Zinedine Zidane’s injury-ravaged squad were dealt a further blow prior to kick off with an injury to star striker Karim Benzema, yet the capital side did just enough to claim a third, consecutive win in the Spanish top flight to keep their title hopes alive.
So who were the standout performers on the night in Spain?
✔️ GOOD PERFORMANCE
Thibaut Courtois: 7.8
With a number of key defenders missing, Madrid were by no means their usual strong and sturdy selves and as a result Zidane’s team were once again left to rely upon the fortitude of Thibaut Courtois between the posts.
Despite being the overwhelming favourites for the tie, Madrid still had to fight off a number of chances from Valladolid and over the course of the game Courtois made five saves, in contrast to the one Jordi Masip made in the opposing goals.
Indeed, Courtois looked his very best just seven minutes into the game when he was forced into making a sensational save from Saidy Janjo or 23 minutes later when a header from Kike was met by some oustanding reflexes from the Madrid keeper.
❌ BAD PERFORMANCE
Mariano Diaz: 5.7
With Benzema out injured, Zidane was forced to turn to back-up striker Mariano Díaz to play up front for Madrid and undoubtedly hoped the 27-year-old striker would grab the opportunity with both hands and make the most of it. Unfortunately he did nothing of the sort.
Not only did Mariano have one goal correctly ruled offside in the 23rd minute but he also had a second also correctly ruled offside just eight minutes later as two quick-fire examples of how the Dominican Republic international simply wasn’t up to the pace of the game and offered very little up front.
⭐ STAR MAN
Toni Kroos: 8.4
Despite having so many players out injured, Zidane would have undoubtedly been counting his blessings when he watched Toni Kroos calling the shots and pulling the strings for his side in the centre of his team.
Amidst a disjointed team performance, the German midfielder still oozed confidence and technique throughout the match and provided the all-important breakthrough shortly after the hour mark with a wonderful, lofted cross deep into the box to find the head of Casemiro to head into the back of the net.