02 September 2012
Real Madrid arrive at the international break with what they needed to do done. The Whites secured their second consecutive win against Granada and capped off a week in which they lifted the first title of the season. Cristiano Ronaldo, with a brace that takes him to 150 goals in competitive matches as Real Madrid player, and Higuaín, equalling the Portuguese as the Whites’ top scorer this campaign, saw off a team that barely troubled Casillas. The Whites are back in the arena again in 13 days at the Sánchez Pizjuán.
Real Madrid, with their new status as Spanish Super Cup champions, put on a show against Granada. They did so with Modric, who made his debut four days ago, in the starting line-up. Benzema and Callejón were the two other changes to the team following the match against Barcelona. The Whites went out to dominate, take the initiative and make it clear they did not want to wait for victory to come to them. Guided by a masterful Xabi Alonso and the intelligence of the Croatian to get between the lines, Real Madrid had an early chance to open the scoring. It was the first reinforcement of the season who created the opportunity with the outside of his foot, one of his specialties, passed to Callejón. The academy player could not beat Toño in the one-on-one in the 4th minutes.
Ronaldo took over the baton from Callejón and had two consecutive chances in front of goal. It was just a warning of what was to come. In fact, the first goal of the match was the result of a partnership between the two. The Portuguese ran off of the academy player in the area and used his pass to get off a surprise shot from a tight angle that clipped Íñigo López and ended up going through the legs of Toño on the 26th minute. The sixth goal for the Portuguese, and later what would be his seventh, against the visiting keeper in team from Alicante’s last three visits to the Bernabéu. Benzema, with two assists from Marcelo, had the chance to increase the lead, but both chances, in the 32nd and 44th minutes, were off target. The Whites had one more opportunity before the break, but the shot from Ronaldo, who was looking for his second, was saved by Toño.
Two goals and more chances after the break
Di María came on for Callejón after the break and started the move that ended in the home team’s second on the 53rd minute. A pass with the outside of the foot from the Argentine set Ronaldo clear score his first brace of the season and score his 150th goal as a Real Madrid player. The Portuguese needed two attempts to do so after a great stop from Toño from his first shot. Three minutes later, and before being replaced by Özil, Modric had the chance to score his first goal as a Whites’ player, but his 56th minute shot missed the target by a few inches.
Real Madrid had the advantage on the scoreboard and, with half an hour until the end of the match, and a numerical advantage following the sending-off of Borja Gómez for two yellow card offences (14th and 60th). The foul that resulted in the second caution left Cristiano Ronaldo lying on the ground. The Portuguese, clearly in pain, left the field to applause five minutes later. For good reason. Two goals and his role in the move that led to the sending off of Granada’s player signed off a good match for the Portuguese. His replacement was Gonzalo Higuaín and the Argentine needed just 11 minutes to show his exceptional form. A perfectly weighted pass from Benzema lead to 'El Pipita' putting the ball in the back of the net in an empty goal in the 76th minute. The Real Madrid player's fourth goal, which brings him equal with Cristiano Ronaldo as the team’s top scorer this season, and rounds off a week in which the Whites have two consecutive wins and won the first title of the season.