Marco Asensio fired Real Madrid six points clear at the top of the LaLiga Santander table, with his second-half strike from distance the only goal of their Sunday night game against Granada.

This 1-0 win will be savoured by Los Blancos, who came into the match without Karim Benzema or Vinicius and having lost Casemiro and Lucas Vazquez to sickness earlier in the day.

Granada actually had the better chances of the first half, with Thibaut Courtois having to make a good stop on Antonio Puertas after just a few minutes and with the visitors playing several dangerous balls to new signing Myrto Uzuni.

The closest Real Madrid came to scoring in the first half was actually courtesy of a Granada player, as Carlos Neva turned an attempted clearance off his own crossbar, much to the relief of all in red.

Isco was lively in his false No.9 role in the opening 45 minutes, as was Asensio on the right, and they each had half-chances throughout the opening period, as well as each testing Luis Maximiano’s gloves with back-to-back shots just before the break. But, Real Madrid needed something more.

Fede Valverde was introduced at the break and was immediately involved as he almost got on a Marcelo cross and then he broke through one on one, only for play to be called back for a foul.

Two more substitutions followed as Eden Hazard and Luka Jovic came on and they almost combined immediately to open the scoring, only for the Serbian to fire wide.

The goal eventually came, though. After Eder Militao pinched the ball back high up the pitch at the breakdown of a set-piece, he fed it to Asensio and he did what he has done so often, by scoring a wonder goal from distance.

Hazard was lively during his time on the pitch and appeared to have won a penalty in the closing stages, but VAR intervened to explain that the foul occurred outside the area, resulting in a freekick that Toni Kroos sent straight into Maximiano’s arms.

That was as close as the crowd at the Bernabeu came to seeing a second goal. Although they’d have liked the better performance, the important thing on this night of so many absences was to secure the three points and Asensio’s left boot did exactly that.


Courtesy: MARCA

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