|Real Madrid slip up in Granada|
Real Madrid began the second month of 2013 with the intention of continuing the good run of results and style of play that had left them undefeated this year and also meant that they had three wins and a draw from the four league matches played prior to today. There was no time for speculation against Granada and the match began with the Whites on the front foot and their opponents trying to spring the counterattack. It was the home team that could have gone ahead in the 20th minute had it not been for Arbeloa’s goal line clearance following Aranda’s precision pass that just needed Nolito to touch the ball into the net. From the resulting corner the Andalusian team pushed forward. It was the same player, Nolito, who was responsible for taking it and Ronaldo, attempting to clear the danger, put the ball beyond Diego Lopez with his head. Granada had scored with their first and only shot on target in the entire match.
Real Madrid needed to come from behind and have already clearly shown this season that they are not afraid of adverse situations. Ronaldo had an attempt from a free-kick in the 29th minute and the Whites were constantly pushing their opponents closer to their own goal line. In spite of how the match was going, the break arrived with the scoreboard against them. There were 45 minutes left to turn it around.
Mourinho was looking for alternatives and decided to give bring on Benzema and Callejon for Higuain and Khedira after the break. The Portuguese coach was once again brave as his team tried to alter the match’s script. Ronaldo brought the best out of Toño in the 57th minute with a shot from the edge of the box and two minutes later tried his luck again, but the home team’s goalkeeper had another more than adequate response. Marcelo came on for Coentrao on 65 minutes and the Whites, who deserved more from the second half, put the home team’s goal under relentless pressure.
They came close to getting the equaliser in the 84th minute. Callejon won the ball near to the penalty area and, following a one-two with Benzema, was left one-on-one with Toño. The goalkeeper successfully saved, but the block fell to the feet of the Frenchman, who shot wide from inside the area with the home team’s goalkeeper out of position and with one defender on the goal line. Lady luck was not with the Whites, they did not deserve to lose in Granada.
Stadium: Los Carmenes
Goals: 1-0, m.22: Cristiano Ronaldo (o.g.)