Player ratings as Los Blancos ease to victory

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Sportem
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Real Madrid recorded a sixth clean sheet in seven games as their dominant end-of-season form continued with a 2-0 win against Celta Vigo in La Liga.

Carlo Ancelotti’s men cruised to victory back on home soil after knocking Chelsea out of the UEFA Champions League in midweek.

Los Blancos have moved five points clear of city rivals Atletico Madrid, though remain eight behind league leaders Barcelona.

Real Madrid has their first half-sight of goal five minutes in when a brilliant long ball over the top from Eder Militao was brought down by Marco Asensio, but Renato Tapia was able to poke the ball away from danger in the nick of time.

Asensio and Dani Ceballos had efforts from distance sail narrowly over with the hosts struggling to break their visitors down.

Los Blancos also looked threatening on set pieces but Celta Vigo were often let off the hook by matters of inches and millimetres.

But the pressure eventually told and Real Madrid took the lead just before the interval. Ceballos’ ball between two defenders was taken in stride by Vinicius Junior, who cut it back for Asensio to pick out the top corner via a deflection off of Javi Galan.

Shortly after the break, Real Madrid added their second. Asensio’s corner was met by the rising Militao, who thumped home with a powerful header – his fifth La Liga goal of the season.

Celta Vigo’s first opportunity of note saw Iago Aspas sky a cut-back, blaming the cut-up Santiago Bernabeu turf for the blunder.

Vinicius managed to wriggle away from a pack of Celta Vigo players and dart to the byline on the hour mark, finding Karim Benzema with a cross and the Frenchman forcing Ivan Villar into a save at his near post.

Back at the other end, Aspas managed to sit Nacho Fernandez on his backside and then round Thibaut Courtois, though the sprawling figure of the Belgian managed to deny the striker a certain goal.

Real Madrid sailed through five minutes of stoppage time to clinch the win.

GK: Thibaut Courtois – 6/10 – Had very little to do.

RB: Nacho Fernandez – 6/10 – A surprisingly good crosser of the ball. Joined attacks when necessary.

CB: Eder Militao – 8/10 – How the hell does a centre-back score five goals in a league season? With a month remaining!

CB: Antonio Rudiger – 6/10 – Wasn’t as assured as his centre-back partner but was fine nonetheless.

LB: Eduardo Camavinga – 8/10 – Chased every loose ball and tortured Celta Vigo players with his manic pressing and tackling. A joy to watch defend.

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DM: Aurelien Tchouameni – 6/10 – Stopped many transitions, particularly in the first half, though was a little wasteful in possession.

CM: Federico Valverde – 6/10 – Brought energy but didn’t need it to be the driving force behind the win.

CM: Dani Ceballos – 8/10 – Easy to see why Real Madrid want to tie him down to a new contract. Flittered between the lines and broke down Celta Vigo’s low-to-mid blocks.

RW: Marco Asensio – 9/10 – Another excellent performance from a man who will no doubt have plenty of clubs on his doorstep should Real Madrid decide not to renew his deal. Combined wicked crossing with an eye for goal.

CF: Karim Benzema – 5/10 – One of Benzema’s quieter evenings, though not to his side’s detriment. Didn’t really spring into life until after the hour mark.

LW: Vinicius Junior – 7/10 – Provided a great assist but was otherwise loose with the ball.

Substitutes

Lucas Vazquez (76′ for Asensio) – N/A

Luka Modric (81′ for Ceballos) – N/A

Rodrygo (81′ for Vinicius) – N/A

Manager

Carlo Ancelotti – 7/10 – Real Madrid won without having to break too much of a sweat. Job done.

GK: Ivan Villar (4); RB: Kevin Vazquez (6), CB: Renato Tapia (5), CB: Unai Nunez (5), LB: Javi Galan (); RM: Augusto Solari (4), CM: Gabri Veiga (5), CM: Fran Beltran (5), LM: Luca de la Torre (5); CF: Haris Seferovic (4), CF: Iago Aspas (5)

SUBS: Franco Cervi (5), Oscar Rodriguez (5), Goncalo Pacienca (5), Williot Swedberg (N/A), Fernando Medrano (N/A)

Player of the match – Marco Asensio (Real Madrid)

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