As Real Madrid were headed towards an all-too-familiar away draw in La Liga, King Luka came up big, scoring a golazo from outside the area against a diligent Granada side. Lukita's goal gives Real Madrid three massive points, and with it, a light at the end of a tunnel - hope for a comeback in La Liga.
- During the first half, despite playing aggressively, Granada weren't entirely impressive. Their left side was completely exposed time and time again, and they were playing a dangerous game playing an unorganized off-side trap and failing to properly cover Carvajal and Modric's overlapping runs. In the second half, they put their aggressiveness to much better use - suffocating the passing lanes and using their quick wingers to push on the counter. They attacked Real Madrid's left side often, focusing on attacking Marcelo as much as they could. In many cases, they were able to isolate Marcelo and beat him before getting in a cross. Isco wasn't always quick enough to cover for Marcelo defensively. I joked on Twitter that if Granada was going to score, it would be from Marcelo's side. Ironically it was, with Marcelo not even in the picture - he was caught up-field making a run while the referee set a pick on Modric.
- Giving that much space to Modric outside of the box is suicidal. For whatever reason, Granada opted to shift to cover Carvajals' run which only served as a decoy so Modric could unleash the game-winner. Amazing shot from Lukita - what a goal! Maybe Granada were waiting for the referee to block Modric's shot....
- Players I really enjoyed today (besides the obvious choice of Modric) - Keylor Navas who was fantastic, Toni Kroos who's passes and through-balls looked pretty slick, and Karim Benzema who does ever-so-well in holding the ball up and hustle all over the pitch. Just a trivial point, but, Gareth Bale would've had a field day in this game had he played. Not that Real Madrid should need him to beat Granada, but Bale would have had all kinds of fun with Granada's discombobulated left side.
- Real Madrid won, but they really need to improve in their away games form in La Liga. Tonight, their passing was at time horrendous, and as a whole, the team is too talented with the ball to give it away so much. Check out the chart below from FourFourTwo StatsZone which shows the amount of passes that were misplaced by Real Madrid. 90 of them altogether.