Granada 1-4 Real Madrid: Visitors shrug off off-the-field problems to keep the heat on leaders Atletico Madrid as quickfire double from Alvaro Odriozola and Karim Benzema seals emphatic victory
Real Madrid’s kids kept their title hopes alive inspiring an emphatic 4-1 victory over Granada that keeps the pressure up on Atletico Madrid.
It was 19-year-old Miguel Gutierez, who replaced Marcelo at left back after the Brazilian was axed following a reported bust-up with coach Zinedine Zidane, who set up the first goal with a brilliantly lofted pass into the path of Luka Modric on 17 minutes.
And in injury time of the first half, 20-year-old Marvin Park flicked the ball into space for Rodrgyo Goes to make it 2-0.
First-half strikes from Luka Modric and Rodrygo put the visitors in control at Granada
Rodrygo is only 19 himself and with 20-year-old Vinicius on the other flank this was a young Madrid team giving the club hope not just for a miracle in the last two games of the season, but also going into next season.
They are now two points behind Atletico Madrid with two games left to play.
‘We just have to win both our games and hope that they slip-up’, said goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, who was forced to make saves in the second half as the home side pushed to get back in it.
Granada pulled a goal back through 38-year-old Jorge Molina on 71 minutes but Madrid’s response was ruthlessly rapid. Just four minutes later Alvaro Odriozola made it 3-1 and when Rui Silva came charging out of his goal Karim Benzema robbed him of the ball and bent his shot from distance into an empty net to make it 4-1.
Modric latched onto a brilliant lofted pass from Miguel Gutierez to open the scoring
Zinedine Zidane celebrated in his technical area as his faith in the youth team players paid off.
The Madrid coach had left Eden Hazard on the bench and Marcelo back in the Spanish capital for Madrid’s 50th game of the season.
Hazard managed an assist – it was his cross that Odriozola turned in for the third goal of the night.
But Courtois complained post-match about the way the team had given the ball away in the last 10 minutes as the substitutes failed to keep the ball as the starters had.
Real Madrid forward Rodrygo celebrates after scoring the second goal just before half-time
Madrid now face Athletic Bilbao away on Sunday and Villarreal at home on the last day of the season. Atletico Madrid are home to Osasuna at the weekend and finish their campaign against Valladolid.
They were hoping for a Real Madrid slip-up tonight but it never came – they might have known their neighbours would not make it easy for them.
The only crimp in Madrid’s evening was an ankle injury to Marvin Park that saw him replaced by Odriozola at half time.
He will have tests on Friday as Madrid coach Zidane tries to round up 11 fit players for the final push.
Marvin Park flicked the ball into space for Rodrgyo to fire home the second goal
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