Six things we saw:
- It was initially apparent that the players are just coming back from the FIFA break. But while there was some rust, the work-ethic was there from the beginning. The front six players were tremendous in pressuring Granada's back-line. This work ethic was key in the sense that it helped the whole team grow as the game progressed. Three players seemed to be exempt from the international rust: Bale, Benzema, Modric.
- Of the three aforementioned players, Modric deserves to be in a category of his own. The level that he alleviates the team to is quite extraordinary. He is in truth, a generational talent. In one instance in the first quarter of an hour, he recevied a tough ball in a tight space. The way he escaped two players breathing down his neck was absolutely outrageous.
- Even if it was for a brief 15-20 minute period, I really enjoyed Bale and Ronaldo swapping wings in the first half. I've been calling for this for a while as it gives the team more options in attack and throws different variations at the opposing defense. Both players are more than capable of being productive on both wings. It's a win-win.
- James Rodriguez - just incredible. There are very few players in the World who have the brains and vision to do what he does in tight spaces that lead to a goal-scoring chance. His IQ is a massive asset to have. Our best mdfield trio is Kroos-Modric-James. With all due respect to Isco who is having a tremendous season, he's not nearly as quick as James in his decision-making.
- Cristiano Ronaldo. How could he be left out? His hat-trick was one of the fastest in La Liga history and it moves him into a tie with Don Alfredo with 28 La Liga hat-tricks. Only he would celebrate the way he did after the 9th goal, but that's why we love him.
- It's hard to measure anything that happened in the second half. Granada was borderline not even a football team for most of this game, and Real Madrid became a bit lackadaisakal after the subs.