Nine matches and nine wins, Zidane’s men march on with one hand on the La Liga trophy. Nine wins in a row – let that sink in. The match itself was an up and down affair. Zidane rolled out a five-man midfield and Madrid played a first half full of champagne football. The men in teal took an early two-goal lead through Ferland Mendy and Karim Benzema. What was expected to be a 2nd half of cruise control turned into a Granada onslaught. Some 2nd half tinkering from Diego Martinez and some fatigue from Madrid, meant the match involved Zidane’s favorite post match quote, “suffering”. The team weathered the storm, in large part due to a Sergio Ramos goal-line clearance, and now have the opportunity to be crowned champions on Thursday with a victory over Villarreal at the Alfredo Di Stefano stadium.
Thibaut Courtois—7: Despite Granda having 13 shots in this game, they only had 4 on target and two which forced Courtois into a save. On the lone goal, Courtois was nutmegged by Darwin Machis’ shot – something that has occurred multiple times before and maybe it is worth evaluating his stance / angle on 1 v 1 opportunities.
Dani Carvajal—5.5: A quiet game from Carvajal, who only really popped up when he was being called for a foul. In the 5 man midfield, he provided the width on the right flank, but contributed little to the attack.
Raphael Varane—6.5: Seemed like a match where Varane was everywhere defensively. Mopped up well as a sweeper when Sergio Ramos pressed and won the majority of his aerial duels. May have had an opportunity to tackle Darwin Machis on Getafe’s lone goal, but decided against taking the risk.
Sergio Ramos—8.5: Another brilliant display from the captain – how many times have we said that post-lockdown? Came up clutch in the final minutes of the game with a goal-line clearance to preserve the three points for Madrid.
Mendy—8.5: The Frenchman seems to be growing in confidence and comfort at Real Madrid. Scored a brilliant individual goal to give Madrid the opener. Used all his physical toolset to slow down and then quickly shift into another gear and blow past the Granada defense before pummeling the ball into the roof of the net.
Casemiro—5.5: The Brazilian’s one costly mistake in lead-up to Granada’s goal will mar his performance, but otherwise was solid defensively and came in with a team high of 3 completed tackles.
Luka Modric—8.5: Who can believe Luka will be turning 35-years-old in just a couple of months? The midfielder was at his majestic best, particularly in the first half where he played a visionary pass to Benzema from the right wing. Ended the match with a team high of 3 key passes.
Toni Kroos—7.5: Tired near the end of the match like much of the Madrid squad, but was at his usual high standards for much of the match. Team high 90 touches and 75 passes with a 97% pass accuracy!
Fede Valverde—6.5: The Uruguayan floated from central positions through to the right wing. He did not misplace a single one of his 30 passes, but did tire in the 2nd half when he was tasked with changing his role more to a two-way winger. Zidane rightly made the change around the hour mark.
Isco—6.5: Played in the left half space as an interior #10 for all of the first half and thrived. He connected well with Kroos, Modric, Benzema, and Mendy. In the second half, Granada piled on the pressure and Isco was forced to perform as a two-way winger mitigating his influence and pushing his fitness levels.
Karim Benzema—7.5: Scored a beautiful goal after Granada afforded the Frenchman far too much time and space in the box.
Rodrygo Goes—6: Played on his preferred left wing and produced 1 key pass and 2 completed dribbles within his 30 minutes on the pitch, but was likely put on for his work rate and composure on the ball more than anything else.
Marco Asensio—5.5: Produced a lovely pirouette to evade a Granada defender, but that was the highlight of his match with little else to note.