Real Madrid now lead La Liga by six points after a 1-0 victory over Granada. The difference came via a goal from the lethal left foot of Marco Asensio. There would be no starts for Eden Hazard, Gareth Bale, or Luka Jovic as Isco got the nod up front in the false nine position. A lackluster first half, was followed up with a more intense Real Madrid in the second stanza fueled by the dynamism provided from Fede Valverde in midfield. Along with Valverde, there were a few other stand out performances including Eder Militao, Marco Asensio, and good cameos from Hazard and Jovic. Full match player ratings below:
Thibaut Courtois—6: Had relatively little to do in terms of shot stopping, but came up big with a kick save on Antonio Puertas early shot. The distribution with his feet regressed tonight, with a weak footed clearance falling right to a Granada player outside the box. Fortunately, the Belgian was not punished and Madrid dealt with the mistake.
Dani Carvajal—5.5: First came back since recovering from COVID. Had a number of good counter pressing sequences to prevent Granada from counter-attacking, but looked exhausted by the end of the match.
Eder Militao—8.5: A stellar performance from the Brazilian. Went head first into duels he had no right winning, pressed aggressively, and nullified any attack Granada attempted to put together.
David Alaba—6: Relatively quiet performance as Alaba had little to do given the non-existent threat of Suarez and Collado.
Marcelo—6.5: Another solid performance from the veteran captain. Came off to a standing ovation from the Santiago Bernabeu.
Camavinga—5: Nearly caught on the ball in the first minute of the match, just outside Madrid’s box. After the shaky start, grew into the match by venturing forward into a more classic #8 role, rather than a central defensive midfield role. Was yanked off at half-time for Fede Valverde to be introduced.
Luka Modric—6: Much improved in the second half at the left central midfield position when partnered with Valverde and Kroos.
Toni Kroos—8: Curled a shot from a recovered corner kick which nearly broke the deadlock. Switch the field of play to devastating effect, hitting a long diagonal to Carvajal and Asensio on more than one occasion.
Rodrygo Goes—5: Got to play in his more customary left wing position, but rarely took Quini on 1 v 1. Combined well with Camavinga in the first half, resulting in a near post shot.
Marco Asensio—8.5: Took a team high of 8 shots, with 6 on target. His shot volume ultimately returned a goal, a screamer from outside the box — what’s become a Marco Asensio special.
Isco—7: Started in the false 9 role, and funnily enough ended up getting on the end of a number of crosses and corner kicks with his head. Played well, but would have preferred to see him in a diamond role, center midfield, or an inverted left wing.
Fede Valverde—8.5: A sensational 45 minutes from the Uruguayan. This was the Fede Valverde of 2019/2020 season when he displaced Luka Modric. Provided energy and dynamic that was lacking in Madrid’s game. Was a denied a huge goal scoring opportunity by an incorrect call from Mateu Lahoz.
Eden Hazard—7: A bright spark off the bench. Created two big goal scoring opportunities for Jovic and nearly earned a penalty after a counter attack opportunity.
Luka Jovic—7: Immediately combined with Hazard after they were introduced to the match and managed a left foot shot that glanced past the near post. Had another opportunity late in the match, again fed by Hazard, but scuffed the shot with his weaker left foot.
Dani Ceballos—N/A: Played the last 5 minutes of the match in place of Luka Modric.
Nacho—N/A: Replaced Marcelo late in the match.