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Real Madrid 4-2 Granada: 5 Talking Points and Tactical Analysis | La Liga 2019/20

SENIOR ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
05 Oct 2019, 22:33 IST

James Rodriguez finished off the game in stoppage time
James Rodriguez finished off the game in stoppage time

Real Madrid scraped past Granada 4-2 in an entertaining encounter at the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday. The hosts started the better of the two sides and surged ahead in the 2nd minute when Karim Benzema tapped home Gareth Bale’s cross.

Madrid kept applying the pressure and breached the Granada defence moments before half-time when Eden Hazard bagged his first La Liga goal of the season.

After the break, Luka Modric rocketed a shot from 30 yards to hand the hosts a comfortable lead. However, Granada struck back with a couple of goals in quick succession to ensure a nervy finish at the Bernabeu.

Darwin Machis converted a penalty nine minutes after the hour mark while Domingos Duarte got on the end of a corner in the 78th minute.

Yet, it was Madrid who had the final say as James Rodriguez made the net bulge off a brisk counter-attack, thereby ensuring that the Los Blancos solidified their position at the top of the table.

Here is a look at the talking points from the game:.


#5 Real Madrid batter Granada in the first half

Bale (L) set up Benzema
Bale (L) set up Benzema's goal

A few days ago, Real Madrid turned in a woeful first half performance against Club Brugge, which saw the Los Blancos ship two goals. Though they managed to salvage a point out of that game, many were left wondering if the early season crisis had really been averted.

On Saturday though, the hosts turned the screw from the outset and put the visitors to the sword. The Los Blancos’ approach play looked a lot slicker and they were first to every loose ball.

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Within a couple of minutes, Madrid found themselves ahead when Alvaro Odriozola darted down the right flank. He found Gareth Bale on the wing, who curled in a sumptuous cross off the outside of his boot, in the process, finding the unmarked Benzema at the far post. The Frenchman did the rest to hand the home side the early advantage.

Thereafter, the Los Blancos created a host of chances with Dani Carvajal coming extremely close to doubling the lead. Madrid were rewarded for their dominance in first half stoppage time when another brilliant through-ball by Federico Valverde set Hazard free. The Belgian gathered the ball in his stride and calmly dinked it over the onrushing keeper.

Apart from the goals though, the hosts found a cure to most of the ailments that had plagued them in the opening period against Brugge. Firstly, they looked a lot more composed on the ball, they switched the play around with purpose and more importantly, found a cutting edge in the final third when it mattered.

Over the past few weeks, the Los Blancos have flickered into life whereas they’ve also contrived to pull out dreary displays. And, while the latter came to the fore in mid-week, they ensured that the former reigned supreme under the Madrid sun in the opening 45 minutes. 

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