I’m back! I apologize for the disappearance. But here I am and I’m ready to get this ball rolling. Let’s jump into it!
Since I haven’t done pre-match social media in a while, let’s see what we’ve got.
Pre-Match Social Media:
#ToniLive had his usual boring “Follow my stats” tweet:
I liked the photo Varane (or his social media people) chose:
Marcelo’s “Vamos Madrid” was only slightly better than Toni’s usual Photoshop skills:
Granada: Andres Fernandez; David Lomban, Ricardo Costa, Miguel Lopes, Dimitri Foulquier; Fran Rico, Ruben Perez; Isaac Success, Ruben Rochina, David Barral; Adalberto Penaranda
Real Madrid: Keylor Navas; Dani Carvajal, Raphael Varane, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo; Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, Isco; Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema, James Rodriguez
And apparently Ancelotti is still our coach? He’s looking awfully French-Algerian.
I won’t pretend we started well. We didn’t. We were losing possession easily (which was a huge problem throughout the match).
Our first chance came in the 8th minute when Dani put an excellent cross into Benz. But Benz couldn’t steer his overhead kick into the net.
In the 11th minute, our defense and K-Nav gave all of us a heart attack. I know it wasn’t just me. Keylor came way out of his box, as he should have, but he was beat. Perhaps luckily, Penaranda was offside. If you don’t understand how it was offside, please message me. I’ll explain it. It’s one of those “wait what?” parts of the offside rule.
Really, if I were a neutral I probably would have thought it was an exciting match. It was end to end with both sides having chances and both sides missing those chances. And fabulous goalkeeping on both sides.
The first booking came in the 19th minute with Lopes receiving a yellow card for a challenge on Isco.
Our goal came in the 30th minute. Benze-Benze-Benzema! on a low cross from Carvajal. All he had to do was tap it in because Dani did all the work. I much prefer him to Danilo, if I’m honest. He gives us great attacking options.
And if you follow me on Twitter, I still feel this way.
Perez (not the Peez) was booked in the 32nd minute when he went in late on James.
We started to look like we were in more control of the match following that. We were also offside a LOT. I like to call it the Pipita effect.
After 1 minute of added time, the first half came to a close.
Granada 0 – 1 Real Madrid
I wasn’t entirely surprised to see no changes at the half. Though there was a point in the first half that I thought Sergio might need a sub. He had landed awkwardly on his shoulder.
Navas saved us in the 47th minute on a stellar header from Barral.
Then Modric had a chance in the 49th minute but it was saved.
Granada made their first sub in the 58th minute as El Arabi replaced Barral. And he immediately made an impact for Granada, scoring the equalizer in the 60th minute.
In the 61st minute Jese replaced James. When the two of them get together do we call them J-Rod Squared?
Ramos went in for a late challenge on Lopes in the 62nd minute and earned himself a yellow card.
In the 72nd minute, Granada had the ball in the back of the net again but they were again offside. El Arabi was causing all kinds of trouble.
Granada made their second sub in the 77th minute with Krhin replacing Rico.
Zizou made his second change in the 78th minute adding Kovacic in place of Isco.
Penaranda was replaced by Doucoure for Granada in the 81st minute.
Dani made a smart foul in the 83rd minute, bringing Rochina down before he could break into our defensive half. He earned a yellow card for it.
But in the 85th minute, Lucky Luka hit a shot that I have no description for. It just has to be viewed. Over and over and over and over and… You get it.
Dani was replaced by Nacho in the 86th minute due to an injury.
Granada didn’t have a response and after 4 minute of added time, we ended with a much needed away win. Unfortunately it seemed Marcelo picked up a fairly serious shoulder injury at the end.
Granada 1 – 2 Real Madrid
Zidane: “I will focus on the win, which was very important for us”
by Javier Garcia (Granada) | Photographer: Helios De La Rubia“It is essential to fight in every game and I am happy with the attitude of all of the players”, added the manager.
