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Real Madrid - Granada

Benítez: "We had to put a real shift in to get the win"

NEWS | 19/09/2015

"Granada put in a good performance, but we worked hard and created enough chances to merit the three points", he added.
Rafa Benítez offered his thoughts on Real Madrid's win over Granada in his post-match press conference at the Santiago Bernabéu: "We knew that it was a potentially difficult game, against a well-organised team who come out on the counter-attack. At the beginning we gave balls away and failed to capitalise on some chances. Then we had more control and more opportunities, and the game was pretty much under control, except for the final stages, when they had to send the ball forward in desperation". 

"We moved Lucas [Vázquez] to the left to close up that flank a little bit more and help out Marcelo. We changed the system and with [Mateo] Kovacic their rhythm dropped and we had more possession. We were missing the final pass and that cutting edge to kill off the game. We had to put a real shift in right to the final whistle to get the three points".

"We had some clear chances to put ourselves in the driving seat. We weren't able to make more, though I think we had 20 attempts. Granada put in a good match defensively. A lot of the time it was also down to mistakes by us, because of moments of carelessness that saw us lose it on a simple ball. We needed to move the ball more quickly and with greater precision".

The key to good defence
"It's down to the whole team. We still have to improve and not give our opponents two or three chances on goal. Keylor [Navas] sorted out any problems that we had. I said before that it isn't easy to beat records, all the more so at Real Madrid. The fact that it's the fifth game and Keylor still hasn't conceded a goal means that as a unit we're doing quite a lot of things right. We have to keep on working to ensure that the team carries on creating chances and gives fewer to the opposition".

Lack of respect shown to Granada?
"Categorically no. Real Madrid have not done that and I was the first to talk about the potential dangers posed by Granada in my press conference. I said the same to my players, and we witnessed it in today's game, right up until the end. They put in a good performance, we worked hard and created enough chances to merit the win. They gave a good account of themselves, but we scored the goal that got the win".

Jesé and Lucas
"I don't like to talk about individual players. Lucas ran and worked hard. If he plays it's because he's earned it. If we want to be competitive and make the most of the squad's potential, we have to work as hard as possible so as to be in the best of shape and, when the chance comes, play ahead of a team-mate. And if not, another player will play and you have to keep on working hard". 

Going 5 games without conceding a goal means that we're doing quite a lot of things right.

"I'm happy with the whole team's attitude but I have to choose 11. We've seen the mobility and dynamism that Lucas brings us. We have four players out injured, and for me it's positive that despite that we got a difficult game won and have given playing time to other players".

"It's not a criticism of Jesé in the slightest. It's simply a case of Lucas being in very good shape right now. Jesé is in good shape, as are [Denis] Cheryshev, Kovacic... We have to encourage competition for places between players, to ensure that they give their all. The next game will be another opportunity for them to show that they should be playing".

"When the game ends I make my way to the dressing room, and I'm very happy with the team's attitude; we've taken a good result from a difficult match and it allows us to take stock from the standpoint of having won the game. We know that we have to play well and win, but when a match doesn't go exactly as you'd like, winning and seeing the way the team put a shift in is positive".

Concentration against theoretically weaker opposition
"If we analyse the results, the team has shown concentration, focus, quality, intensity... If not, we wouldn't have the results that we have. These matches are more difficult mentally, that's true. We came up against a good team, a well-organised side. We found it difficult to interpret the match".

Cristiano Ronaldo free-kicks
"We practise free-kicks from time to time and Ronaldo scores quite a lot of them. It's a matter of giving him confidence, because I know he's going to score. There are team-mates of his, such as James [Rodríguez] and [Gareth] Bale who aren't available. We have complete confidence in Ronaldo".