Santi Solari rated for the narrow Rayo win as results continue to go his way
ESPN FC writer Dermot Corrigan looks at how Real Madrid coach's decisions have played out in the Los Blancos' last Bernabeu clash of the turbulent 2018 year.
Benzema's early effort was sufficient enough for the three crucial points versus struggling Rayo, with Madrid being atrociously barren up front, having just four shots on target all game, while Blancos keeper Thibaut Courtois succeeded in making a double save in added time to ensure the hard-fought victory for Real Madrid.
Both Marcelo and Asensio struggled on the left albeit for the different reasons. The left-back seems to be yet to reach his best fitness level after an injury-ridden first half of the season, while Asensio is pretty low on confidence and, as some suggest, just generally not suited to play on the left.
"Results continue to be much better than performances under Santi Solari, with no real evidence that the team's style of play is evolving under his guidance. Showed his stubborn streak by again keeping local media darling Isco on the bench for the whole 90 minutes. Will point to the three points and another clean sheet as evidence he is getting the job done."
ESPN's rating: 6 out of 10
Solari himself, meanwhile, appears to be unfazed by critical - and sometimes even hostile - attitude of the fans as long as results are going Real Madrid's way:
"I am very satisfied," Solari said. "We played a very good first half, moved the ball well and created many chances. We should have had a bigger lead at the break.
"But football is like that, if you are not decisive, then you can suffer at the end. It is normal that this happens. If we had scored a second it would have been very different."
How would you rate the Real Madrid boss for the clash against Rayo?