Real Madrid demolish Granada to stay top in La Liga

Posted on by SoccerPunter

Real Madrid extended their lead over Barcelona at the top of La Liga to six points on Saturday with a 5-1 rout of Granada in the minnows’ first trip to the Santiago Bernabeu in 36 years.

The pressure is now on champions Barcelona, who still boast the psychological advantage of having beaten Real last month, when they meet Espanyol on Sunday.

Real coach Jose Mourinho promised there would be no repeat of the sloppy first half performance in the Spain King’s Cup against Malaga in midweek where they had to come from behind to win 3-2. But it was still a laboured first 45 minutes with the team fortunate to go in 2-1 up at the break.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Mesut Ozil combined to set up Karim Benzema to slot in the home side’s first goal, but Granada replied from their first real attack with an unmarked Mikel Rico heading into the corner after 22 minutes.

With the Real defence dozing again, Granada could have gone ahead after they cut through the backline but Rico saw his shot saved well by Iker Casillas.

Sergio Ramos then headed Real back into the lead from a corner after 34 minutes.

The game turned in the first few minutes after the break when Gonzalo Higuain and Benzema finished off Granada’s hopes of a comeback and then, with a minute to go, Ronaldo hit the fifth.

“The third goal after the break I think was the key,” said Real assistant coach Aitor Karanka.

“We knew that Granada were going to be a difficult opponent as they showed in the first half but they are a team which is built to defend and so after we had scored the third, and with all the space at the Bernabeu, they had more problems.”

Granada coach Fabri Gonzalez felt that it was a lack of composure after the restart which proved crucial.

“It was all over after the third goal and then we made it worse by conceding the fourth but before that the game was quite competitive,” he said.

Although Barcelona humbled Real Madrid 3-1 at the Bernabeu in the first El Clasico in the league last month, coach Pep Guardiola still feels that the league leaders are the strongest side.

“We will just go out and look to play football against Espanyol. The enjoyable aspect of sport is that we have to prove ourselves in the championship against a side which is better than us (Real Madrid),” he said.

“All teams have players that could win a place in Barcelona’s side. We are fighting to win three titles and if people think that it is easy the fact is that it is completely the opposite. Espanyol are a strong side and play the game very well.”

Champions League hopefuls Levante drew 0-0 against Mallorca, but remained four points clear of fifth-placed Osasuna who were also locked in a stalemate with Real Sociedad.

Levante started the stronger but Mallorca took the game to the home side as the match progressed and keeper Gustavo Munua came to their rescue on a number of occasions.

He denied Emilio Nsue in the first half before also blocking well from Fernando Tissone and Jose Luis Marti later on.

Arouna Kone was Levante’s biggest threat and had a goal ruled out for being fractionally offside after 66 minutes.

It was a more open contest between in-form Sociedad and Osasuna but neither was able to make the breakthrough.

Both were unbeaten in five games going into the game and Real should really have taken the lead in the first half where Antoine Griezman was guilty of missing several chances.

After the break, Osasuna also had their fair share of opportunities notably through Roland Lamah and Juan Nino.

Atletico Madrid showed more bite under new coach Diego Simeone as they drew 0-0 with sixth-placed Malaga.

With Atletico failing to demonstrate the consistency needed to push for a place in Europe, coach Gregorio Manzano was shown the door before Christmas and Simeone was given the responsibility to install a more solid style.

They showed plenty of tenacity and grew as the game went on against Malaga who bossed the first half but found it difficult to create clear cut chances with Jose Rondon going closest with a header which was saved well by the keeper.

At the bottom of the table, Bernardo Espinosa gave Racing Santander a 1-0 win over Zaragoza which took them out of the relegation zone but left the visitors five points adrift.

Be the first to comment:

Write a detailed comment of at least 350 characters to earn a reward point.
Results and Fixtures

Top Soccer Tipsters
Today Predictions in Tipsters Competition
Unknown shashank posts a 1X2 tip on Busan I'Park vs Daejeon Citizen
2 minutes ago
Unknown shashank posts a 1X2 tip on Voluntari vs Chindia Târgovişte
2 minutes ago
Unknown shashank posts a 1X2 tip on Academico Viseu vs Vilafranquense
2 minutes ago
Unknown shashank posts a 1X2 tip on Esbjerg vs Fredericia
2 minutes ago
Unknown ratkos posts a 1X2 tip on Guayaquil City vs Manta
27 minutes ago
Unknown ratkos posts a 1X2 tip on Trelleborg vs Akropolis
27 minutes ago
Unknown ratkos posts a 1X2 tip on Sporting Gijón vs Lugo
27 minutes ago
Unknown ratkos posts a 1X2 tip on Busan I'Park vs Daejeon Citizen
27 minutes ago
Unknown ratkos posts a 1X2 tip on Cittadella vs Venezia
27 minutes ago
Unknown ratkos posts a 1X2 tip on Ashdod vs Hapoel Be'er Sheva
27 minutes ago
Superior H2H Statistics
H2H Home Team Advantage
H2H Away Team Advantage
Top Football Clubs
Worst Football Clubs
Top Draw Teams
Teams Home Win 100%
Good Home Teams
Poor Away Teams
Platinum Membership Testimonial

Top Singles Tipsters
In-Form Tipsters
Out of Form Tipsters
Tipsters Competition
Tipsters Competition Review
Membership
Soccer Predictions
Soccer Tips
 

Be a fan of our Twitter and Facebook Page
Soccer Analysis
Potential Fixed Matches
Arbitrage

Arbitrage Picks

Arbitrage is an effective way to make guaranteed profits without losing your money.

Soccer Statistics H2H

Soccer Statistics

Analyze soccer matches, inclusive of past results, head to head stats, today match fixtures, live soccer odds, players and team form.

Livescore

Livescore

Check the latest and fastest live score results for all football matches. Know who are the goalscorers, yellow card and red card offenders.

Soccer Bet Help
Pick a Country or Region

Get the listings of soccer leagues and competitions for each region, including past seasons results and football statistics.

Match Preview and News

Copyright © 2002-2020 SoccerPunter Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved.