Player ratings as Los Blancos win 5th consecutive La Liga game
A header from Casemiro and a late goal from Karim Benzema kept Real Madrid on their winning streak with a 2-0 home win over Granada in La Liga, momentarily falling to a level on points with leaders Atletico Madrid.
The first chance came in 30 seconds when Raphael Varane lost possession with a sloppy pass, only for Antonio Puertas to eat his lines and fly the ball from ten yards. Half-time continued at a breathtaking pace and both sides would find themselves with chances of breaking the deadlock thanks to Benzema and Chelsea Loanee Kenedy respectively, although neither could find the clinical touch.
Neither team slowed down after the interval as Roberto Soldado – yes, that one – created a chance within 30 seconds of the restart which was ultimately wasted. The hosts regained their feet and composure afterwards and scored the opener thanks to an imposing header from Casemiro after 57 minutes.
A defensive mix gave Jorge Molina an unmatched chance to level the game with 15 minutes remaining, but the Spaniard couldn’t capitalize. The visitors saw a period of pressure in the later stages but couldn’t find the leveler before Benzema claimed all three points with a last minute goal for Los Blancos.
Okay, let’s move on to the notes.
Thibaut Courtois (GK) – 6/10 – He didn’t have much to do, but after a shaky start, the Belgian did well with the tasks given to him. He made a good save just after his team took the lead to keep the score 1-0.
Dani Carvajal (RB) – 8/10 – A strong defensive performance, making two tackles, but more impressive on offense. It was dangerous every time he made a breakthrough and made a few key passes for the players in front of him.
Raphael Varane (CB) – 5/10 – Put his colleagues in danger with a really sloppy game three times. Had to be bailed out by the experience of his center-back partner.
Sergio Ramos (CB) – 7/10 – Read the game perfectly, making three interceptions and winning four aerial duels. Was crucial to keep the sheet clean.
Ferland Mendy (LB) – 6/10 – The Frenchman was good up front and combined well with the left wingers, and regained possession twice. A no-frills display.
Federico Valverde (CM) – 6/10 – The Uruguayan didn’t have the best of games but was always ready to do some quick runs in the final third to open up room for his midfield partners. A contribution without interest, but important.
Casemiro (CM) – 9/10 – Broke play wonderfully and got his third league goal of the season with a powerful leap and a header in the second half. The Brazilian also provided the crucial block of Molina’s effort with 15 to go.
Toni Kroos (CM) – 8/10 – Another really classy outing for the German. He made 77 passes in the game and ended his night with 95% passing accuracy. He always seemed to find a precise forward ball despite being constantly pressed by his opposing numbers.
Lucas Vazquez (RW) – 7/10 – The Spaniard was a thorn in the side of Granada’s defense and found himself leading into the field from the flank on several occasions.
Karim Benzema (ST) – 8/10 – Sealed the result with the last kick of the game to score his eighth league goal of the season. Throughout the game, the Frenchman was alive and his intelligent interaction constantly created openings for his teammates.
Rodrygo (LW) – 6/10 – Was forced to leave the circuit after 37 minutes following an injury. He may have left earlier with a seemingly irritating kick to Dimitri Foulquier that went unnoticed. Overall, the 19-year-old looked very brilliant in the final third, providing three key assists in no time on the pitch.
Marco Asensio (LW) – 8/10 – Looked incredibly brilliant in the second half and was very unlucky not to score what would have been one of the goals of the season with an outrageous rear wheel, just before providing a wonderful assist for Casemiro’s goal.
Isco (RW) – 6/10 – Didn’t have much of an impact, but got an assist for Benzema.
Vinicius Junior – 6/10