• Sunday, March 03, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Rodrygo scores as Real Madrid beat Granada to reclaim La Liga top spot

Rody

Brazilian forward Rodrygo Goes was on the scoring sheet as Real Madrid sealed a comfortable 2-0 win over Granada in a La Liga fixture played on Saturday night at the Santiago Bernabeu to return to the top of the La Liga table.

Girona’s 2-1 win over Valencia earlier on Saturday moved Real Madrid second on the La Liga table, but a positive result over Granada returned Carlo Ancelotti’s side top of the La Liga table on goal difference.

Brahim Diaz opened the scoring midway through the first half and Rodrygo doubled the lead after 57 minutes at the Santiago Bernabeu.

The Brazilian forward has scored seven goals in his last five games across all competitions, appearing at the perfect time to keep Real Madrid’s strong start to the season going despite not starting many matches.

Real Madrid were without several key players through injury, from goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois to winger Vinicius Junior.

However, Los Blancos had more than enough to sweep past the Andalucians, 19th and battling against relegation.

Read also Bellingham smashes Cristiano Ronaldo’s goal record at Real Madrid

“(Rodrygo) has returned to his best level, scoring a lot of goals,” Ancelotti told reporters.

The coach reserved some praise for midfielder Toni Kroos, who set up Diaz’s opener with a clever pass.

“He doesn’t give balls away, he always chooses the best option, he’s a midfielder who wants the ball,” added Ancelotti.

“He is not afraid and he positions himself very well, it’s his biggest virtue, his control too, when he does not play, he is irreplaceable.”

Granada set up with five at the back to try and keep Carlo Ancelotti’s side at arm’s length and although it worked to an extent, Madrid claiming three points was rarely in doubt.

Read also Bellingham smashes Cristiano Ronaldo’s goal record at Real Madrid

Madrid quickly took control of the game without creating an excess of chances.

After 26 minutes Kroos’ superb pass sent Diaz in on goal and he stayed cool to nudge home and put Madrid ahead gently.

It was the former Manchester City playmaker’s second goal in four matches, with Diaz showing he can help the red-hot Rodrygo fill the gap left by Vinicius Junior’s injury.

“We played the football that we know, it was a nearly perfect game, we dominated the match and they created very few chances against us,” Diaz told Real Madrid TV.

“We were very focused, and that’s the work of the whole team and the players, who are spectacular.”

Jude Bellingham, La Liga’s top goalscorer with 11 goals, could have added another just before half-time but scuffed his shot across goal, the ball bobbling wide.