Real Madrid scored four goals in the first half to seal this game early. Morata and James each scored a brace respectively, and Granada are a hot mess. Here’s our immediate reaction to the game. Still to come: player ratings, tactical review, post-game quotes, and post-game podcast.
This will, um, be brief. Granada were blown out of the water today, and somehow recovered enough defensively to avoid conceding a fifth goal in the second half.
Look, this is nothing new, but, Granada have defensive problems. Today’s eye test was actually relatively OK for them, as shocking as that may be. There are times this season where they won’t actually realize something bad is happening to them until they concede a goal. They will react when it’s too late. Right when the ball is half-way across the line, something will click, and they’ll go ‘oh, maybe we should defend this. Ok, yeah, let me start closin —- oh, it’s a goal. Shoot’. That’s Granada, encapsulated. We’ve discussed this on the Churros y Tácticas podcast (subscribe to that ish, man) before. Paco Jemez has left his imprint on this team like a deep burn mark. Tony Adams, while having the right ideas in mind for next season, has a lot of work to undo.
Daps to you if you stuck it out on a Saturday to witness a 90-minute pick-up game. If we’re to dive into the nitty-gritty, we have to mention that Real Madrid’s renowned ‘B squad’ did what it typically does — carve and conquer. In the third minute, Lucas Vazquez made a run in-behind a sleeping Aly Malle (who was bizarrely taken off in the 18th minute for tactical reasons) which Marco Asensio saw right away — hitting Vazquez with a diagonal through-ball which James eventually converted from a square pass. Eight minutes later, James scored again — his cutting run caught an entire backline napping, and he met a cross swung in by the left from Fabio Coentrao.
It was a nice cross from Coentrao, by the way. The Portuguese left-back dribbled past Foulquier and swung it in for James. You know what was great about that moment? That was his first La Liga assist of the season, and he’s now just one assist shy of tying Paco Alcacer’s assist mark for Barcelona — in 11 less games too.
This was another statement game from Morata too, who scored the last two goals for Real Madrid. Both of them strikes from a striker who looks emaciated — with goals being the obvious remedy to beef him up.
u know what I love about Morata? This is him, every time he plays. pic.twitter.com/hL1RFO0DAl— Kiyan Sobhani (@KiyanSo) May 6, 2017
There wasn’t a whole lot to note from Granada in this match. Though, as noted above, they did manage to recover and churn in a goalless second half. At times, they tried to cope with their defensive craters by holding the ball — something Real Madrid were happy to sit back on rather than press high. But Adams’ men couldn’t break through, and the few times they did, Kovacic, Casemiro, Lucas Vazquez, or Sergio Ramos would typically step in and snuff their attack. And if it wasn’t thwarted there, they shot themselves in the foot and the ball into the sky. Of their 13 shots, only three were on target — four were blocked, and the rest wildly off the mark.
That’s all I got for now. More coverage coming your way, though we’re really all secretly looking ahead to Atletico, Malaga, Sevilla, Celta, and Juve.
Oh, here’s one more thing: