Match Report: Real Madrid 9-1 Granada
La Liga, Santiago Bernabeu
The sun may have been blasting down on the Bernabeu but it was raining goals as Madrid produced their freescoring best against the leaking defence of relegation-threatened Granada on Sunday.
Cristiano Ronaldo hit a fantastic five for the first time in one match to take all the plaudits while ‘BBC’ teammates Karim Benzema (2) and Gareth Bale also got in on the rout. A Diego Mainz own goal completed a miserable day for Abel Resino and his men and left Madrid a point behind Barcelona at the top for a few hours at least.
Ronaldo’s five goals were sensational and three of them were scored in eight crazy first-half minutes. His hat-trick ensured he overtook Lionel Messi at the top of the Zichichi standings and saw him level the Argentine in La Liga hat-tricks with 24. It was Ronaldo’s 28th treble in all competitions – enough to see him level Madrid legend Alfredo Di Stefano.
Bale opened the scoring with a splendid goal and the floodgates opened as Madrid went on to become the first side to hit nine goals in a match since Barcelona saw off Rayo Vallecano in 1979.
It was an earlier kick-off than the locals were used to and it took Madrid a good 25 minutes to wake-up as they looked to bounce back from defeat at Barcelona last time out.
James Rodriguez made a welcome return following two months out with a foot injury and he replaced the suspended Isco in midfield. Alvaro Arbeloa replaced Dani Carvajal at right-back and Raphael Varane came in for the injured Pepe;
The game took a while to click into gear and Madrid could have actually found themselves behind when Iker Casillas’s poor throw for Marcelo was intercepted by Roberto Ibanez but the goalkeeper was fortunate in seeing the Granada man’s shot skim the outside of the post.
Granada’s resistance lasted 25 minutes until a superb through ball from Toni Kroos allowed Bale to race through, muscle the Granada man off the ball and round Oier before slotting the ball into the empty net.
Bale’s goal silenced some of his recent critics and it opened the floodgates to see seven goals bagged by Ancelotti’s men inside just 31 minutes.
Ronaldo was next up when he got on the end of a neat flick from James to slide an accurate shot inside the far post – it was his first of five and three inside eight first-half minutes.
The second arrive when he linked seamlessly with Marcelo down the left and when the Brazilian’s cross from the byline was dropped by the Granada ‘keeper Ronaldo was there to push in his second and Madrid’s third. His hat-trick goal was pure power and proved too much for Oier, who could only pushed the ball into the back of the net and see Madrid 4-0 up at the break.
There was no let-up on the resumption as Benzema bagged his first goal seven minutes after the restart and Ronaldo added his fourth just two minutes later from a Bale assist. The Frenchman doubled his own tally just minutes later to make it six.
Granada had some let-up and pulled a goal back from Ibanez before the end but Madrid still had the final say when Ronaldo completed his four-goal haul.
Real Madrid: Casillas, Arbeloa, Ramos, Varane, Marcelo, Kroos, Modric, James, Bale, Benzema, Ronaldo. Subs: Navas, Coentrao, Chicharito, Lucas Silva, Nacho, Jese, Illarramendi.
Granada: Oier, Fran Rico, Mainz, Babin, Candeias, El Arabi, Iturra, Juan Carlos, Robert Ibanez, Foulquier, Rochina. Subs: Roberto, Nyon, Javi Marquez, Piti, Riki, Eddy, Murillo.