Vinicius Jr. and Karim Benzema were on target for Real Madrid, but the real hero in the 2-0 win over Levante on Sunday was Thibaut Courtois.

In what was a game of two halves, Real Madrid dominated the first period, creating the better chances, although Levante did strike the woodwork once. However, it was Los Blancos who were ahead just a quarter of an hour into the game, with Vinicius Jr. curling in from the edge of the box.

Post the interval, Levante started taking the game to Real Madrid more often, threatening Thibaut Courtois in the visitors’ goal on a number of occasions. However, Courtois stood strong between the sticks to preserve his clean sheet.

As the game approached full-time, Real Madrid rounded off the win with a late goal from Karim Benzema, who produced a fine finish. The result took Real Madrid to the top of the table ahead of the international break and The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over Zinedine Zidane’s men.

Thibaut Courtois: 9/10

Courtois hardly had anything to do in the first half which was dominated by Real Madrid but was lucky to see Nikola Vukcevic’s header smash the crossbar. In the second half, though, the Belgian goalkeeper was crucial in keeping Los Blancos’ lead intact, making four big saves to preserve his clean sheet. Zidane credited the win to Courtois post-match, and deservedly so.

Nacho: 6/10

With Dani Carvajal and Alvaro Odriozola both out injured, Nacho was given a rare start, as a right-back against Levante. The Spaniard, though, had a difficult time dealing with the threat of Enis Bardhi and Carlos Clerc, with much of Levante’s attacks flowing through his flank. Going forward, he did not offer much either, with none of his crosses finding the intentional target.

Raphael Varane: 6.5/10

It was a tricky game for Varane, who did well to kill off much of the Levante threat in the first half, but struggled to impose himself at times post the interval. Nevertheless, the Frenchman had some important moments as well, as he completely neutralised the dangerous Jose Luis Morales.

Sergio Ramos: 7/10

Much like Varane, Ramos had a lot to do in the second period, when he couldn’t embark on his adventurous runs as much as he would have liked. Ramos, though, made an important block late in the game and won 3 duels. The Real Madrid captain had even slotted the ball into the back of the net only for VAR to disallow it for a marginal offside.

Ferland Mendy: 7/10

Back into the side in place of Marcelo, Mendy continued his intriguing duel at left-back with a solid display. The Frenchman was not troubled a great deal at the back, with much of the Levante attacks flowing from the opposite wing, although he still made 4 interceptions. Lost the ball just 5 times, misplaced just 1 pass and even played in a key pass, linking up well in the final third.

Luka Modric: 7.5/10

With Toni Kroos out injured, much of the playmaking responsibility rested on the shoulders of Modric; and the Croat conducted play brilliantly in the moments Real Madrid dominated the game. The veteran midfielder played in 3 key passes, completed each of his long balls and won 5 duels in an all-round display. And it was his corner that found its way to Vinicius Jr. for the opener.

Casemiro: 6/10

Not the best of games for Casemiro, who had to be a little cautious after being shown a yellow card early in the game. Also started looking a bit wobbly as the game progressed, but there were some positives too, as he won 11 duels and played 1 key pass. Zidane needs his key midfield fresh and firing in the second half of the season.

Federico Valverde: 6.5/10

Kroos’ absence also paved the chance for Federico Valverde to extend his run in the side. The young midfielder was an imposing presence in the middle of the park in the first half and even had a key pass to show for his efforts. However, as Levante started growing into the game, Valverde slowly faded and was even wasteful in possession at times. Still, solid enough for the most part.

Marco Asensio: 6.5/10

Asensio was a little slow to start off, but he showed his delectable touch on the ball throughout the game. Quite unlucky to end the game without an attacking haul, with Vinicius Jr. failing to convert his superb pass. Is slowly starting to link up smartly with his fellow attackers and is surely getting back to his best.

Karim Benzema: 7/10

This was another game in which Benzema’s hold-up and link-up abilities came to the fore more than his exploits in front of goal. The Real Madrid talisman, though, could have scored a couple of goals easily before he finally found the back of the net late in the game.

Still, he would be content after breaking his duck for the season, that too with an emphatic finish. That strike also saw him breach the 250-goal barrier in Real Madrid colours. The hits just keep on coming.

Vinicius Jr.: 8/10

A delightful finish set up another fantastic display by the young Brazilian, who is starting to make the left-wing slot his own in Zidane’s side. Vinicius, though, should have ideally celebrated a brace, having missed a glorious chance to convert Asensio’s pass.

Misplaced just 5 passes while he also put in a shift off the ball, helping Mendy out a few times. Growing in stature.


Lucas Vazquez: 6/10

On for Vinicius, Lucas Vazquez slotted in on the right flank and aided Nacho a great deal after being subbed in, winning 2 duels. The Spaniard did not see a lot of the ball, but kept things simple and completed each of his passes.

Rodrygo Goes: 6/10

Rodrygo replaced Asensio in attack and showed some impeccable touches while also playing in a key pass. However, he was introduced in a period when Levante were on top and he did not get too many chances to show his mettle.

Martin Odegaard: N/A

A late introduction, Odegaard was hardly involved, touching the ball just twice.

Isco: N/A

Much like Odegaard, Isco did not see much of the ball before Real Madrid sealed the points.

Comments 1

  1. Sani danladi says:

    Benzema you are very very good player

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