Real Madrid 2-0 Granada: results, summary and goals
Real Madrid 2-0 Granada: LaLiga as it happened
Real Madrid 2-0 Granada - AS journalist Manu de Juan's player ratings:
Peeep peep peeeep!
Real Madrid have their sixth win in a row, but the scoreline would suggest it was a much comfier evening for the hosts than it actually was. Had Antonio Puertas taken that golden first-minute opportunity for Granada, indeed, who knows how tonight might have ended up.
As it is, however, the Andalusians competed throughout and would have been worth a point had they got it, but have come away empty-handed.
That said, Madrid's two second-half goals do reflect what was a more incisive attacking display from Zinedine Zidane's men after the break.
It's a win that moves Los Blancos level on points with Atlético Madrid at the top of LaLiga, albeit their city rivals have two games in hand. Meanwhile, Granada stay seventh for the moment, but will be overtaken by Cádiz if the Submarino Amarillo beat Real Betis tonight.
That's all from me - thanks for reading and Merry Christmas!
Goal! Real Madrid seal the points in time added on once again! Benzema with it.
With Granada pouring forward in search of an equaliser, Madrid win it back and break, playing it to the Frenchman on the right. He cuts inside and, from the top of the box, fires in low into Silva's left-hand corner.
Just as they did against Athletic Club and Eibar, Madrid have doubled their lead right at the death to make sure of the win.
Asensio leads a Real Madrid break down the right, before cutting inside and playing it to Isco, who's arriving at pace (for Isco, at least). He takes one touch just inside the area before firing towards goal, but Quini is there in the nick of time.
A minutes later, Asensio shoots over from range.
Four minutes of time added.
Milla clips his delivery into the danger area, but Germán heads over. It would be hard to begrudge Granada a point tonight, but time is running out for them.
Quini crosses from the right onto the head of Herrera, who sends his effort well off target.
Moments later, Isco is penalised for cutting out a Granada cross with his arm, and the visitors have another opportunity to swing one into the mixer.
Asensio pulls it down nicely and wins a free-kick of Milla. He's looked decent tonight, has Asensio; he's been influential since coming off the bench. And if that backheel just before the Madrid goal had been two inches to the right...
Granada make their fifth and final change, withdrawing Vallejo for fellow centre-back Germán Sánchez.
Carvajal catches Neva late on the left-flank and goes into the book for his sins. It's a decent chance for the visitors to send a free-kick into the box... but the delivery is overhit and Jesús Vallejo can't quite get on the end of it at the back post.
Rodrygo to undergo tests in 48 to 72 hours
Here's the moment when Rodrygo Goes suffered his hamstring injury as a he sought to escape the attentions of Granada's Dimitri Foulquier. The Real Madrid youngster is to have tests on the problem in 48 to 72 hours.
(Photo: EFE/JuanJo Martín)
Real Madrid make a twin sub, bringing on Vinicius and the lesser-spotted Isco for Lucas Vázquez and Federico Valverde.
Varane and Casemiro get in a muddle inside their own box. Both leave it to the other to clear, and they only succeed in allowing Jorge Molina a chance to shoot, which is blocked.
The ball then falls to Neva, who also sees his effort deflected away from goal.
There's a short break as VAR check whether there's a penalty for a Casemiro handball when he blocked that Molina shot, but finally the verdict is: no spot-kick.
Granada make another double substitution, Quini and Jorge Molina replacing Foulquier and Soldado.
Asensio plays its square to Lucas Vázquez, who gets it out of his feet on the edge of the box and lets fly - but sends his effort just over.
"Real Madrid are playing with much more fluidity now," notes former Madrid player, coach and sporting director Jorge Valdano on Spanish TV.
Casemiro Real Madrid's second-top scorer
Football stats guru Mister Chip points out that Real Madrid's anchorman is now the side's second-highest goalscorer this season. Casemiro's header has taken him to four goals in all competitions, leaving him behind only Karim Benzema, who has 11.
Varane heads a corner straight at Rui Silva.
Granada make a double change, Eteki and Kenedy making way for Luis Suárez and Alberto Soro.
Soro joined Granada from Real Madrid in the summer, having not made a single appearance for Los Blancos. After moving to the Bernabéu from Real Zaragoza in 2019, he spent the following season back on loan at the Romareda before his switch to Andalusia.
It's all happening right now! Puertas is not far away at all from levelling right away when he cuts inside from the right, drives into the box and shoots low. However, Courtois gets down quickly to save!
Real Madrid do have the opener now, though! Casemiro heads home!
Fresh from almost scoring an absolute worldie with that backheel, Asensio gets to the left-hand byline and dinks a lovely cross over into the six-yard box, where Casemiro nods in!
My word. In 30 seconds, Real Madrid create more chances than they have in the rest of the match.
