Match Recap: Real Madrid Vs. Granada

3 Nov

Photo 1Our schedule has been super busy over the past month. We’re totally owning it, but it’s a bit exhausting as a fan. Imagine what it’s like for our boys!

I have a love affair with the city of Granada. My visit there was amazing and so I have the random one-night stand with the football team from time to time. In fact, I check on their women’s team now and then (they’re currently third in the segunda division of the women’s league).

Lineups:

Granada: Roberto; Allan Nyom, Jean-Sylvain Babin, Jeison Murillo, Juan Carlos; Dimitri Foulquier, Manuel Iturra, Eddy Sylvestre, Abdoul Sissoko; Jhon Cordoba, Isaac Success

Real Madrid: Iker Casillas; Dani Carvajal, Pepe, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo; Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, Isco; James Rodriguez, Karim Benzema, Cristiano Ronaldo

Photo 2 Photo 3So, the breakdown was that if we won we would temporarily hold first place in the league until we found out the result of Barcelona’s match. If Barcelona won, they would take the top spot and we would get bumped to second. If Barcelona lost, we would hold onto the top spot.

It’s early in the season but I will take that top spot! Because it’s easier to hold onto it than it is to climb up to it.

Photo 4The matched kicked off and I still hadn’t gotten a working stream (and hadn’t gotten around to making a DishWorld account yet). Then suddenly the app that I use to keep up with matches dinged for a goal. I looked down and it was two minutes into our match and Cristiano had scored!

Benz got the ball on the right side of Granada’s box and did enough to make two defenders and the keeper commit. He then played the ball back to the center where both Cristiano and Isco were waiting. And Cris hammered that ball home! Low and hard!

Gotta love group hugs as celebration. And Cris knows where his assists come from. Look at the love he gives to the War Kitten.

That didn’t take long at all! And I finally had a working stream. Hell-to-the-frickin-yeah!

Granada attempted to press forward on the restart. Success broke down the side with a ton of pace only to run into Pepe, who stepped in to clear any danger.

The game was moving end-to-end in the opening minutes. Granada weren’t afraid to commit players forward but it was leaving their defense open. Kroos and Modric were looking to take advantage of that and feeding the ball to Crispy every chance they could get.

In the 8th minute we had another chance as James fed the ball into Benzema. But Murillo was across to make an outstanding block. Isco tried to follow it up but it went high and wide.

In the 10th minute, the stadium roared as Success went down in the box. It was a fair challenge by The Pony, though, and the ref wasn’t interested in making a penalty call. Thank the gods of pretty!

A freekick call went our way in the 12th minute, just outside the box. The ball made it’s way toward Modric, who fed it in to Ramos. Unfortunately Ramos couldn’t get to it.

In the 16th minute we’d been retaining possession around the Granada box and Marcelo was somehow our furthest man forward. I know, I say that like it’s surprising. Unfortunately, our goofy Brazilian was in an offside position as he collected a brilliant ball from Ronaldo.

In the 19th minute, after dealing with a bit of Granada push forward, we had our next chance on goal. Again, Ronaldo did the work then fed a ball to James this time. The shot, however, was high and wide.

Benzema took a shot directly at Roberto in the 24th minute after collecting a cross and spinning into the box. Then in the 26th minute Dani fired a shot high. I wanted a Dani goal so badly that I could taste it. I’m sure he could do.

Amazingly, we still hadn’t committed a foul to that point. In the 30th minute, when we notched our second goal, we still had not committed a foul.

And what a goal that 30th minute one was! Benzema heel passed the ball over the defender to James who volleyed it over the head of the keeper. Check out the video a few times then watch Luka’s (bottom of the screen) reaction when it hits the back of the net. It’s fabulous.

Even Luka knows it was amazing. That would have been my reaction too.

James beautifulI’m having a moment. We keep scoring absolutely stunning goals. I mean, I’m happy that we keep scoring goals but the stunning ones leave me relatively speechless.

In the 34th minute, Pepe completely De Jonged our Pony and gave the home side a chance. Luckily Pepe managed to recover and get back to clear the danger again.

At least we got to see a little bit of Sergio abs. And I couldn’t help but notice that Pepe has really big feet. Sergio is rubbing his sternum but Pepe’s shoe print goes almost all the way down to the peek-a-boo tattoo. Luckily Sergio was okay. Abs of steel that boy. None of us are complaining.

