Real Madrid player ratings in 2-0 LaLiga win over Granada
Goals by Casemiro and Karim Benzema gave Real Madrid a 2-0 victory over Granada on Wednesday - Los Blancos' sixth straight win in all competitions.
Courtois began the game in a bit of a doze, one poorly-executed early dash from goal almost ending in tears. However, it seemed to serve as a warning to the Belgian, who upped his concentration levels and in the second half pulled off a good stop to deny Antonio Puertas just after Casemiro had given Real Madrid the lead.
Like so many of his team-mates, the accumulated minutes in his legs are starting to show. Nevertheless, he offered quite a bit in attack, producing some interesting forward forays - such as a diagonal burst towards the box that ended with an outside-of-the-boot effort with his right, which was reminiscent of his goal in the 2016 UEFA Super Cup.
A sloppy display from Varane, whose concession of possession in the very first minute somehow did not lead to Puertas scoring the opener for Granada. That was far from his only misplaced pass of the night, although he was altogether more assured in his defensive duties. Had one headed attempt on goal, but directed his effort too close to Granada keeper Rui Silva.
A better display than Varane’s, albeit nothing to write home about. Both clearly need a week without games to recharge their batteries. The Christmas break will do both of them the world of good.
Good in defence, as he always is; but anonymous in attack, where his technical shortcomings were all to evident when the ball was being pinged about in tight spaces. He was as dependably solid as ever at the back, though - something Real Madrid had been really needing.
A decent display defensively, but less so in terms of his distribution. That said, he made up for that by giving Real Madrid the lead with a firm header, making the most of Marco Asensio’s measured cross. Silva had no chance of saving it.
An up-and-down evening for Valverde, whose circulation left a little to be desired but who showed his powerful running ability on the break when Granada pushed for a goal. He could have scored Madrid’s first from Asensio’s pass, but was unable to beat Silva. It wasn’t a sparkling performance, but his influence on the team was appreciable nonetheless. Was substituted with just over 10 minutes to go, Isco replacing him.
Kroos is short on gas and that’s noticeable. He slowed things down too much when Madrid were in possession, allowing Granada - a highly disciplined defensive unit anyway - too much time to get themselves set. Another player for whom the festive break comes at the perfect time. His powerful shot from the edge of the area almost ended in a fine goal much like his strike against Athletic Club.
His least impressive performance of the last two months. In attack, he lacked the necessary spark to go by players or offer solutions, but he did compensate for that with the characteristic tenacity of his defensive efforts. Tried his luck with a shot from the edge of the area, but was unsuccessful. Replaced by Vinicius with a little over 10 minutes remaining.
Benzema struggled to spark amid Madrid’s generally unremarkable display, but when he got going in the second half we saw the Frenchman’s best moments of the game, as he provided an attacking outlet for the hosts’ quick breaks, linking the midfield with the attack. He let fly in the first half with his left, in what was his most notable moment in front of goal until time added on, when he doubled Madrid’s lead with his left after a fine individual bit of play. Another goal for his tally; he can’t stop scoring.
Bad luck for the Brazilian, who pulled up with a muscle injury as he ran with the ball in the final stages of the first half, and had to be stretchered off. He was gaining in influence in the team and showing just how well he combines with Benzema; significantly better than Vinicius. It’s a shame. He had a shooting chance early in the match, sending an effort on goal that was too central. He was substituted for Asensio in the 37th minute.
He initially did little to make his presence felt after coming on for Rodrygo late in the first half, before exploding into life 10 minutes into the second 45. First, his volleyed backflick from Kroos’ pass hit the post; had it gone in, it would have been a goal-of-the-season contender. The near-miss inspired him, however, as he immediately set Valverde up for a gilt-edged chance, then crossed for Casemiro to head in Madrid’s first goal. A performance to build on for Asensio.
Came on for Valverde with just over 10 minutes remaining.
Brought on for Lucas Vázquez at the same time as Isco, occupying the left wing as Asensio shifted over to the right for the final stages of the game.
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