The umpteenth chair of Kroos and Modric, the virguerías of Vinicius, the delicacies of Asensio, the brigadista role of Casemiro and Nacho … He had a symphonic Madrid in Los Cármenes, where he afflicted a Granada that only had footsteps at the end of the first act. The rest of the time it was a very round match for Real, with hardly any blemishes. A recreational, solid and ambitious Madrid. Too much for a very flat opponent.
Luis Maximiano, Quini, Carlos Neva, Víctor Díaz (Raúl Torrente, min. 57), Germán, Gonalons (Isma Ruiz, min. 58), Monchu, Luis Suárez, Puertas (Montoro, min. 45), Alberto Soro (Escudero, min. 77) and Rochina (Jorge Molina, min. 58)
Courtois, Alaba (Jesús Vallejo, min. 82), Ferland Mendy, Nacho, Dani Carvajal, Casemiro, Modric (Isco, min. 79), Kroos (Camavinga, min. 79), Benzema (Jovic, min. 79), Marco Asensio and Vinicius Junior (Rodrygo, min. 70)
Goals 0-1 min. 18: Marco Asensio. 0-2 min. 24: Nacho. 1-2 min. 33: Luis Suarez. 1-3 min. 55: Vinicius Junior. 1-4 min. 75: Ferland Mendy.
Referee Juan Martinez Munuera
Yellow cards Montoro (min. 61) and Isco (min. 79)
Red cards Monchu (min. 66)
It was a first leg match, the one played by Ancelotti’s team. And without a return, because Granada did not say a word until he rebounded the 1-2 and had another bone for fifteen minutes. The dictation was from Modric and Kroos, eternal madridistas currencies, who gave the game to their heart’s content. Robert Moreno’s team did not close well, no matter how much he tried to buckle up in his field not far from his goalkeeper.
With the ball at the feet nor the tabarra the locals gave, from loss to loss. Bad deal when you measure yourself against people like Kroos. A Gonalons blunder allowed the German to immediately plug Asensio. The Spaniard caught the track, headed for Maximiano and beat him with a shot with his right.
For now, Real did not even require the best version of Benzema and Vinicius, reserved for the second period. Even less when Nacho, that perpetual secondary of the first, this time reliever of Militão, chased the 0-2. Ten days later, Ancelotti’s team toasted a slate goal. Kroos took a short corner, rhymed with Modric and the German assisted Nacho, an improvised striker, who nailed the shot into Maximiano’s net. Puertas lost sight of the ball and avoided the offside of the visiting center. A picnic party for the Real, as effective as a ruler. Even with Versailles details, such as a wonderful maneuver by Asensio in midfield that left several rojiblancos out of the picture and activated a counter guided by Benzema and Vinicius, concluded with a shot by Asensio himself who scratched under the crossbar Soro.
Nothing foreshadowed that the crash could turn upside down, but a shot by Colombian Luis Suárez after Quini’s swipe at Vinicius bounced off Nacho and left Courtois out in the open. Granada was encouraged, to which a battery of corner kicks only produced fallow, but during a stretch it had Courtois in sight. The only visiting lagoon on the day. A mirage for the Nasrid ensemble. Sometimes reality is the scum of illusion. It happened to the Andalusian club after the intermission.
Warned of the opponent’s roll-up, Madrid came out of the break as diligent as it was subtle. He took the game by the front and did not let go. Real played, machine-gunned and had Granada stiff, only stretched out very occasionally by Luis Suárez.
Vinicius’s repertoire has arrived, an extensive catalog of filigree. For many days that are no longer flourishes for the highlights. Do they have a purpose. Monchu knew it, expelled after causing a return of the bell from the Brazilian. Before, Vinicius had time to certify the 1-3, because the goal is no longer alien to him. Benzema took advantage of a cramp from sentinel Víctor Díaz and connected wonderfully with Modric, Vinicius’ godfather in the goal. To avoid greater evils, Ancelotti replaced him with his compatriot Rodrygo.
Without delay, this inspired Madrid was so launched that even Mendy, author of 1-4, was encouraged after a telescopic service from Casemiro. Robert Moreno’s team longed for a truce. It only came to him when Ancelotti acted as a water carrier for several headlines. Then Courtois appeared, who is always there, no matter how the game goes. The icing on the cake for a Madrid that exhibited a good part of its repertoire in Los Cármenes. And not only that. Unlike in other appointments, this time he nipped any possible comeback from the adversary in the bud. He only left the game for a while. And when he returned he did it in a big way, as Real Madrid is supposed to.
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George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.