First, Asensio produces a lovely backflick that has Silva beaten, but rebounds off the post. Back come the hosts, though, Kroos and Valverde both forcing fantastic stops from Silva, before the ball falls to Benzema. However, he fires his volley over from 12 yards!
Any one of those could have been the opener.
Kenedy tries a backheel deep in his half that is cut out by Carvajal, who advances towards the box and shoots, but sees his effort deflected wide. On the touchline, Diego Martínez looks none too impressed with the Brazilian's attempted trickery.
Vázquez scuttles in from the right and clips over a left-footed cross to... nobody. It sails past Silva's far post and out for a Granada goal-kick.
Kroos pumps a crossfield pass over Vázquez's head and out of play. Granada are making it very difficult for Real Madrid to create in attack. It's not hard to see why they're on a run of clean sheets on tonight's evidence.
Again Granada create a shooting chance within 30 seconds of the whistle, Soldado pulling it back from the byline for Neva, who's arriving at pace but fires his effort from the edge of the box well over.
Peeep! We're back underway in Madrid.
No half-time changes for either side.
Peeep peeep peeep! It's goalless at the break, after a first half whose best chance by a mile came after 30 seconds.
That golden opportunity went to Granada - Antonio Puertas blazing horribly high - while for Real Madrid it's been half chances at best.
Granada are well worthy of being on terms at the break.
Duarte is there again to cut the ball out when Asensio turns the ball dangerously across the face of goal... and that will be that for the first 45!
Three minutes of time added on at the Di Stéfano.
Benzema fires low at goal, but it's blocked by Duarte.
Eteki is brought down by Casemiro, giving Granada a chance to swing a set piece into the box from the left.
Milla takes... and Puertas again makes a mess of it! He was well offside, though, so it wouldn't have counted. Milla's lovely ball is straight onto the head of Vallejo, who should have gone for goal but instead nods it to Puertas, who is in acres of space but treads in the ball instead of shooting and, as I say, was off anyway.
Vallejo shouldn't have been so unselfish. He was well placed to test Courtois.
There's a quick VAR check for a potential penalty after a tangle between Casemiro and Duarte, but nothing is given.
Vázquez cross from the right for Asensio, whose backheel momentarily appears to have set up Valverde for a chance, but the Uruguayan is flagged offside.
Asensio is on for Rodrygo, who looks to be in a lot of pain as he is carried off. More than your bog-standard grade-one strain, by the looks of things.
Oh dear. Rodrygo is down and furiously making the bring-me-off-I'm-injured hand signal.
Real Madrid break, Mendy feeding the winger to run at Foulquier. The Granada defender appears to bring the Brazilian down just outside of the box - and he clutches the back of his thigh immediately.
He's going to have to be stretchered off. Marco Asensio is preparing to replace him.
This isn't free-flowing stuff. "It's all very structured," is our Spanish commentary team's roundabout way of saying there isn't an awful lot happening right now.
Foulquier is booked for catching Rodrygo with a flailing arm, and Real Madrid have a chance to swing in a free-kick from the left.
The delivery is cleared only as far as Carvajal, whose volley is turned behind by Puertas. From the resulting corner, Varane heads over.
Granada go up the other and and win a corner of their own, but make as little use of it as their hosts a moment earlier. Courtois punches clear with ease.
Puertas' first-minute chance remains far and away the closest we've come to a goal so far - at least in terms of the quality of the opportunity. We've seen other shots get nearer since then, but that's only because Puertas' finish was so utterly, utterly dreadful.
Vázquez gets to the byline and takes on Neva, who concedes a corner despite his appeals that he was fouled. The corner comes to zip, though.
Varane again lays a counter-attacking chance on a plate for Granada by giving it away cheaply. Again it's Kenedy who cuts out the Frenchman's pass, before skipping forward and feeding Soldado, who plays it on to Puertas to shoot - but Sergio Ramos throws himself at the effort and blocks.
Lucas Vázquez picks up the night's first yellow card after flying in late on Luis Milla.
Ufff! Kroos almost marks his milestone appearance with a goal, pinging a first-time shot from the edge of the box that flashes just wide of Silva's near post.
Kroos makes landmark appearance
Tonight's game is Toni Kroos' 200th LaLiga appearance for Real Madrid - and he is just a few games short of Uli Stielike's German record of 212 league matches for Los Blancos.
Vázquez crosses from the right towards Rodrygo, but Foulquier is quickly across to head away.
Granada haven't conceded in any of their last four games, by the way.
Up the other end, again Real Madrid are at sixes and sevens to give Granada a chance - but again they survive.
Thibaut Courtois makes quite a hash of coming out to claim a dipping ball towards the edge of the Madrid box, and succeeds only in palming it straight to Kenedy.
The Brazilian shows quick feat to turn away from Vázquez and into space to shoot... but then scuffs his effort right down Courtois' gullet.
Benzema cuts inside from the left and dances in between a pair of red shirts before feeding the ball to Rodyrgo Goes in shooting space just inside the box.