But then, in the 38th minute it looked like Dani may have pulled a hamstring. He had to be subbed out, with Arbeloa taking his place at the back. Seems to be more precautionary than anything. Hopefully I’m correct.

The first yellow card of the match was shown in the 40th minute when Eddy went in for a late challenge on Modric. The Granada player was on the receiving end of a late challenge by Modric just four minutes later. This time it was Modric who went into the books. All’s even then, huh?

The teams were given 2 minutes of added time, which saw two freekicks go Granada’s way. Fortunately for us, nothing came of either of them and the whistle was blown for the half.

Second Half:

Just a quick stat check even though I know I routinely say I’m not a stats girl. I do, sometimes, feel that they are warranted. Anyway, we controlled 73% of the possession in the first half. Again, possession is nothing if you don’t do anything with it (I’m looking at you Xavi) but we were doing something with it.

The second half kicked off after Granada brought in Marquez to replace Eddy.

We started on the front foot, with Cris and Benz linking up but the move falling flat. Then Granada tested Iker by way of a shot from Cordoba. It was directly at him, however, meaning his tractor beam (thankfully) is in full working order.

In the 49th minute, Granada were forced to take off Success due to what looked like a possible calf injury. He was replaced by El-Arabi.

Cris had a shot from outside of the box in the 51st only to have it go straight into the arms of Roberto.

In the 53rd minute, I held my breath again as Isco brought down Iturra inside the box. The ref didn’t make the call though and it wasn’t until the replay that we could see that Iturra had actually handled the ball just before. Good call by the ref!

That leads us into goal number three! It was minute 54 and Cristiano played a cheeky little back heel to Benzema. And, as per expectations, Benzema (who had only just gotten back onside) shot it into the bottom corner.

Outside of his foot and the keeper on his back foot. Goodnight Granada! I do so love it when we play like this.

In the 59th minute, Marcelo hit the crossbar with a shot from distance. It then bounced over for a goal kick. He had another shot deflected for a corner just two minutes later. The resulting corner was cleared by Carlos.

Granada’s final sub came in the 67th minute. Perhaps for some fresh legs up front, as Rochina replaced Cordoba.

The substitution almost paid off immediately. Rochina got a shot away in the 69th minute, but Sergio came across for the block. Then Sissoko had a chance just two minutes later.

In the 77th minute we got some Sami (Yay!) as he came in for Modric.

Marcelo looked like our biggest threat going forward for the next few minutes, as things looked a bit sloppy from both sides.

In the 82nd minute it was Sergio to the rescue again as Folquier pretty much just danced into the box and shot to the bottom corner. Sergio, thankfully, was on hand to clear it off the line.

In the 84th minute, Isco played the ball to Arbeloa (who looked like he was playing as a midfielder instead of a fullback) in the Granada box. But, as we all know, Arbeloa isn’t a striker and his shot was pretty much directly at Roberto.

Our final sub came with Illaramendi replacing Isco shortly after the great play with Arbeloa. Isco has seemed to find his rhythm in the absence of Bale. I love it!

And two minutes later, Benzema played a pass to the forward playing Arbeloa. His low cross went in to Ronaldo after Roberto committed himself. The ball got loose as Ronaldo couldn’t quite get enough on it and James was there to poke it into the net.

And then the four of them got all juggy and stuff. I love it!

Photo 17Granada responded by pressing forward. El-Arabi drove a low cross across the box but Marquez couldn’t quite get to it.

The fourth official then indicated two minutes of added time. It was in that second minute of added time that Arbeloa received a yellow card for a late challenge on Sissoko. The resulting freekick was taken by Carlos but Iker saved it pretty easily.

And that was it. A 4-0 away win at Granada! We held top spot until finding out what the result of the Barcelona match would be!

Match Photos:

After the whistle, there were a few pitch invaders. They went straight for our players and our players dealt with them with such class. I love these boys so much.

Photo 44

Post-Match Comments:

Photo 45Ancelotti:

“The side is playing very well and we must continue to do so in order to keep up this run”, he added.

Real Madrid gave another superb display of football and goalscoring in Granada, and Ancelotti was full of praise for his team: “We played with concentration, a lot of effort and sacrifice. If we fight, everything turns out well. We must continue to play like this to keep up ouR run. We are playing well and winning.”

