Real Madrid player ratings Karim Benzema brace earns him a 9 in 4-1 win over Leganes

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A Karim Benzema brace led Real Madrid to a comfortable 4-1 La Liga victory at home to Leganes.

Gareth Bale opened the scoring from Dani Carvajal’s knock down in the 17th minute but the away side drew level from the spot seven minutes later following a foul from Casemiro.

Benzema then scored twice in 13 minutes during the second period to put the hosts in charge before Sergio Ramos added a fourth in the 66th minute after Marco Asensio was felled.

Here, we rate Madrid’s players.

STARTING XI

Thibaut Courtois – Was put into the spotlight with the penalty but went the wrong way. Otherwise was solid whenever called upon. 6

Dani Carvajal – Another good performance as he marauded down the right flank set up Bale for the opener. 8

Raphael Varane – Assured display at the back, never look troubled and was commanding in the air. 6

Sergio Ramos – He’s gained more of a leading role since Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure and he’s loving it. Good distribution and flawless from the spot. 8

Marcelo – Was outshone by Carvajal in attack but still created a couple of half chances. 6

Luka Modric – Fresh from winning UEFA Player of the Year, he wasn’t at his influential best but set up Benzema for his second. 7

Casemiro – Tracked back well and won a lot of headers. Clumsy challenge in the box conceded a penalty though. 5

Toni Kroos – Tidy with his passing as ever and even had a couple of shots at goal. 7

Gareth Bale – Seven goals in his last seven La Liga appearances. Always a threat. Bale is living up to his billing this season. 8

Karim Benzema – Growing in confidence. Showed good strength for his headed goal while his second came from a superb exchange with Modric. 9

Marco Asensio – Bagged an assist with an excellent delivery for Benzema and threatened the goal a few times himself. Was Madrid’s most creative player and won the penalty as well. 8

SUBS

Isco – Bit of swagger about him. A 360-degree turn inside the box was something his former coach Zinedine Zidane would’ve been proud of. 6

Dani Ceballos – Fortunate not to be booked after catching Juanfran with a high boot. N/A

Lucas Vazquez – Replaced Bale with only three minutes to go. N/A

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Live Real Madrid Blog: Thibaut Courtois makes starting XI against Leganes

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Hello one and all – welcome to our Real Madrid blog, where you’ll be updated with all the latest rumblings from the Bernabeu as Los Blancos get set to take on Leganes tonight (UAE: 22:45).

Make sure to keep checking back in with us throughout the day. Let’s get started …

21:55 – Thibaut Courtois makes starting XI against Leganes

Courtois is set to make his La Liga debut for Madrid.

He starts between the sticks while Keylor Navas drops to the bench.

20:25 – Mariano unfazed by taking on Cristiano Ronaldo’s No7 shirt

The 25-year-old has taken on the iconic number seven shirt last worn by Cristiano Ronaldo who left for Juventus in the summer.

In this video, he reacts to taking on the jersey.

Back at home: Mariano Diaz.

Back at home: Mariano Diaz.

17:45 – Ronaldo agrees deal to buy Valladolid

According to reports, Real Madrid and Brazil legend Ronaldo has reached a deal to buy 51 per cent of La Liga club Real Valladolid.

El Norte de Castilla, a regional daily based in Valladolid has made the claim, citing “sources close to the operation.”

Ronaldo has reportedly paid €30 million with the deal set to be done next week.

Read more here.

Brazil legend Ronaldo

Brazil legend Ronaldo

13:50 – Thibaut Courtois in line for Real Madrid debut

ThibautCourtoisRealMadrid (1)

Former Chelsea keeper has had to bide his time behind Keylor Navas at the Bernabeu but the waiting is over, according to reports.

12:00 – One striker in, one striker out as Borja Mayoral joins Levante

Borja Mayoral

There was no space for Borja Mayoral in Julen Lopetegui’s squad after Mariano made his return from Lyon.

However, the 21-year-old believes there is still a future for him at the club when he completes his season-long loan at Levante – read his thoughts here.

11:00 – Mariano Diaz a curious fit and Isco needs to show form

Mariano-Diaz-Real-Madrid

Chris Bailey has written a rundown on some of the key storylines ahead of Real’s clash with Leganes – including whether Mariano Diaz, the new No7 in the post-Cristiano Ronaldo era, is the right fit.

There’s also reason to believe Isco needs a big display – read more here.

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Watch: Real Madrid signing Mariano Diaz unfazed by taking on Cristiano Ronaldo's No7 shirt

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Back at home: Mariano Diaz.

Real Madrid completed the signing of Mariano Diaz from Lyon this week.

Just 14 months after being sold by the club to the French outfit, the striker has returned.

The 25-year-old has taken on the iconic number seven shirt last worn by Cristiano Ronaldo who left for Juventus in the summer.

In the video below, he reacts to taking on the jersey.

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