Real Madrid earned a narrow victory over well organized Granada in the La Liga clash on Saturday afternoon at Santiago Bernabeu.
Real Madrid achieved three important points in the early phase of the league as the hosts were made to sweat to see off a bold Granada. With the result, Real moved into first place with 10 points from four matches. The European champions Barcelona can reclaim the top spot with a victory against Levante on Sunday.
Rafael Benitez’s men have won four straight games including a Champions League triumph and three league encounters. Real Madrid is unbeaten so far this season thanks to goalkeeper Keylor Navas, who has maintained a club record five successive clean sheets.
Real Madrid came into the game with a comprehensive mid-week win against Shakhtar Donetsk and they were without forwards Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez as well as defender Sergio Ramos due to sustained injuries.
Both the sides came close to break the deadlock in the first half of the match but all their chances were denied. Finally, Karim Benzema headed in a cross from Isco nine minutes after the break. The Frenchman scored the only goal of the match as he saved the hosts from a goalless draw.
The Andalusian side counter attacked after goalkeeper Andres Fernandez saved a certain goal in the first quarter of the game. The visitors thought they had taken a lead when Youssef El Arabi passed a low cross into the net, but the Moroccan was harshly ruled offside.
Real Madrid forward Cristinao Ronaldo was frustrated as Andres Fernandez denied the Portugal international with a number of fine saves. Madeira native Ronaldo was unable to add to the eight goals he had scored in his last two outings. The Portugal captain has to wait at least until Madrid’s trip to Athletic Bilbao on Wednesday to score his 500th goal for club and country.
In addition, the Portuguese needs a hat-trick to become the club’s all-time top scorer while the former Man United star is two goals shy of Raul’s 323 goals. IMAGE/ Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/ Getty Images