“James scored a fantastic goal and Cristiano Ronaldo provided a perfect assist for Karim. It is becoming difficult to find words to describe Cristiano Ronaldo. He is a fantastic player. It is normal that with that scoreline, they will have chances, but we do not have to make it possible for them to score”.

Importance of the full-backs
“When you are playing against a very defensive team, it is important to use the wings. The full-backs push up a lot and today they had lots of opportunities to score. They are really important when it comes to opening up opponents’ defences”.

“The work is always the same. The side is good. We have to thank the physios and doctors for their work. Of course we have faults, but in general I’m satisfied with what we’re doing, how we’re playing and the run we are on. We have to keep working”.

Bale
“Everyone thinks it is a problem, but I think he will help us improve. I’m very happy with how the side is playing, but we have to continue to play well and always try to add more to our game”.

Photo 46Casillas:

Casillas was in the line-up for the victory over Granada and, speaking post-match, emphasised the team’s terrific form: “We’re enjoying a great period and I hope that at the end of the season we pick up major silverware like we did last year. We have good young players and more experienced guys who help the youngsters so that they know what Real Madrid is all about. We have the ingredients to win major trophies and make history, and I hope that’s the case.”

“In the first half, we barely gave away any chances. In the second, with the scoreline in our favour, we did give them more. Granada set up well and played to their strengths. We got the goal after two minutes, it was a big blow for them, and we were more comfortable at the back. They didn’t create any chances in the first half and, except for the final stages, it was a quiet match.”

“This Madrid side is a team that began to be created after winning the Copa del Rey and the European Cup last year. We know that important players have left, but other important players have joined and you have to gel. The new players are doing well and we’re getting positive results.”

Marcelo: “We can’t afford to relax”
“It’s possible that we’re in our best moment of form, but we know that we have to improve on a few little things. We can’t afford to relax and we have to keep on fighting and working hard because that’s the only way we’re going to win.”

“My primary task is to defend, I had chances to score in attack but it wasn’t to be. The best thing is the three points, which are very important for us.”

Arbeloa: “James is a brilliant player”
“Players like James fit into any system and team in the world. He is world class, an absolutely brilliant player, and it’s a blessing for any coach to have players like him. We’re very happy with him.”

“We’re on a very good run. We’re working really hard, scoring goals and we have to continue in this vein. We have won 11 games in a row and now we’re thinking about Liverpool and making it twelve. Let’s hope that what happened to Carvajal is nothing. He picked up a niggle and preferred not to risk it.”

Modric: “We’re in incredible form”
“We need to continue this run and we’re very happy with the way we’re playing. We’re in incredible form. We want to be comfortable in games and we played well from the kick-off. The team wants more, and the more goals we score the more we want. It’s always difficult to win in Granada but we deserved the victory.”

“Xabi Alonso was an excellent player for us, but Kroos and I are playing better and better every game. We’re steadily getting to know each other and we know what we want to do on the pitch. I think that we’re playing very well defensively.”

Our next match is Tuesday for the second Champions League leg against Liverpool at the Bernabeu!

(images and gifs from GF Sports, the-vip-football-collection, football-hqs, Granada C.F. Facebook page and realmadrid.com)

¡Hala Madrid!

-mygypsyspirit

6 Responses to “Match Recap: Real Madrid Vs. Granada”

  1. Sweet November 3, 2014 at 8:30 pm #

    Two things:

    1) Why is a back heel always cheeky?

    2) Is Arbeloa even more beautiful than, well, anyone else?

    Great match recap!

    Thanks.

    • mygypsyspirit November 3, 2014 at 9:24 pm #

      For me, it’s always cheeky because I like saying it that way. It’s my own way of making myself laugh. I know it’s dumb. Let me have this one thing?

    • headbandsandheartbreak November 3, 2014 at 9:31 pm #

      I think both are rhetorical questions, no? Back heels will always have that “OH NO YOU DID NOT!” factor. I’ve seen grown men squeal like tween girls at a 1D show after a particularly cheeky back heel. 😉 And Arbeloa, well, he is just delicious.

  2. jellyace November 3, 2014 at 9:05 pm #

    “And then the four of them got all juggy and stuff. I love it!”
    I see what you did there! This match belonged to Juggy Bear James (or Guy Smiley). I am so glad he is a huggy fanboy with terrific skills, which makes it so easy for him to integrate into the team (it took Bale much longer). Jala Madrid!

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