Real Madrid played against Granada as they aimed to keep their winning streak and clean sheet streak up. Winning the game would mean that they will be in first place with Atletico Madrid and Barcelona both having a game in hand.
It seems as though Carlo Ancelotti has finally found his favorite starting eleven as he named a strong team to play against Granada. The starting lineup consisted of:
Diego Lopez, Daniel Carvajal, Pepe, Sergio Ramos [C], Marcelo, Xabi Alonso, Luka Modric, Gareth Bale, Angel Di Maria, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Karim Benzema
Real Madrid –
Cristiano Ronaldo (56′)
Karim Benzema (74′)
Cristiano Ronaldo Presents Balon d’Or:
Before the start of the match, Cristiano Ronaldo presented the Balon d’Or to the fans as they all celebrated and he was able to celebrate with the team on the pitch. It was a great sight and his happiness was very clear for everyone to see. This win meant a lot to him and it will only make him improve in the coming years as he is aiming to win it for a third time in his amazing career.
Gareth Bale Injury:
During the first half, Gareth Bale had an injury but was able to continue the game. As the second half began though, it seemed as though he was not able to get past the minor injury and therefore had to be substituted with Jese Rodriguez to avoid aggravating the injury any further. Hopefully it’s nothing serious and he will be able to come back for Real Madrid’s midweek game against Espanyol for the second leg of the Copa del Rey.
Another amazing night for Diego Lopez as he was able to get yet another clean sheet. The Spanish goalkeeper now holds the new record of games without conceding a goal with 388 minutes. Diego Lopez keeps on improving and clearly deserves a place in the starting lineup. With performances like these, anything is possible for Real Madrid as the season gets more difficult with time.
Pepe is a player who is usually seen as violent on the pitch but this season he has completely changed. The Portuguese defender is arguably having the best season of his career and is proving why Real Madrid have depended so much on him when it comes to keeping the ball as far away from the goal as possible. With that, he has also not committed a foul in 375 minutes, which is an amazing feat for a center back.
My Personal Player Ratings:
Diego Lopez: 9/10
Daniel Carvajal: 8.5/10
Sergio Ramos: 8/10
Xabi Alonso: 7.5/10
Luka Modric: 8/10
Gareth Bale: 7.5/10
Angel Di Maria: 8/10
Cristiano Ronaldo: 9/10
Karim Benzema: 8/10