half-time, he couldn’t live up the expectation as he kept struggling against the Real Madrid attackers.
Erik Exposito 6
Coming on for Gomez in the 46th minute, Exposito tried his best to keep the Madrid midfielders at bay and succeeded in doing that on a few occasions.
Imoh Ezekiel NA
He got to play less than 10 minutes after coming on for Momo in the 85th minute
Keylor Navas 7.5
The Costa Rican international had nothing much to do apart from denying Jonathan Calleri early on in the game. He was good with his positioning throughout and was hardly tested by the opposition.
Nacho Fernandez N/A
Started the game as a right-back, Nacho Fernandez was forced to leave the field in tears in the 29th minute after suffering an injury.
Raphael Varane 7
The Frenchman was calm and composed throughout the game and made sure that the Las Palmas forwards had a tough time when they were against him. He gave away the ball on a couple of occasions but apart from that, he did a good job as the senior defender.
Jesus Vallejo 9.5
The talented Jesus Vallejo was the player of the night for me as he was brilliant throughout the game. He made use of the limited chances he got and sent a message a to the manager. His positioning was simply outstanding and the Spanish under-23 star was spot-on with his tackles and playing the ball forward. He didn’t put a single wrong foot forward throughout the match.
Theo Hernandez 6
Replacing Marcelo is not an easy task and the young Theo Hernandez would have realised it now. He made some good runs initially but was a major let down with his passing and defensive duties as he found himself in the wrong place often. The scoreline could have easily been 4-0 but Theo’s selfish shot towards the end when both the forwards were free went into the stands.
Carlos Casemiro Henrique 8
Casemiro had a good game as he hardly found himself in the wrong position. He remained calm, backed Modric and controlled the game. A pretty good game for the Brazilian.
Luka Modric 8
Luka Modric was in “Modric mode” throughout the time he was on the field. He provided a delightful ball to Gareth Bale for the first goal and was controlling the tempo of the game throughout.
Marco Asensio 6.5
Asensio had an off-day, but still, he managed to contribute to the attack on a few occasions. He could have easily found his name on the score sheet but was denied by Leandro Chichizola early in the game. Apart from that, he didn’t have much of a chance to impress.
Lucas Vasquez 8
After starting the game on a slow note, the Spanish international got into the groove in the middle of the first half. He was all over the pitch as he covered on the defence, especially when Nacho left the field and was replaced by Hakimi Achraf and at the same time, he was instrumental in the attack as well. He was also linking up with the forwards from the right side very well and created a lot of clear-cut chances.
Gareth Bale 9
Gareth Bale getting back to form will be a huge boost for Real Madrid as the Welshman has been low on confidence and has been often overlooked by Zinedine Zidane. But, he made a big statement against Las Palmas as he scored a brace, where he sprinted past the Palmas defenders with ease and scored with a brilliant finish before stepping up for a penalty which he converted in the second half.
Karim Benzema 8.5
It was a memorable game for Karim Benzema as he not only led the Los Blancos for the first time in La Liga but also won his won his 400th cap at the club. He celebrated the special occasion by scoring a goal, which was a neatly taken penalty after Lucas Vasquez was fouled by Jonathan Calleri in the 38th minute. Apart from that, his link-up play with Bale and the wingers was fantastic.
Hakimi Achraf 7
Hakimi was asked to take the field early on as right-back Nacho was injured and the Moroccan didn’t disappoint much as he put on a solid performance. He used his pace to maximum effect and was good in positioning in the defence.
Mateo Kovacic 7
Mateo Kovacic has been brilliant of late and the Croat continued from where he left off in his previous match for the club. His dribbles were eye-catching and in the limited time he had, he put on a fine performance replacing Luka Modric.
Marcos Llorente 6
Marcos Llorente, who turned up for Spain under-23 in the Euro qualifiers mid-week, was rusty since the time he came off the bench for Casemiro in the 62nd minute. But, he wasn’t bad in the midfield and started to show what he capable of in the last ten minutes.