Real Madrid ratings: Benzema 9, Bale 8 in easy victory over Leganes
Julen Lopetegui's side have won three games out three this season in La Liga thanks to a comprehensive second-half performance against Leganes that saw Karim Benzema net twice and Sergio Ramos score a penalty to seal the a 4-1 victory on Saturday night at the Santiago Bernabeu. Gareth Bale had given them the early lead, with a Javi Eraso penalty cancelling that out in the opening half.
Lopetegui got to play what looks like his best XI (or a variation of it, at least), with Isco remaining on the bench and coming on to impress in the second half. Bale and Benzema have had to step up in the absence of Cristiano Ronaldo, and this was the second game where both have scored.
Real Madrid need to concede fewer goals. They were dominant in the opening half before Casemiro's foul for the penalty, which gave Leganes a pep in their step. It turned what looked like a routine win into a tense and nervy affair until Benzema's brace broke the game open again. Aside from that, Real Madrid look confident with a defined style of play.
Manager rating out of 10
8 -- Lopetegui started Thibaut Courtois ahead of Keylor Navas, but it's still unclear as to what his plan is with the goalkeeping situation. Dropped Isco to the bench after a slowish start to the season and replaced Luka Modric alongside Toni Kroos and Casemiro as he continues to rotate his midfield.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Thibaut Courtois, 6 -- Made one save in the first half and dived the wrong way for the penalty. A quiet night for his debut.
DF Dani Carvajal, 7 -- Seems to be benefiting massively from Lopetegui's arrival. Another assist and another complete performance from the right-back. As Real Madrid pushed forward, there were spaces left behind with Carvajal forced to work hard to cover in behind, and he did so without fuss.
DF Sergio Ramos, 7 -- Not busy in the first half but played well going both ways. Delivered the ball onto Carvajal's head for the opening assist and was ambitious with his passing all night. Slotted home the penalty to really wrap things up at 4-1.
DF Raphael Varane, 6 -- Back in the team after the World Cup and looking off the pace against Atletico Madrid in the European Super Cup. He had a quiet first half but was good after that when Leganes started to attack more. Repelled the visitors time and time again. Almost had a goal in the second half but couldn't get anything on the cross.
DF Marcelo, 6 -- Didn't have the kind of success going forward we are used to seeing. Wasn't asked to do much in defence either but assured in most of what he did.
MF Toni Kroos, 7 -- Typically calm and composed performance from the German. Sliced a shot wide in the second half that would have been a wonderful goal.
MF Casemiro, 6 -- Clumsy tackle to give away a penalty. Defensively solid after that and has a far more defensive role under Lopetegui and rarely got forward, which should help Real Madrid's defence.
MF Luka Modric, 6 -- His first start since coming back from the World Cup and didn't have the influence we are used to seeing. Still getting up to speed but was fine in general, and it shouldn't be long before we see the old Modric back running this midfield and team.
MF Marco Asensio, 7 -- Slightly sloppy in the first half with his passing but maybe that was because he was trying to make something happen. Won a penalty in the second half and looked dangerous.
MF Gareth Bale, 8 -- That's a goal in each of Real Madrid's first three games for Bale. Real Madrid's most electric player and looks very sharp with confidence and freedom. Taken off at the end to a massive round of applause.
FW Karim Benzema, 9 -- Seemed a bit lost in the first half but was the star player in the second. Scored a lovely placed header to give Real Madrid back their lead, and his second was another nice finish beyond Ivan Cuellar.
Isco, 7 -- Replaced Modric after 62 minutes. Nearly forced an own goal with a lovely move to break free in the box. Had some nice touches in his cameo.
Dani Ceballos, NR -- Came on in the 78th minute form Asensio. Buzzing around the middle, as usual, but the game was out of sight when he came on.
Lucas Vazquez, NR -- Came on for Bale at the end of the game in the 85th minute.