Skip to main content

Real Madrid 1 Granada 0: Benzema heads hosts to victory

Karim Benzema made it four goals in as many games for Real Madrid to help Rafael Benitez's men secure a 1-0 La Liga win over Granada in Saturday's encounter at the Santiago Bernabeu.

The home side created a number of fine opportunities in the opening 45 minutes, yet failed to break the deadlock, while Granada did find the net before the interval, but Youssef El Arabi's effort was ruled out for offside.

Benzema eventually gifted Madrid the lead when he headed home Isco's cross early in the second half, continuing his impressive start to the season in all competitions. 

Isaac Success and El Arabi both threatened for the visitors in the second half, but to no avail as Keylor Navas kept another clean sheet.

Victory sees Madrid move top of the table for at least a day with 10 points from four games.

Granada were happy to sit back and try to hit Madrid on the counterattack in the opening stages, a tactic that almost paid off after eight minutes.

Cristiano Biraghi sent in a dangerous cross after some good work from Rene Krhin and Marcelo nearly fired it into his own net as he attempted to clear the ball before El Arabi could get to it.

Madrid threatened for the first time in the 14th minute when Isco tried his luck, but the attacking midfielder's shot lacked power and accuracy. Granada goalkeeper Andres Fernandez was called into action again shortly after when he saw Cristiano Ronaldo show up in front of him and he displayed his class with a fine save to deny the Portuguese forward.

El Arabi then seemed to have opened the scoring for the visitors halfway through the first half, but his effort was controversially disallowed for offside.

Benitez's side should have broken the deadlock at the half-hour mark when Ronaldo set up Luka Modric in plenty of space, yet the Croatia international's unconvincing attempt only hit Fernandez's legs before the ball was cleared to safety.

Madrid once more came close in the 40th minute after a superb counterattack. Benzema set up Isco inside the area, only for the gifted midfielder to smash wide from a dangerous position.

Success looked lively throughout the game and had an opportunity to give his side a surprise lead shortly after the interval, but Navas did well to deny the Nigerian youngster.

The hosts at last got the goal they were after in the 55th minute. Isco unleashed a sublime cross to the back post and Benzema coolly headed home to make it 1-0.

El Arabi continued to cause the Madrid defence problems and he came close to levelling at the hour mark, only for Navas to burst off his line and make a solid block.

Ronaldo was again denied by Fernandez halfway through the second half after he had unleashed a powerful left-footed shot.

Madrid kept pushing for a second and perhaps should have been awarded a penalty when Isco was seemingly brought down inside the area. The referee decided different, though, as it remained 1-0.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1