Real Madrid hosted Granada in the first La Liga game of 2017 as they came out with a very convincing 5-0 win on the night and have now gone 39-games unbeaten, which equals the record set by FC Barcelona.

Starting Lineup: 

Having rested many of the key players against Sevilla, Zinedine Zidane was able to pick a strong lineup for the match while still keeping an eye on the Copa del Rey second leg, which will be played on Thursday. The starting eleven consisted of:

Keylor Navas, Daniel Carvajal, Raphael Varane, Nacho Fernandez, Marcelo, Carlos Casemiro, Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, Isco, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Karim Benzema


Real Madrid –
Isco (12′)
Karim Benzema (21′)
Cristiano Ronaldo (27′)
Isco (31′)
Carlos Casemiro (58′)

Granada –

Nacho Fernandez:

Nacho Fernandez is easily the most underrated player in the whole Real Madrid squad. The Spanish center-back is a Madridista in every possible way and has continuously been able to do his job to perfection every single time he’s called upon. He will never be the flashy player and he isn’t bothered about being the player making headlines as his sole purpose on the pitch is to do everything in his power to help the team. I know that it sounds very normal and something every player should do, but it isn’t and Nacho really deserves more credit for his incredible work.

Toni Kroos/Marcelo:

With Real Madrid winning 4-0 at half-time, Zinedine Zidane was given the privilege of taking out Toni Kroos in order to give him some much-needed rest as he was replaced by James Rodriguez. Towards the end of the game with Los Merengues now leading 5-0, Marcelo was also given some time off as he was replaced by Fabio Coentrao, who made his first league appearance of the season. Both are players that Zidane counts on so it’s really good to see them get some rest, even if it’s only for 30-45 minutes.

Isco/James Rodriguez:

No matter what happens or what Zidane chooses, there will always be a group of people who are against his choices. Whether he starts both of them, one of them, or none, it won’t matter but the best thing is that he simply couldn’t care less. Zidane’s main focus is the team and he knows very well just how good both players are. What he has chosen to do is to give both players a fair amount of time on the pitch so that they can prove their worth. Having said that, it seems as though one of them will be leaving during the summer, we just don’t know who exactly.


Karim Benzema:

Was it his best performance? Not at all but he was not bad either. After the game, I read a lot of criticism on Karim Benzema which made me really think that I missed something but then I realized that many people now judge a striker by the amount of goals he scores. He was able to get his name on the scoresheet once but he was always a threat and, as usual, his link-up play was perfect. A good game for the Frenchman, but just because he’s capable of being even better than that, he will definitely be working harder to show it all off on the pitch.

My Personal Player Ratings:

Keylor Navas – 9/10
Daniel Carvajal – 8/10
Raphael Varane – 8/10
Nacho Fernandez – 8.5/10
Marcelo – 9/10
Carlos Casemiro – 8.5/10
Toni Kroos – 8/10
Luka Modric – 9.5/10
Isco – 9.5/10
Cristiano Ronaldo – 7/10
Karim Benzema – 8/10