Real Madrid visited a Granada side that have already been relegated from La Liga as they only had pride to play for on the night.
Zinedine Zidane continued with his rotation policy as he made 9 changes to the lineup that started against Atletico Madrid in the UEFA Champions League. The starting eleven consisted of:
Kiko Casilla, Danilo, Nacho Fernandez, Sergio Ramos, Fabio Coentrao, Carlos Casemiro, Mateo Kovacic, James Rodriguez, Lucas Vazquez, Marco Asensio, and Alvaro Morata
Real Madrid –
James Rodriguez (3′)
James Rodriguez (11′)
Alvaro Morata (30′)
Alvaro Morata (35′)
Getting an assist to his name in what could end up being his final game as a Real Madrid player, Fabio Coentrao actually came out with a decent performance on the night. Granted that Granada were nowhere near an opponent that were coming out to cause damage on the night, it was still great to see the left-back move forward comfortably and help out his teammates in whatever way possible (even if it was also making sure Isco’s necklace made it to safe hands on the sidelines). Though many may have forgotten, but the Portuguese defender has cemented his name in the history books of the club and was a major player in Los Blancos’ hunt for La Decima. Unfortunately, things didn’t go too well for him in recent seasons but he is a player that should be remembered fondly.
Another game and another brace for James Rodriguez as he came out absolutely fighting. Quite unlucky not to get a hat-trick on the night, the Colombian started off the game extremely strongly and made sure Los Merengues were able to come out with a strong scoreline early on as they could afford to take their foot off the gas a little bit afterwards (though Morata had some other ideas). Another good night for James Rodriguez but I don’t feel like there is too much that could be done to keep him at the club past this summer.
Given the opportunity to start, Alvaro Morata scored a beautiful brace to ensure that Real Madrid went into half-time with a very comfortable 4-0 lead. The Spanish forward has continuously shown that he truly deserves a spot in the starting eleven and, with Karim Benzema’s shockingly poor form recently, it’s extremely baffling that the French attacker is the one always chosen to start in the bigger matches. I don’t doubt that we will be seeing Benzema again in the second-leg against Atletico Madrid on Wednesday night and it would simply be another reason that Morata may look to move on this summer.
Before I continue with this, it’s important to note that I am personally a fan of Karim Benzema but I am also taking the side of not fielding players during every big match when they’re extremely out of form. Karim Benzema was probably the only player that could make a Madridista leave the TV after a 4-0 win feeling agitated. The French forward came onto the pitch and ruined the flow of the game, it was actually kind of painful to watch. We need him back in form and, until then at least, Alvaro Morata really deserves a place in the starting eleven.