La Liga wrap: Normal service resumes for Real
Real Madrid extended their lead atop La Liga to six points after a 5-1 thrashing of Granada on Saturday.
Karim Benzema’s brace and goals from Sergio Ramos, Gonzalo Higuain and Cristiano Ronaldo lead Real to a comfortable win, despite Mikel Rico briefly putting Granada on level terms at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Jose Mourinho’s side started brightly and went close on several occasions, before they eventually broke the deadlock through Benzema, who swept home from six yards after wonderful build-up play from Ronaldo and Mesut Oezil.
Despite their early dominance, Real were soon pegged back by Granada, who equalised within minutes of Benzema’s strike courtesy of midfielder Rico’s header.
In an open encounter, Real took a 2-1 lead against the run of play as Ramos headed in Oezil’s corner.
The hosts put the game to bed shortly after the restart with two goals in five minutes.
First, Higuain fired past goalkeeper Roberto before Benzema received a fine pass from Oezil on the edge of the area and drove home to complete his brace.
Ronaldo got his name on the scoresheet with a well-struck effort from the edge of the area in stoppage time – his 21st league goal of the season.
The win puts league leaders Real six points clear of defending champions Barcelona, who play Espanyol on Sunday.
Elsewhere, Racing Santander moved out of the relegation zone with a 1-0 win over lowly Real Zaragoza.
Bernardo Espinosa’s stoppage-time header proved to be the difference at Campos de Sport de El Sardinero, as Manuel Jimenez made a losing start as coach of Real Zaragoza.
Jimenez, who took over after Javier Aguirre was sacked, sees his side sitting bottom, six points from safety.
A strong performance from goalkeeper Gustavo Munua helped fourth-placed Levante secure a 0-0 draw at home to Mallorca.
Real Sociedad and Osasuna extended their unbeaten league runs to six matches after they also played out a 0-0 draw.
More to follow…