Match Recap: Real Madrid v Granada

7 Apr

Bernabeu

Ah yes, it’s spring and the Bernabeu is absolutely beautiful.

Our first match back after the international break was at home against Granada, who we beat 4-0 earlier in the season. Since I’ve been MIA for a couple of matches, let’s jump into it!

The morning started with some social media from our boys. I’m still betting that the selfie is Karim’s phone background.

Someone still needs to help Toni improve his photoshop skills (or whoever it is that does his social media).

And Jese posted this photo with my favorite Stalker.

So, with Isco suspended it was the return of James that had us all giddy. Don’t shake your head at me! You were excited for James!

The early match meant lots of squinting from the players. Iker is pro at the squinting. I also love the majesty of Marcelo’s hair blowing in the wind.

Lineups:

Real Madrid: Iker Casillas; Alvaro Arbeloa, Sergio Ramos, Raphael Varane, Marcelo; Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, James Rodriguez; Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema, Cristiano Ronaldo

Real Madrid starters

Granada: Oier Olazabal; Dimitri Foulquier, Diego Mainz, Jean-Sylvain Babin, Juan Carlos; Fran Rico, Manuel Iturra; Robert Ibañez, Daniel Candeias, Ruben Rochina; Youssef El Arabi

 

It was Granada that kicked off and we all expected to come away with a win.

In the 4th minute Granada had a chance that was blocked and we were down to the other end almost immediately. But Crispy was dispossessed in the final third.

We were controlling possession and looked threatening. Benzema had a volley in the 8th minute that was, unfortunately, right at the keeper.

We had a couple more chances through Bale and Ronaldo before Granada had their own chance in the 14th minute. Ibañez took a shot that skipped just wide of the bottom corner.

After lots and lots of pressure, and a large number of chances, we finally got our goal! In the 25th minute, Toni played a great through ball in to Bale who touched around the keeper, kept his cool, and put it into the net with the outside of his foot.

I love that Gareth got our first goal. He’s taken so much crap lately from “fans” that this was needed.

Granada responded by pushing forward in the 28th minute but Baby Varane (there is going to be a day that I can’t call him “baby” anymore) was there to clear the danger.

Our next goal came in the 30th minute. James received the ball from Cris then played a clever pass back to him. Cris then curled it into the bottom corner.

Air Cris

I love Carlo’s subdued reactions. They crack me up.

It didn’t take long for Cris to notch his second goal of the match. In the 36th minute, the keeper parried a Benzema shot and Cris smashed it into the goal.

Cris shoots and Benz looks on

Two for Cris? Let’s keep this rolling! Now I was really wanting a hat trick. I always want a Cris hat trick, actually. I’m greedy. It’s a problem.

And a hat trick I got, because Cris scored his third goal just eight minutes after scoring his first. This goal was my favorite. Sir Tans-A-Lot took his shot from outside the box and it scorched past Oier. I love long range goals.

Goal celebrations

At this point, we were basically on cruise control. Granada were attempting to push forward but throwing so many players forward was leaving them very vulnerable at the back. The tactic nearly worked, however.

In the 44th minute, El Arabi smashed one against the crossbar from outside the box. It hit the goal line but, as we know, the entire ball has to be over the line to be a goal. It was a wonderful strike and would have saved Granada at least a little bit of pride.

After one minute of extra time the first half came to a close.

Second Half:

Well, the first half was a goal fest. I was just hoping that we could keep the goals coming in the second half. It’s something I felt we needed to prove to ourselves. It’s good for the confidence after the rough patch we’ve had.

We started with possession, which I say a lot for a girl that doesn’t always buy the “possession equals goals” malarkey.

Granada got a couple of shots away but Iker was there to do his job. Even Lucky Luka was trying to get in on the goal scoring action as we broke forward but his shot was high.

It was Benzema that scored next, controlling a corner with his chest and smashing it home in the 52nd minute.

Benzema jumps James

It really was pretty by Benzema. He’s been scoring some gorgeous goals lately, no?