Zinedine Zidane spoke to the press at the Nuevo Los Cármenes. The manager of the Whites analysed the win against Granada: “I will focus on the win and the three points, which were very important for us. We have to think that we are up against a team. When we play away we face a side and their fans. It is normal for it to be harder than at home”.
“We have to battle for every game and I am happy with the attitude of all the players. It was tough to get the win because it is a difficult pitch. The opponents have good players and make things difficult. That is football and we are not going to win every game easily”.
Praise for Modric
“He scored a fantastic goal, that gave us a boost, and above all, the three points. I am very happy with him because he needs to shoot more. He knows how to play in a lot of positions, also in 10. He had a phenomenal shot and I am happy for him”.
“There will always be difficulties in a game. We are prepared for the trip to Rome, without any problems. Every game is going to be difficult and we are prepared. Today we showed that for 90 minutes”.
Great spell of form for Benzema “
I am happy and proud of everyone for what they did today. Karim and everyone. Things do not happen overnight. We are going to have difficulties until the end”.
“Danilo did not play because he had a pain and we do not want to take risks. There is nothing wrong with Carvajal, he ended up tired. We are not exactly sure about Marcelo. It is his shoulder, but we don’t know”.
Things to improve
“We are going to try and improve everything. At the back and in attack because we need to score more goals. We had a lot of chances today and we know that at this level we need to put them in order to be a bit more relaxed in our play. We have to improve everything and we are going to”.
Ramos: “It wasn’t a great game but we achieved our aim of winning”
by Javier Garcia (Granada) | Photographer: Helios De La Rubia“Modric’s goal allows us to stay in the hunt for La Liga”, stated Carvajal.
Ramos started in the away game to Granada and had the following to say about the win at the Nuevo Los Cármenes: “It was quite a closely fought game against a Granada side that put more pressure on in the second half than in the first. We had some chances to seal the game but they did not end with goals and things got difficult for us. The team kept trying and a great goal from Modric allows us to take away the three points. It was not a great game but we have achieved our aim of getting another three points”.
“We were a little imprecise, losing more balls than usual. That pushed us back. People have the last image of the side, pushing up and keeping the ball in the opponent’s half. We did not see that so much today. However, there are positive conclusions, we will try to keep improving and maintain stability, not only at the Bernabéu”.
“Today he had that goal that makes him more visible, but for me Modric is a crucial player. He is part of the side’s backbone and is extremely important for us”.
“Having Karim play like that is really amazing. Whenever he plays at his best level, he is a unique player”.
Carvajal: “It is never easy to win away from home”
“Modric’s goal allows us to stay in the hunt for La Liga and fight until the end. The goal we conceded was an unfortunate bit of play with the referee. We had chances to win. We missed the chance to make it 0-2, that would have made it a more relaxed game. We also take away positive conclusions and three points away from home, it is never easy to win on the road”.
“Until it is mathematically impossible, we are going to give everything. We are going to take it game by game, which is ultimately what will lead us to titles. First, we need to beat Athletic and then it will be the game against Roma”.
Post-Match Social Media:
Bale was the first to congratulate the boys on the win. And to admit he was watching the SuperBowl.
Benz was as amazed as we were with Luka’s stellar goal.
Sergio shared this photo after the match.
My Baby Varane shared this photo from the plane, which I just don’t have words for. Jese…
#ToniLive chose a nice photo.
Keylor as well.
And, as a bonus (and because it fit with the theme of one of the SuperBowl commercials) I give you this tweet from the Mother Ship. Turns out someone was repping the club at the SuperBowl!
I’m really happy to be back. And I’m happy to have back a team that doesn’t utterly depress me. Even when the scoreline was in our favor it felt empty.
The team has more spark now. And while I know that missing spark wasn’t entirely Benitez’s fault, it was his job as manager to get the best out of the team. He wasn’t doing that, in my opinion. I wasn’t entirely convinced he needed to be replaced but I knew he couldn’t continue. If that makes any sense at all…
Anyway, onward and (hopefully) upward!
¡Hala Madrid y Nada Mas!