Two goals from Karim Benzema ensured Real Madrid qualified for the knockout stages of the Champions League with a 2-0 victory over Borussia Monchengladbach on Wednesday evening.
Benzema powered a pair of headers past Yann Sommer inside the first 32 minutes, the first from a Lucas Vazquez cross and the second from Rodrygo’s delivery in what was a comfortable evening for Real against an underwhelming ‘Gladbach.
The visitors were below par and rarely threatened, while Real could have enjoyed an even greater margin of victory but were denied by the post and a selection of fine Sommer saves.
Let’s get into some player ratings.
Thibaut Courtois (GK) – 6/10 – Claimed a cross or two but was rarely called into action as ‘Gladbach thoroughly underwhelmed.
Lucas Vazquez (RB) – 8/10 – Floated in an inch perfect cross to find the head of Benzema for Real’s first. Combined well throughout with Rodrygo with ‘Gladbach unable to contain the pair down the right flank. Clattered the post in the second half, denied the goal his performance deserved.
Sergio Ramos (CB) – 6/10 – Denied a headed goal by a stunning finger tipped save from Sommer. Very little defensive work to do.
Raphaël Varane (CB) – 6/10 – Hardly had to break a sweat as ‘Gladbach rarely threatened.
Ferland Mendy (LB) – 7/10 – Had a real freedom to roam forward, particularly in the first half, and did so with great affect.
Casemiro (CM) – 8/10 – Real’s midfield completely dominated from start to finish. Ruthlessly efficient in possession.
Toni Kroos (CM) – 8/10 – Brought a really good save out of Sommer with a second half strike from the edge of the area. Ran the show from midfield.
Luka Modric (CM) – 8/10 – Demonstrated his characteristic quick feet and intelligence to worm his way past a challenge and feed Rodrygo in the build up to Real’s second. Saw a first half effort tipped onto the post and had a goal chalked out for offside.
Rodrygo (RW) – 8/10 – Worked an inch of space and curled in an enticing cross for Benzema to latch onto for Real’s second. Rodrygo and Vázquez ran riot down the right flank and were the source of Real’s most promising openings.
Karim Benzema (ST) – 9/10 – Opened the scoring with a towering header, hanging in the air and finding the top corner, before escaping the attentions of the ‘Gladbach backline to power home another header just after the half hour mark.
Vinicius Junior (LW) – 7/10 – Should have gone for goal himself but wasted a golden chance by attempting to feed Benzema. Danced down the wing in the build up to teeing up a good opportunity for Rodrygo. Was replaced after 74 minutes.
Sergio Arribas – 6/10
Marco Asensio – 6/10