Real Madrid two points from LaLiga title after Granada win
Granada vs Real Madrid: as it happened
Real Madrid are two points from the Liga title after displaying grit to carve out a 2-1 victory over Granada in Los Cármenes by surviving a second half onslaught from the home side, who saw their own European aspirations handed a blow by not picking up what would have been a deserved point.
Madrid eased into a 2-0 lead through Ferland Mendy and Karim Benzema and looked comfortable in the opening 45 minutes but the visitors spent most of the second half desperately defending as Granada pulled one back through Darwin Machís and had several good chances to level the affair.
Thibaut Courtois was denied another clean sheet but made a couple of key interventions and even when the Belgian was beaten, Sergio Ramos was on the line to clear in what could prove a pivotal moment in the title race.
Real Madrid will be crowned Liga champions if they beat Villarreal at the Alfredo di Stéfano with Leganés the final date on Zinedine Zidane's Liga calendar.
Madrid trying to keep possession in the opposition half... and the whistle goes! Zidane lets out a roar of delight as his side hang on to carve out a 2-1 victory and move a step closer to the Liga title!
Granada go long, Ramos eyes it and lets it fly over him for a goal kick.
Gil Dias finds himself unattended at the far post but can't control a header and sends it out for a goal kick.
Granada corner, Rui Silva up for it!
Courtois booked for time wasting.
Modric clips Eteki to prevent a Granada break and Rui Silva sends it long to the mass of red and white shirts. Montoro gets a head on it but it's over the bar!
Five minutes added!
Modric tries his luck from distance. He's landed those before enough times but on this occasion he doesn't bother Rui Silva.
Modric heads for the corner flag and wins his side a throw and some breathing space...
Benzema is caught offside and Granada will have another chance to get forward...
Close! Gil Dias pops up at the far post but can't steer a tricky header on target!
Madrid are in full on rearguard mode now with even Benzema rolling up his sleeves in defence. Granada have the visitors very much on the back foot! Another free for the home side...
Granada keep hammering on the door! Ramos clears off the line with Courtois beaten! That could just be worth a league title!
Ismail Koybasi is on for Machís.
Rodrygo gets in behind but Granada cover their lines and force the green shirts back to the halfway line.
It looks as though Machís will have to come off...
A full on melee ensues in the area as the ball drops to Mendy. Players are falling over each other and feet are flying in all directions. Madrid are awarded a free kick, possibly for handball, and the visitors cling on!
Antoñín wins yet another corner for Granada...
Carlos Fernández sends Sergio Ramos flying and Madrid have a chance to regroup.
We're back underway!
Another hydration break and Zidane will be glad of the chance to have a chat with his players. Granada are on top at the moment.
Double change for Granada as Herrera and Fede Vico head off for Yan Eteki and Antoñín.
The Brazilian redeems himself with a headed clearance and Machís hammers the loose ball into the upper tier. Granada knocking on the door here...
Granada free kick on the very edge of the area as Casemiro floors Duarte....
Peculiar free kick from Real, Modric forced into a retake and then simply runs out of ideas and pokes it towards Carvajal. The defender receives a return ball but can't get to it as it bounces over the byline.
Good work from Rodrygo on the left and he feeds Benzema, who looks at the floor in confusion after taking a swipe and hitting nothing but air.
Rodrygo gets to the byline and looks to cut it back across the face of goal but Granada clear.
Granada really having a go at Madrid now and Carlos Fernández fancies he can get a rise out of Varane but the Frenchman remains unruffled.
Ramos makes a vital clearance and Granada are pulled up for a foul on Casemiro. Zidane about to shuffle his deck.
Corner for Granada...
Isco! The midfielder tries his trademark curler from the left side but Rui Silva makes the save.
Close! Puertas fires in a fine cross and Machís meets it first time but blasts just wide of the upright.
Ouch! Carvajal screams in Agony as Gil Dias slides his studs down the defender's calf.
The home side are really growing into the game now and pushing for an equaliser. Montoro almost bursts through but it pulled up for offside.
Midfielder Azeez slots in at right back and Granada now have two full-time defenders on the pitch!
Foulquier is off with what looks like a muscle problem and Ángel Montoro replaces him.
And the home side almost fnd another way through from a free kick but Puertas, the substitute, blasts over from close range.
And that's got their tails up! Granada come forward again and Ramos is forced to clear in extremis.
Gooooooooooooool! Granada! Casemiro is dispossessed and Granada break five on four. A lovely ball into Machís is belted through Courtois' legs at his near post and the home side are back in this!
We're back underway and Domingos Duarte is straight into the book for clattering into Modric.
Víctor Díaz has been sacrificed for Antonio Puertas to come on. That's a forward for a defender with Martínez switching to three at the back. Attacking stuff!
Martínez may decide to roll the dice in the second half and send on Roberto Soldado to bolster the attack. The former Madrid striker is an old-school target man and could get on the end of some of the free-kicks and corners the home side have been generating.
We have to admit that Madrid look good in Zidane's 4-5-1 formation. It's probably been the best 45 minutes they've put in since the Liga restart and it's allowed them to exercise plenty of control in midfield with Modric at the top, Isco between the lines, Valverde roving forwards and Casemiro-Kroos anchoring the set-up.
Over 70 percent of the ball for the visitors in the opening 45 minutes.
And that's the half! Real Madrid in control for the most part but Granada have shown they can cause problems.
Benzema clears for a Granada corner and much to the chagrin of the home side the ref blows for half time before Martínez's side are able to take it.
Another free for the home side as Sergio Ramos and Carlos Fernández square up.
It's blasted into the box and cleared just as emphatically. Granada's traditional armoury failing to make a dent so far this evening.
Free kick to Granada on the right as Ramos trips Vico.
