Yesterday, we saw Real Madrid not only put down a feisty Granada side, but also put them down in style In the process, several landmarks were achieved and several eye-popping numbers caught my attention (though there was much more to speak about regarding the offense than the defense, as is the norm when looking at statistics). Let's check them out thanks to Opta, Whoscored, Squawka, Mr. Chip.
Right now, we're living in a Cristiano Ronaldo world. Commemorating his 700th professional game, CR didn't wait long to get on the board as he scored in the 99th second, which was the third fastest he's ever found the back of the net (45 seconds versus Xerez in 2009 and 71 seconds versus Athletic in 2013 top it). Ronaldo has now scored 15 goals in his last seven Liga appearances, has scored in his last 12 club games, has scored two of the four goals in the league scored before the second minute this season and has netted 50 or more Liga goals in the calendar year for the fourth straight time. His 17 goals in the first 10 games is a Liga record. Simply put, he's unstoppable at the moment.
A fellow hot performing teammate is Karim Benzema. Benz, who often comes under fire from the Madrid faithful, has registered a goal and or assist in 11 of the 14 games played since the season started versus the Spanish Super Cup. In all competitions, he now has nine goals and seven assists to his name and is contributing to a goal every 68 minutes. With his goal today, he became the first player in Real Madrid history to score 60 league goals without ever scoring one from the penalty spot. Criticize him at times, but as of this moment there is absolutely nothing to gripe about when it comes to Big Benz.
Another player contributing both goals and assists at a great rate is James Rodriguez. Much pressure has been placed on his shoulders due to his transfer fee, but the youngster is performing and performing excellently. With his performance today, James became the fourth La Liga player with at least five goals and five assists this season, joining a club which includes Leo Messi, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema. Not too shabby.
As a team, Madrid is the first team in La Liga history to score 20 goals in their first five road games. Additionally, Real Madrid has scored 37 goals in their first 10 games. That hasn't happened in La Liga in 64 years. For Carlo, this is the first time that one of his teams won 11 games in a row (which is impressive when you consider how long he's managed).
Defensively, there wasn't much to speak about. Despite the defense being a work in progress, this was the fifth shutout posted and the fourth in the last five games. Having conceded seven goals (out of 10 this league season) in the first five games this season, Real Madrid have only allowed three in the last five.
In this game, Madrid conceded 11 shots but five of them were from distance where they hardly troubled Iker, as you can see below.
Madrid notched 15 blocks, but only six were within their own box so Granada didn't create many dangerous opportunities. Additionally, Madrid recorded eight interceptions but again, only two within their own box. Due to Madrid's pressure, Granada lost the possession/turned the ball over 14 times with nine of those in Madrid's half. While the defense played a bit too fast and loose for my liking early and late, the quality of looks Granada got on goal were quite poor and not very threatening. Also, Real Madrid recorded one midriff-to-a-teammate kick thanks to Pepe's efforts on Sergio Ramos, so there's that.
Madrid outshot Granada 18-11 with a shots on target edge of 8-5, held a possession edge of 67-33 with a pass completed edge of 628-289 (88 percent pass completion rate). Real Madrid created one more corner than Granada (4-3) but was also caught offside more (3-1). One interesting thing to note is that while many of us were complaining about Granada's rough play, it was actually Real Madrid which suffered the wrath of the ref more as the men in black were called for 19 fouls compared to Granada's nine and with Madrid receiving two yellow cards to Granada's one.
While this wasn't a particularly big or tough game, especially considering who the previous league opponent was, these are just a few numbers to chew over while we wait for Liverpool to come to town. What stood out to you?