The 53rd minute saw Granada make their first substitution. Piti came on in place of Rochina.

And just one minute later, we added to our goal tally. Cris headed in a simple cross from Garebear to bring his tally to four and the total to six.

Ronaldo's diving header

That looked so painful. I slid into the post once trying to block a shot and it’s so unforgiving. Luckily he was okay.

And it only took two minutes to grab another.

In the 56th minute, Benzema got his brace when his shot deflected off a defender into the bottom corner.

Benzema shoots

Ancelotti made our first substitution in the 57th minute. Toni got a rest and Illarra got some playing time. Then Granada decided to make their second change and replaced Rico with Eddy.

Cris had another shot in the 61st minute but it went just wide. And both teams made substitutions shortly after. For Granada Murillo replaced Babin while we got some Jese action in place of James, who was sent off to lots and lots of love.

We made our third sub very quickly when Chicharito came in for Benz.

The 64th minute saw the first yellow card of the match. Piti was booked for a late challenge on Modric.

In the 66th minute, Gareth hit the side netting with a very good free kick.

We then saw chances from Marcelo and two from Cris before Granada responded with a goal of their own. In the 74th minute, Ibañez broke through some poor defending all around and chipped the ball into the net.

But Granada’s luck got worse in the 83rd minute. Jese played a low ball across and Mainz smashed it into his own net.

I really hope that Jese was consoling him there and not being a douche canoe.

In the 87th minute, Arbeloa picked up a yellow for a late tackle on Ibañez. And Murillo picked up a yellow in the 88th minute for chopping Garebear to the ground.

At this point I thought we’d wrapped it up at 8-1, but Crispy likes to prove me wrong (and I’m so okay with that).

In the 89th minute, he headed in a beautiful freekick from Modric. Cristiano’s fifth goal and the ninth goal total.

Cris points to his loved ones

The one minute of added time didn’t get completed before the ref blew the whistle. Mercy rule, anyone? That was it. Real Madrid 9-1 Granada.

I can’t help but feel a little bit bad for Granada but at the same time such a decisive wins feels good going forward. We face Atleti in Champions League soon!

Match Photos:

Post-Match Comments:

Ancelotti post match

Ancelotti:

“Cristiano Ronaldo scoring five goals is good for him, for the team and for everyone”, he added. 

Carlo Ancelotti showed his delight after the great game against Granada. The coach assessed the Whites’ performance in the press room: “Everything went to plan. My team are in good physical shape, the players are fresh and we showed that throughout the match. We played with a good tempo and scored bags of goals. We come away from this happy but this is just one game and we have other important ones coming up. On Wednesday we need to be fully focused like we were today”.

“It’s simple mathematics. It’s better to win 9 games 1-0 than one 9-1. But today we have to point out the good play, the team are back to playing as desired, just like they have played many times before. What mattered most was winning and playing well and we have achieved that”.

Cristiano Ronaldo
“He has improved just as the team have. So, what can I say… This is the first time he has scored 5 goals in a game and that is good news for everyone: for him, for the team and in terms of the upcoming fixtures”.

How the game played out
“We wanted to play the full 90 minutes as if the contest wasn’t over. We killed off the game in the first half but continued in the same vain in the second half. The players did well, and showed respect to the opposition by playing the same way right until the last minute”.

“We are closer to accomplishing our objectives and the players understand the importance of winning, of being a team and of contributing towards being the best through individual quality”.

Physique
“The team are very fresh. Resting players for the sake of resting them makes no sense. The players will rest when they are tired and there is a risk of injury. The team are in great shape. We have never been in such good physical shape, especially not last year. I can’t use 12 players. If someone isn’t 100%, he won’t play”.

Fans
“It’s clear that when the fans are behind us like they were today it is going to help. It depends on what the players do on the pitch. Today they showed good attitude and the crowd appreciated that”.

James
“He played very well. It didn’t look as though he hadn’t played for two months. He showed his quality, intensity and his ability to keep possession. He is a very direct player and always shows great vision and awareness”.

Modric
“He is a decisive player in terms of moving the ball quickly. Luka has a great knack of changing the direction of the play by spreading the ball to the wings. Today we utilised the wings well, especially the left flank”.

James post match

James:

James returned to action for Real Madrid following his injury lay-off, and analysed his comeback against Granada: “It’s been 60 days out but my foot didn’t prevent me from doing physical work, and that was noticeable. Being at the Bernabéu and everyone chanting my name is a dream come true. It’s something really nice and I hope I can keep on helping and working so that the team can get positive results”.

“I’m happy to have helped, and what’s important is that we won. We have to carry on in this vein. It was a big scoreline, but I think it was fair. Everyone played well today and we know that Cristiano always scores goals. We’re happy for him too”.

Competition
“If we’re all in good shape that’s good news in terms of all being able to help out, no matter who plays. You have to help the team at all times”.

On Barcelona
“We can’t think about other teams; we can only focus on ourselves and stay focused for what’s ahead, which is going to be really tough”.

“Now we have to focus on Wednesday and on winning every game remaining, which is what we’re after. It’s always good to win and this result gives us a lot of confidence for what’s ahead”.

Benzema post match

Benzema:

Karim Benzema scored a brace against Granada and summed up the game against the Andalusians as follows: “It was a great match in our ground. We scored a lot of goals and that is good for everyone. We attacked and defended well and everyone played well. We were in full flow for the fans”.

“We scored a lot of goals and created a hat full of chances once we broke the deadlock. For me the most important thing is winning, getting the three points. After that we can look at our nine goals, which is something that doesn’t happen very often. We are going to try and win all of the remaining games from now until the end of the season”.

Cristiano Ronaldo and the BBC
“Cristiano is a phenomon, he is always on the lookout for goals and ways of helping the team. He deserves everything he has achieved. Himself, Bale and I are in good form, as is always the case. We are helping the team, sometimes we score and sometimes we don’t, but we are in good shape to continue like this until the end of the season”.

Marcelo:

“Winning ten games is not beyond realms of possibility”
“We got off to a good start in the match, our attitude was spectacular and we didn’t let up in any moment. We respected Granada right until the final whistle, that is why we scored so many goals”.

“We can’t expect to win all our games like this and no team are capable of winning all their games, but we are going to try and stay on this track. You could notice on the pitch that our attitude was good and that we carried out the boss’s instructions”.

Always on top
“The result only gives you a glimmer of our performance. We ran a lot and fought extremely hard. We have to play that way to get over our problems and we are trying to change the image of Real Madrid. We always need to be on top. Winning ten games is not beyond the realms of possibility and hopefully Barcelona will slip up”.

Arbeloa:

“We did our job”
“The whole team put in a great match. It’s always difficult after the international break, but everyone was able to enjoy it. We have a lot of games ahead of us, and we want to win all 9 La Liga matches that we have left. We did our job and we have to hope that Barça slip up. We’re going to try to win every game and make sure Barcelona feel us behind them”.

Cristiano Ronaldo
“He’s very happy, it’s the first time in his career that he’s scored five goals. It always seems like he’s already achieved everything, but then he achieves something else”.

The title race
“Every match is a chance for points to be dropped and every match for Barça is going to be difficult. You can slip up when you least expect it, so our job is to carry on winning”.

Social Media Corner:

There were no post-match, half-naked selfies for me to post. I find this entirely disappointing. But there were lots of excited tweets at such a large win.

Iker shared two tweets with us. One being a not-so-subtle sponsor placement:

We also got two from James, who was appreciative of the fan reception:

I want to go to Bale’s house for a barbecue! I wonder who else was invited:

Marcelo shared this photo of Enzo at his own match. Looks like winning runs in the family!

And I’ll end with some bonus gifs of our subs goofing off on the bench, led mainly by the mischievous Fabio Coentrao:

We play Rayo Vallecano tomorrow!

¡Hala Madrid!

-mygypsyspirit

(images and gifs courtesy of GF Sports, the-vip-football-collection, football-hqs, and realmadrid.com)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: