Two goals in the space of four minutes from Nacho and Marco Asensio secured a 2-0 LaLiga win for Real Madrid at Cadiz on Saturday.
Los Blancos dominated the game at Estadio Nuevo Mirandilla but were wasteful until Nacho opened the scoring with his first goal of the season after 72 minutes.
Asensio added a second soon after as Carlo Ancelotti’s side moved 10 points behind leaders Barcelona at the expense of relegation-threatened Cadiz.
Ancelotti omitted Vinicius Junior and Toni Kroos ahead of the Champions League clash at Chelsea on Tuesday, while Luka Modric came off the bench late in an ultimately comfortable win.
Madrid started strongly but they were almost behind against the run of play when Cadiz captain Alfonso Espino let fly with a left-foot strike that rattled the far post.
Asensio and Karim Benzema were denied by alert Cadiz goalkeeper David Gil, although Los Blancos wanted a penalty for a tug on their captain before he got his shot away.
A left-foot shot from Benzema bounced down to safety off the crossbar after Rodrygo burst into the box from the left and Dani Ceballos’ volley from a corner was palmed over by Gil as Madrid failed to find a first-half breakthrough.
Rodrygo was unable to beat Gil after racing clear early in the second half before the forward inexplicably side-footed wide from six yards out when Federico Valverde presented him with an open goal.
Madrid continued to dominate and Valverde wasted a glorious chance to break the deadlock after Asensio showed great awareness and quality to pick him out with a quickly taken corner.
With Madrid’s frustration mounting, Nacho produced a quality right-foot finish from 20 yards out to finally open the scoring.
Asensio then cut in from the left to finish off with a slick move with a composed finish, sealing a deserved win.
Cadiz player ratings (4-4-2)
GK: David Gil (8); RB: Raul Parra (6); CB: Luis Hernandez (6); CB: Fali (7); LB: Alfonso Espino (6); RM: Theo Bongonda (6); CM: Federico San Emeterio (5); CM: Ruben Alcaraz (6); LM: Ruben Sobrino (5); ST: Christopher Ramos (5); ST: Sergi Guardiola (5)
Substitutes: Jorge Mere (5), Roger Marti (5), Ivan Alejo (5), Alex Fernandez (5), Alvaro Negredo (5)
Real Madrid player ratings (4-3-3)
GK: Thibaut Courtois – 6/10 – Not really tested but did make the most of the chances to showcase his improved passing.
RB: Lucas Vazquez – 5/10 – May have forgotten he’s actually a winger if his attacking play is anything to go by.
CB: Eder Militao – 7/10 – Truly special passing from the back to try and force his attackers into creating something.
CB: Antonio Rudiger – 6/10 – Didn’t shy away from the chance to fight with Guardiola.
LB: Nacho Fernandez – 7/10 – With little defending to do, Nacho was challenged to get involved in attack. It wasn’t particularly convincing but his strike was pretty impressive.
DM: Aurelien Tchouameni – 7/10 – Looked a little slower than those around him but was much better after the break.
CM: Federico Valverde – 6/10 – Not his best performance but, when he did rediscover his energy, it led to a goal.
CM: Dani Ceballos – 7/10 – Enjoyed plenty of possession to try and push his side forwards.
RW: Marco Asensio – 8/10 – Put in an impressive shift on the right wing and added the finishing touch with his nice goal.
ST: Karim Benzema – 8/10 – Excellent movement and link-up play. Deserved at least two or three goals.
LW: Rodrygo – 8/10 – Left-wing Rodrygo may be a thing. Really, really impressive. No idea how he didn’t score.
Eduardo Camavinga (67′ for Vazquez) – 7/10
Luka Modric (80′ for Valverde) – N/A
Eden Hazard (80′ for Rodrygo) – N/A
Carlo Ancelotti – 8/10 – This was one of Real’s best performances in a long while. They created a multitude of chances and few could have argued if they had won this game by six or seven.
Player of the match – Rodrygo (Real Madrid)
Clicks on ADS 👇👇.