Real Madrid travel to Almeria in the latest La Liga action. We're keeping tabs on who's hot and who's not.
Stay tuned for live player ratings—updated at half-time and full-time—for Los Merenegues' stars.
|Real Madrid XI|
|Player||HT Rating||FT Rating|
|Asier Illarramendi (off 74')||7||7|
|Karim Benzema (off 62')||6.5||7.5|
|Cristiano Ronaldo (off 53')||8||8|
|Jese (on 53')||N/A||6.5|
|Alvaro Morta (on 62')||N/A||7|
Cristiano Ronaldo scored inside three minutes to give Real Madrid the perfect start, converting Isco's right-wing cross with the outside of his boot.
From there los Blancos dominated the game, totaling up 18 shots in the first half alone. Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and Ronaldo missed a glut of resulting chances, and Almeria rarely threatened.
Esteban, in goal for Francisco Rodriguez's side, enjoyed a truly excellent 45 minutes, limiting the visitors to just a single strike in the first half.
The contest quickly became a rout, however, inside a short period in the second half. Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale, Isco and Alvaro Morata all scored fine goals to make it 5-0 to the visitors.
Diego Lopez: Hardly had a thing to do, but when called into action he was safe and solid as usual. Good hands on display.
Dani Carvajal: Great link-up on the right-hand side and strong when tracking back. Lock-down in defence and potent going forward. Provided some super crosses that no one converted.
Pepe: Rarely called upon, but relatively solid.
Sergio Ramos: Strong in the air and largely dominant.
Alvaro Arbeloa: Looked the weakest of the 11 fielded by Carlo Ancelotti for a long time, but held out for a clean sheet nonetheless.
Xabi Alonso: Solid if unspectacular, key in controlling possession. That Madrid secured their first away clean sheet in weeks when he returns is not a coincidence.
Asier Illarramendi: Largely invisible (not a bad thing!), as Madrid did little in terms of breaking up play. A good compliment to Alonso.
Isco: Playing on the right-hand side, Isco was superb. His cross created the goal, and his link-up play throughout was top-notch. In the second half he assisted Gareth Bale then scored an incredible effort himself.
Gareth Bale: Several surges forward but no end-product in the first half. That changed in the second period when he finally converted an opportunistic strike.
Karim Benzema: A threat both on the ground and in the air, his goal eventually came in the second half—and what a goal it was. A beautiful strike from outside the box had Madridistas worldwide drooling.
Cristiano Ronaldo: Scored after just two minutes to set the tone for the match. Substituted early in the second half after being kicked by Aleix Vidal.
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