Jan 25, 2014 at 3pm UK at ‚ÄčEstadio Santiago Bernabeu
Real Madrid
Ronaldo (56'), Benzema (74')
Ramos (17'), Benzema (54'), Modric (60'), di Maria (65')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Murillo (9'), Iturra (62')

Match Analysis: Real Madrid 2-0 Granada

Match Analysis: Real Madrid 2-0 Granada
© Getty Images
Sports Mole dissects the action as Real Madrid beat Granada 2-0 to move top of La Liga.

Real Madrid moved to the top of the La Liga table with a 2-0 win over Granada at the Bernabeu on Saturday afternoon.

Cristiano Ronaldo sent the home side into the lead in the early stages of the second period, before Karim Benzema added a second 15 minutes from time.

Here, Sports Mole dissects the 90 minutes of action between the two Spanish rivals.

Match statistics

Real Madrid
Shots: 23
On target: 8
Possession: 56%
Corners: 4
Fouls: 12

Shots: 7
On target: 2
Possession: 44%
Corners: 1
Fouls: 14

Was the result fair?

Despite a strong defensive performance from Granada, the home side certainly deserved to claim all three points in Madrid. Los Blancos were disappointing in the opening 45 minutes, but stepped up their intensity in the second period and Granada simply could not respond. With the way that Granada set up, a goalless draw would have been the best that they could have hoped for at the Bernabeu.

Real Madrid's performance

Madrid will always score goals due their incredible wealth of attacking talent, but they have now kept seven clean sheets in a row in all competitions. Granada hardly threatened to break that record this afternoon, but the likes of Sergio Ramos and Pepe must be credited for their performances in recent weeks. It would be fair to say that a number of their forward-thinking players were off-colour this afternoon, but ultimately another victory has taken them to the top of the table.

Granada's performance

Granada can be relatively pleased with their performance this afternoon, but there was not a single period in the match where they ever looked capable of taking something from the match. Even at 0-0 in the second period, you always felt that Madrid would find the back of the net. Once that happened, the game was over due to Granada's struggles in the final third. That said, how they fare this season will not depend on their results at places such as the Bernabeu.

Sports Mole's man of the match

Marcelo: The Brazilian left-back struggled for fitness and form in the early part of the season, but he has been terrific in recent weeks. The Madrid defender was just brilliant this afternoon, with Granada simply unable to deal with his pace and power in the final third. Benzema also had Marcelo to thank for assisting him in Madrid's second.

Biggest gaffe

It is difficult to pick out one particular moment, but Granada's complete lack of intensity in the final third was extremely disappointing this afternoon. They were brilliant defensively for the first period and long spells of the second, but Madrid goalkeeper Diego Lopez had arguably his easiest game of the season. Too often the away side's final pass failed to reach its desired destination.

Referee performance

It was a fairly busy afternoon for Jesus Gil with the Spanish official tasked with refereeing a high-intensity La Liga contest. However, Gil dealt with the conditions well and only awarded cards when he deemed it absolutely necessary. Neither manager will have had too many complaints about his performance.

What next?

Real Madrid: Los Blancos are in Copa del Rey quarter-final action against Espanyol next Tuesday, with the capital outfit holding a 1-0 lead from the first leg.

Granada: Granada will attempt to return to winning ways when they open Week 22 in La Liga next Friday with a home clash against Celta Vigo.

Real Madrid's Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo kicks the ball during the Spanish league football match Real Madrid vs FC Granada at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid on January 25, 2014
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