Hazard & Benzema seal top spot for Real

Real Madrid moved four points clear at the top of LaLiga with a 4-2 win over second-place Granada on Saturday afternoon.

A depleted Real started with Alphonse Areola in goal, Federico Valverde in the middle and Alvaro Odriozola in the much-publicised left-back slot.

Real raced ahead after two minutes when Gareth Bale used the outside foot to find Karim Benzema, who needed no second invitation with an easy finish from the back post. The effort was approved by the Video Assistant Referee following an appeal for offside by the visiting side.

A brilliant move from the middle saw Dani Carvajal popped up in usual territory after 25 minutes and drew a smart save from Rui Silva with an equally smart attempt.

Toni Kroos battled to carry on and was replaced by Luka Modric after just 33 minutes, but Real remained in control afterwards.

Los Blancos secured a second goal on the stroke of halftime when Eden Hazard registered his first for his new club after running onto Valverde’s pass to lob Silva.

Granada looked for a promising start into the second half, but lacked the fire power to trouble their more fancied hosts. After a tense spell, Modric nestled the top corner with a stunning 30-yard finish from outside the area 61 minutes in following a solid pass.

Granada remained in the contest after Darwin Machis finished coolly from the spot seven minutes later following a foul by Areola.

The visitors halved the tally to a single margin as Dominic Duarte tapped home from poor defending following a corner kick in the final 12 minutes.

However, Real restored their two-goal advantage in added time when James Rodriguez came off the bench to tap home Odriozola’s cross, as the hosts claim a solid win to go further clear at the top.

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