Real Madrid

Real Madrid 4-1 Valencia: Player ratings as Los Blancos go eight points clear

Jude Summerfield
Vinicius scored twice on Saturday night
Vinicius scored twice on Saturday night / Angel Martinez/GettyImages

Real Madrid increased their lead at the top of La Liga to eight points as they eased to a 4-1 victory over Valencia on Saturday night.

Real went close during the first half, with Eder Militao bringing a save from Jasper Cillesen before Luka Modric smacked the bar from distance.

The breakthrough came when Casemiro was brought down in the box, allowing Karim Benzema to fire into the top corner for his 16th La Liga goal of the season minutes before the break.

Vinicius Junior continued his inspired goalscoring form in the second half, making his way through the Valencia defence to finish into the far corner.

The Brazilian got his second of the evening when Marco Asensio saw his shot pushed into the air by Cillesen, allowing Vinicius to finish with ease to make it 3-0.

Valencia pushed to get back into the game and earned a penalty when Ferland Mendy pulled Marcos Andre in the box. Goncalo Guedes saw his attempt saved, but he nodded in the rebound to earn his side a consolation.

However, there was to be no prolonged fightback from the visitors and Benzema sealed the victory for Real with a brilliantly taken fourth, turning and shooting in off the post.

Los Blancos are now eight points clear of Sevilla, though they have played two games more than their nearest rivals. Valencia, meanwhile, are down in ninth.

1. Goalkeeper & defenders

Thibaut Courtois
Courtois saved a penalty but saw the rebound go in / Soccrates Images/GettyImages

Thibaut Courtois (GK) - 6/10 - Alert to stop Wass from netting for the visitors. Good penalty save and unlucky to see the rebound go in.

Lucas Vazquez (RB) - 7/10 - Found space out on the right and put in some good crosses. Was positionally good, frequently making interceptions.

Eder Militao (CB) - 7/10 - Had Real's first big chance, heading straight at Jasper Cillesen from close range. Brought down Gaya for a yellow card.

David Alaba (CB) - 7/10 - Continues to lead Real's defence with conviction and style. His partnership with Militao is quickly becoming one of the best in Europe.

Ferland Mendy (LB) - 6/10 - Linked up well with Vinicius. Decision making in the final third was a little suspect but little got past him in defence - except for the penalty, when he tugged back Andre to receive a yellow card. Got an assist for Benzema's second.

2. Midfielders

Carlos Henrique Casemiro, Yunus Musah
Casemiro did Casemiro things / Soccrates Images/GettyImages

Luka Modric (CM) - 8/10 - Has been excellent in recent weeks and continued that form here. Glided around the pitch with ease and was a threat going forward, hitting the bar from distance.

Casemiro (CM) - 7/10 - Mistimed a challenge on Wass and got booked. Brought down by Mouctar Diakhaby to earn his side a penalty. Characteristically mopped up loose possession before being withdrawn.

Toni Kroos (CM) - 7/10 - Put in a few dangerous crosses from set pieces and was typical excellent in possession.

3. Forwards

Vinicius Junior
Vinicius was brilliant again / Soccrates Images/GettyImages

Marco Asensio (RW) - 7/10 - Played his role in the third goal, having his shot saved into Vinicius' path. Should have scored himself from a wonderful Benzema pass.

Karim Benzema (ST) - 9/10 - Link-up play looked tidy early on and he opened the scoring when he thumped in the penalty. Played some intelligent passes which should have been used better by his teammates. Swivelled nicely and struck into the far corner to make it 4-1.

Vinicius Junior (LW) - 9/10 - Bundled through Valencia's backline to establish Real's 2-0 lead. Got another later on, following in after Asensio's shot was palmed into the air. Now has 12 La Liga goals this season.

4. Substitutes

Eduardo Camavinga (CM) - 5/10

Dani Ceballos (CM) - 5/10

Federico Valverde (LW) - 5/10

Isco (ST) - 5/10

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