Luka Modric was the standout performer as Real Madrid cruised to a 4-1 win over Granada at Los Carmenes on Thursday.
Real Madrid were the better of the two sides in the early exchanges and the opener had been coming for a while when Luka Modric broke the deadlock in the 17th minute after latching on to a delicate chipped pass by Miguel Gutierrez. The visitors continued to push forward, but chances came few and far between until the stroke of half-time, when Rodrygo Goes made it 2-0 from close range.
Post the interval, the gulf in quality was clear, but it was Granada who pulled a goal back against the run of play when Jorge Molina tapped the ball into an open goal after Thibaut Courtois had parried Luis Suarez’s effort. However, the hosts could not manage to grab the equaliser, with Real Madrid scoring shortly after through Alvaro Odriozola.
Moments later, the game was put to bed when Karim Benzema pounced on an error by Granada goalkeeper Rui Silva, scoring an open goal from 25 yards out. The result means Real Madrid remain within touching distance of Atletico Madrid following the La Liga leaders’ win over Real Sociedad on Wednesday. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over Zinedine Zidane’s men.
Thibaut Courtois: 7/10
There was nothing that Courtois could have done to deny Jorge Molina after his save parried towards the Granada striker. Otherwise, the Real Madrid no. 1 was colossal in goal, making a total of 4 saves, including a couple of late flurries. Precise on the ball as well, misplacing just 3 passes.
Marvin Park: 7/10
A surprise starter ahead of Alvaro Odriozola, Park impressed for the most part. The action did not necessarily flow from his flank, but he made sure he did not misplace his passes when given the chance to charge forward. Also ended up providing the assist for Rodrygo’s goal before being taken off at half-time due to a slight knock.
Eder Militao: 7/10
Another solid display at the heart of the Real Madrid defence by Eder Militao, who was imperious in the air while winning 6 duels in all. Completed 3 clearances and 2 tackles while also making a big block. Only docked a point because he was turned by Luis Suarez in the build-up to the Granada goal. Nearly faultless otherwise.
With Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane unavailable, Nacho started at the heart of the Real Madrid defence alongside Eder Militao. The Spaniard had a few nervy moments, but did well to not just hold his own but also cover the spaces left open by Miguel Gutierrez, making an impressive 6 clearances. Solid on the ball as well, completing 90 percent of his attempted passes.
Miguel Gutierrez: 7/10
19-year-old Miguel Gutiérrez – assist & very good performance on his first-ever start for Real Madrid.
Another superb product of La Fabrica. pic.twitter.com/1F12c7BiRe
— Football Talent Scout – Jacek Kulig (@FTalentScout) May 13, 2021
Making his full debut for Real Madrid, Gutierrez made quite an impression on the left side of the defence. There were a few occasions when he left a bit too much space to be exploited, but he will learn not to do that with more game-time. The standout moment, though, was his delicate pass to Luka Modric for the opener. Real Madrid might not have to invest in a left-back after all.
Federico Valverde: 8/10
Reinstated in midfielder after being played higher up the pitch last time out, Valverde was a bundle of energy over the course of his stay on the field and even played a game-high 4 key passes. Helped Casemiro out defensively with 6 duels won, in addition to completing 3 tackles and 2 interceptions. Also had a commendable 94 percent passing rate. Job well done.
Thursday’s performance was not Casemiro at his very best, but the Brazilian did enough to disrupt Granada and their build-up plays for the most part, winning 6 duels. However, his output on the ball was poor, with the resident holding midfielder playing some sloppy passes while having a pass completion rate of just 77 percent.
Luka Modric: 9/10
Luka Modric has now scored four La Liga goals for Real Madrid this season.
The most goals he has managed in a single league campaign since he scored four for Tottenham in the 2011/2012 season. 👀 pic.twitter.com/tvN3gNIeQU
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) May 13, 2021
A top-class display by Modric, who stepped up magnificently in the absence of Toni Kroos. The Croat, who has looked a little leggy lately, showed bagfuls of energy all throughout his time on the pitch and often got into dangerous scoring positions. On one such instance he gave Real Madrid the lead, producing a superb finish through Rui Silva’s legs. Played 3 key passes as well and was always on the prowl.
Rodrygo Goes: 7/10
An improved display by Rodrygo, who was a willing runner for the hour he spent on the pitch and looked to get into dangerous areas as well – an outlook that yielded him his goal. Put in the hard yards defensively to help out Marvin Park as well and it was a creditable performance in the end from the Brazilian.
Karim Benzema: 8/10
Another game, another goal for Benzema. You just cannot stop the French juggernaut at Real Madrid right now and on a night when the visitors were missing Toni Kroos, he took it upon himself to do some extra legwork and provide some creative impetus alongside Modric. Fabulous finish for his goal, even though it was into an open net.
Karim Benzema has now been directly involved in 30 goals in La Liga this season:
⚽️ 22 goals
🅰️ 8 assists
Having a brilliant season. 😎 pic.twitter.com/qHFMwKVciW
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) May 13, 2021
Vinicius Junior: 6/10
A game of hits and misses for Vinicius. As always, the Brazilian winger cannot be faulted to a lack of effort, for it came in bagfuls. However, his end product often left a lot to be desired, while his shooting boots were once again nowhere to be seen. That being said, his willingness to take on a Granada defender meant he opened up space for his teammates to pounce on.
Alvaro Odriozola: 7/10
Introduced at half-time in place of Park, Odriozola was a bundle of energy in the second half and produced one marvellous ghosting run ahead of his goal, which came courtesy a peach of a finish. Has earned himself a place in the starting lineup this weekend.
Marco Asensio: 6/10
Sent on in place of Rodrygo, Asensio did not see as much of the ball as he would have liked and struggled to grow into the game. Last week’s impact off the bench was far better.
On for Valverde, Isco kept things simple to complete 95 percent of his passes, which, in turn, helped Real Madrid remain in control of the game.
Eden Hazard: 7/10
Given the final 30 minutes or so to impress, Hazard, the Player to Watch in our preview, ended up providing the assist for Odriozola to score Real Madrid’s third of the night with a superb cut-back. Looked to make things happen in what was a bright cameo.
Mariano Diaz: N/A
On for Benzema, Mariano did not have much of a time to make a lasting impact.