The Brazilian's effort is tame, though. It trundles straight into Silva's arms.
Now it's Real Madrid's turn to go close. Karim Benzema twists and turns Jesús Vallejo in the box before fizzing a shot towards Rui Silva's near post, but it's just wide and into the side-netting.
Lively start to the game.
Oh. My. Word. What a miss! Antonio Puertas has a gilt-edged opportunity to give Granada an early lead, and skies it!
Raphaël Varane has his pass out from the back charged down by Kenedy, and suddenly Roberto Soldado is haring towards the Real Madrid box.
He slips the ball square to Puertas, who is arriving in the area in acres - and I mean acres - of space, but he balloons his effort from 12 yards!
Deary me. He has to score.
Peeep! We're underway at the Di Stéfano!
Real Madrid vs Granada: how and where to watch
If you're wondering how to tune in to tonight's game on the box, this guide that we've prepared may be of use to you:
What the coaches said: Zinedine Zidane, Real Madrid
On Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman’s remarks that "nine out of 10 people" would disagree with the decision not to award a penalty against Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos for an apparent handball in Sunday’s win over Eibar:
"It annoys me because I never get involved with the referees. They are part of the game and make good calls or bad ones - like the players, like everyone in life. They are only trying to do their job - a very difficult job. What Koeman said I'm not going to get into that. We have an important game tomorrow [against Granada], a very demanding game, and that's the only thing we're thinking about."
On Iker Casillas’ return to Real Madrid in a senior role in the club's foundation:
"We know the person Iker is, we know what he has done, we know what he means for being a Madridista. I think it's good news for everyone. It's his club, the club that's in his heart, and he's going to work and going to continue to do what he knows. I'm very happy for him and for the club. I think it's very good news indeed."
(Photo: REUTERS/Sergio Perez)
What the coaches said: Diego Martínez, Granada
Approach to facing Real Madrid:
"The most important thing is that we play with personality and are bold, and that we take our chances. Madrid are one of the best sides in the world and they’re in great form, but that doesn’t take anything away from the fact that the most important thing we can do is give our all, play to our best and go out there and execute our game plan with personality."
Cádiz and Alavés’ wins at the Di Stéfano:
"Real Madrid beat an Atlético Madrid side who were on fire here, and did so deservedly, having put in a fantastic performance. If times like this one have a good day, it’s very difficult to stop them. We’ll do everything we can to minimise the differences between us through the 90 minutes and remain true to our values."
(Photo: Parker/Diario AS)
Valverde in for Modric, Hazard back on the bench
Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane makes just the one change to the side that began the 3-1 win at Eibar last time out, replacing the injured Luka Modric with Federico Valverde in the hosts' midfield.
Record signing Eden Hazard is back on the bench for Los Blancos, having overcome a hamstring problem that has kept him out since late last month.
For Granada, Jesús Vallejo, Kenedy, Yan Brice Eteki and Antonio Puertas all come into Diego Martínez's side, in place of Germán Sánchez, the suspended Maxime Gonalons, the injured Darwin Machís and pre-match doubt Luis Suárez.
Vallejo is in his second season on loan at Granada from Real Madrid.
(Photo: Diario AS)
Granada team news
Starting line-up: Rui Silva, Foulquier, Vallejo, Duarte, Neva, Herrera, Eteki, Milla, Kenedy, Puertas, Soldado
Substitutes: Aarón, Joao, Nehuén, Germán, Suárez, Azeez, Quini, Molina, Soro, Pepe
Real Madrid team news
Starting line-up: Courtois, Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Mendy, Valverde, Casemiro, Kroos, Lucas Vázquez, Benzema, Rodrygo
Substitutes: Lunin, Militao, Nacho, Hazard, Asensio, Marcelo, Jovic, Odriozola, Vinicius, Odegaard, Isco, Mariano
Granada five games unbeaten
Meanwhile, visitors Granada aren’t on too shabby a run of form, either, having gone five games in all competitions without defeat - a sequence that includes three wins from the last three.
Altogether less encouraging for the seventh-placed Andalusians, however, is the fact that they have lost their last 10 meetings with Real Madrid, with an aggregate score of 34-5.
Real Madrid vs Granada: welcome!
Good evening! Welcome to our live coverage of Real Madrid’s LaLiga matchday-15 clash with Granada, in which Zinedine Zidane’s men are going for their sixth straight win in all competitions.
After consecutive defeats to Alavés and Shakhtar Donetsk three weeks ago, Madrid have got their campaign firmly back on track with victories over Sevilla, Borussia Mönchengladbach, Atlético Madrid, Athletic Club and Eibar - a run that has seen them ensure qualification for the Champions League last 16 as group winners, and has pulled them closer to the top of LaLiga.
A win tonight will leave Los Blancos level on points with leaders Atlético, albeit Diego Simeone's men will have two games in hand.