Real Madrid: Ramos rues second-half display against Granada
Sergio Ramos was not impressed by Real Madrid's second half against Granada, despite the win putting them on the brink of clinching the league title.
Real Madrid must not repeat their second-half performance in their 1-2 win over Granada if they are to clinch the title, Sergio Ramos warned after the game. Madrid raced into a two-goal lead on Monday, Ferland Mendy scoring a wonderfully-taken debut goal for the club from a tight angle before Karim Benzema curled home a fine finish.
Granada come close to levelling
Granada boss Diego Martínez tinkered with his tactics and Darwin Machis pulled one back for the hosts early in the second half. Antonín had a volley kept out by Thibaut Courtois and Ramón Azeez had a shot cleared off the line by Ramos in the closing stages, with Madrid clinging on for a result that puts them one win away from being crowned champions in Spain.
Madrid will be crowned champions if they beat Villarreal at home on Thursday, but Ramos warned his team-mates they must improve. "We let our guard down a little bit in the second half when we saw it was 2-0," Ramos told Movistar. "Instead of going to kill the game and looking for the third, we relaxed. These things cannot happen because anyone can beat you if you don't keep the intensity. We've got to concentrate for 90 minutes. We won the first half but lost the second – maybe that's something to reflect on for the future. We let a goal in after a few games without doing so. It's a good victory for our spirits but it comes with a bad feeling after a bad second half. Every team falls into this error sometimes, not only Real Madrid, but we have to make sure we don't repeat it. It's inevitable, but we got the three points in the end. We've got to keep the same rhythm for 90 minutes. We can't let our guard down."
34º - @realmadriden will claim LaLiga Champions for the 34th time if they win vs Villarreal at Alfredo di Stéfano the next Thursday (16th July), the latest LaLiga title for any team ever. Opportunity#GranadaRealMadrid pic.twitter.com/9VFAv0Ibbg— OptaJose (@OptaJose) July 13, 2020
Madrid were two points behind Barcelona when LaLiga was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, yet they are now four clear of their rivals with two games remaining.
"We can't relax. We're a bit closer. We've got to keep our desire to win the league. We're close but we'll carry on," Ramos continued. "There are still points to play for and we depend on ourselves. The objective from the beginning after the break was to win every game and we are going to try. The team deserves a lot of merit for being up there and keeping these results going. It would mean a lot to be champions. It's a reward for consistency of a whole year. Maybe we had a point of reflection during the break, that we had to come back and react. We prepared very well, we all worked hard at home. Hopefully on Thursday we can celebrate it."
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