Granada 1-4 Real Madrid: LaLiga title race now a capital affair
With no let-up from Real Madrid, the LaLiga title race has now become a straight fight between the clubs from the Spanish capital. Barcelona and Sevilla have dropped away, leaving Los Blancos as the sole, not inconsiderable threat to Atlético Madrid's designs on securing the championship. Madrid came away from Granada with a handsome scoreline, 4-1, which can chiefly be put down to the difference in ambition between the two sides. Zinedine Zidane's men are chasing Atlético and have their eyes on the prize, while Granada are no longer pursuing anything or looking over their shoulders. They’ve had a long, impressive season, enjoying a phenomenal run in Europe. They haven’t managed to qualify for continental football next term, but have every reason to be very pleased with their campaign.
Youngsters Marvin and Gutiérrez impress for Real Madrid
Under different circumstances, with the home support roaring them on - after all, every fanbase is itching for their side to turn over Real Madrid - Granada might have put up more of a fight. But that wasn’t the case, and it was only the visitors who went out there all guns absolutely blazing. Zidane brought new faces in at right and left full-back, in the shape of Marvin Park and Miguel Gutiérrez - and it worked a treat, because they offered pace and vibrancy on the flanks. Gutiérrez popped up with a lovely pass that set up Luka Modric to score the first goal, and Marvin came close to getting the second, but hooked his effort off target. From almost the same spot, Rodrygo Goes did manage to find the net, doubling Madrid’s advantage on the stroke of half time with a perfectly-placed shot.
Vinícius Júnior and Rodrygo were Madrid's wingers and once again inspired the comparison so often drawn between the two: the former makes things happen but can’t finish; the latter makes less happen but is a good finisher. As things stand, neither is quite cutting it as a partner for Karim Benzema up front. Nor are Marco Asensio or Eden Hazard, who replaced the Brazilians on the hour mark. Isco also came on, for Fede Valverde, who had started so as to give Toni Kroos a rest. After making changes, Madrid dozed off and allowed Granada to pull a goal back, but any notions of a comeback were quickly dispelled. Madrid switched back on and sealed a 4-1 win that means Diego Simeone can't rest easy just yet. On Sunday, Atleti host Osasuna and Madrid visit Athletic Club. The title's still up for grabs.
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