Corner for Madrid. Kroos sends it long and Granada clear as Casemiro gets pulled up for impeding Foulquier.
Bale watching the action from the stands. (EFE/JuanJo Martín)
Benzema! With little else on, the Frenchman lets fly and draws a fine save from Rui Silva.
It's a decent delivery from Machís but Sergio Ramos is under it and clears the danger.
Corner for Granada. They tend to score a few from set pieces...
With Mendy finding the net this evening, only Éder Militão among Madrid's entire first team squad is yet to score this season.
Free kick to Real Madrid as Casemiro is bundled over in the middle of the park.
Courtois forced into a save as a venemous shot from Domingos Duarte is sent his way. The Belgian deals with it well.
Granada with a decent spell on the ball and they earn a free kick after Valverde nicks Víctor Díaz's heels.
We're back underway. Real win a free kick as Machís stamps on Dani Carvajal's foot.
Hydration break in Los Cármenes. It's a warm one down south, about 28º still in Granada.
Granada come forward again and Machís punches in a decent cross. It's too close to Courtois though and the Belgian plucks it from the sky.
Yangel Herrera, the young Manchester City loanee, does well to slip the ball through to Carlos Fernández but Courtois mops up.
Benzema and Isco combine beautifully in the area but the midfielder is offside by a whisker.
Madrid are knocking the ball about with aplomb now, Granada mostly chasing shadows.
Benzema has now found the net against Granada in 10 consecutive games.
Courtois! The Belgian wallops a ball that bound for Carlos Fernández's head almost to the halfway line. No messing there from the Madrid stopper.
It's worth noting at this stage that Granada have scored at least twice in their last three games... Madrid are certainly comfortable but not home and dry yet.
Mendy finds his way into the book for a clumsy challenge.
Gooooooooooooool! Benzema strikes again! The Frenchman finishes a flowing move by selling Víctor Díaz a dummy and hammering a shot past Rui Silva.
A chance goes begging for the hosts as Machís dithers and allows Casemiro to nick the ball on the edge of the area.
Granada fasion a chance from a free-kick and Herrera meets it but can't guide his effort on target.
Madrid have gone ahead 23 times now this season and won 21 of those games when they have taken the lead. Only one draw spoils that rather impressive record and Granada are up against it now.
Gooooooooooooool! Mendy! The left back decides to go it alone and sneaks between two Granada defenders then beats Rui Silva at his near post with an absolute screamer!
Ramos goes flying into a challenge in the area and manages to ensure a goal kick rather than a corner.
Granada get the ball into the opposition half and Varane makes a vital block from Machís' cross.
Isco! The midfielder has a crack from the edge of the area and Rui Silva is forced into a sprawling save.
Madrid with all of the ball at the moment, Granada dropping deep... only Carlos Fernández is relieved of defensive duties when the visitors are in possession.
Karim Benzema grimaces after a challenge. He's been carrying a hamstring issue the past couple of days.
Madrid have opted for the green away strip this evening... Granada in their traditional red.
Madrid are on a run of eight consecutive Liga wins and will hope to take one more step towards regaining the Liga title this evening.
The home side ensured their Primera status some time ago so could decide to have a proper swing at Madrid here. Martínez's side know where the onion bag is, having failed to score just 10 times this season and are fairly solid at the back, conceding 42 so far this season, fewer than Valencia, Real Sociedad and Villarreal.
Granada are without a win in their last three games at the Nuevo Los Cármenes but they did have a fine run earlier in the season, seeing off Barcelona 2-0 before beating Osasuna, Leganés and Betis in successive home fixtures.
Real Madrid's next opponents, Villarreal, have just lost 1-2 against Real Sociedad meaning that next year's Champions League places are now confirmed: Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atlético and Sevilla.
There was another landmark for Zidane in his side's last outing against Alavés as the Frenchman reached 500 goals as Madrid manager.
And here's Madrid's XI. Benzema starts but Hazard has to make do with a place on the bench where he will be joined again by Gareth Bale. Fede Valverde and Isco start for the visitors.
Here's Granada's starting XI, with Martínez opting for Darwin Machís in attack. The Venezuelan striker will be supported by Carlos Fernández.
You can read here what Zidane had to say in his pre-match press conference.
Granada haven't beaten Madrid since 2013, with Real winning every one of their last nine meetings. Barcelona will be hoping that the home side can turn that record around this evening. Martínez admitted that his side will have to play a "perfect" game to beat Zidane's side.
Zidane's side meanwhile have been grinding out wins rather than dazzling in recent weeks. They have been a lot of clean sheets though.
Martínez's side come into the game in some decent form, winning two of their last three and putting three past Real Sociedad on their last outing.
Here's how the table looks going into tonight's game.
Madrid are a little light in defence this evening with Marcelo out injured, hence senior call-ups for Castilla youngsters Javi Hernández and Miguel Gutiérrez.
And here's Diego Martínez's squad to face Madrid. Jesús Vallejo misses out due to injury so won't be able to face his parent club but another former Madrid player, Roberto Soldado, will be looking to make his mark.
Here's Zidane's squad for tonight's game. There are some question marks over Karim Benzema's involvement with the Frenchman suffering from a hamstring niggle but Zidane has plenty of options in attack even in the absence of back-up strikers Mariano and Luka Jovic.
For a little more information on who both sides have yet to play, their opponents' form and head-to-head records, you can consult our quick guide to the Liga title race run-in.
Zinedine Zidane's side are on the verge of sealing the Liga title with three games left to play. Los Blancos hold a one-point advantage over Barcelona going into tonight's game and can extend that to four with victory in Granada with Barça having only two fixtures remaining.
Hello and welcome to AS English's live coverage of the match between Granada and Real Madrid at the Estadio Nuevo Los Cármenes.