Granada 1-4 Real Madrid: Visitors shake problems off the field to keep leader Atletico Madrid on the head as fast double from Alvaro Odriozola and Karim Benzema seal emphatic victory
- Strikes in the first half by Luka Modric and Rodrygo put the visitors in control
- Granada withdrew a goal via 38-year-old Jorge Molina in 71 minutes
- Odriozola made it 3-1 in the 75th minute and Benzema sealed the victory a minute later
- Real Madrid is two points behind LalIga leader Atletico with two games to go
The Real Madrid kids kept their title hopes alive and inspired an emphatic 4-1 win over Granada that keeps pressure on LaLiga leaders Atletico Madrid.
It was 19-year-old Miguel Gutierez, who replaced Marcelo at left back after the Brazilian was eliminated after a reported bust-up with coach Zinedine Zidane, who scored the first goal with a brilliantly elevated pass in the path of Luka Modric at 17 minutes .
And in injury time of the first half, 20-year-old Marvin Park threw the ball into space for Rodrgyo Goes to make it 2-0.
Attacks in the first half by Luka Modric and Rodrygo put the visitors in control of Granada
Rodrygo himself is only 19 and with 20-year-old Vinicius on the other flank, this was a young Madrid team that gave the club hope not only for a miracle in the last two games of the season, but also for going into next season.
They are now two points behind Atletico Madrid with two games to play.
“We just have to win both of our games and hope they slip,” said goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, who was forced to make saves in the second half when the home side pushed to get back in.
Granada withdrew a goal via 38-year-old Jorge Molina in the 71st minute, but Madrid’s reaction was relentlessly quick. Barely four minutes later Alvaro Odriozola made it 3-1 and when Rui Silva came out of his goal, Karim Benzema charged him with the ball and bent his shot from distance into an empty goal to make it 4-1.
Modric got a great pass from Miguel Gutierez to open the score
Zinedine Zidane was fourth in his technical field as his confidence in the youth team’s players paid off.
The Madrid coach, who had almost decided to walk away at the end of the season, had left Eden Hazard on the bench and Marcelo in the Spanish capital for the 50th game of the Madrid season.
Hazard managed to give an assist – it was his cross that gave Odriozola the third goal of the evening.
But Courtois complained after the game about the way the team had given the ball away in the last 10 minutes, as the substitutes could not keep the ball as the starters had.
Real Madrid attacker Rodrygo celebrates after scoring the second goal just before half time
Marvin Park threw the ball into space for Rodrgyo to shoot in the second goal
Madrid will now take on Athletic Bilbao on Sunday and on the last day of the season at home against Villarreal.
Atletico Madrid will be home to Osasuna on the weekend and will close their campaign against Valladolid.
They hoped for a Real Madrid mistake tonight, but it never materialized – they may have known their neighbors would not make it easy for them.
The only crease in Madrid’s evening was an ankle injury from Marvin Park, who saw him replaced by Odriozola at half time.
He will have tests on Friday as Madrid coach Zidane tries to gather 11 fit players for the final push.
Karim Benzema robbed Rui Silva of the ball and bent his shot from far into an empty net
Benzema celebrates with coach Zinedine Zidane after sealing the emphatic victory on Thursday