Real Madrid routs Granada to lead La Liga

January 8th, 2012 - 8:05 pm ICT by IANS  

Madrid, Jan 8 (IANS) Real Madrid opened a six point lead over FC Barcelona at the top of the Spanish Primera Liga thanks to a 5-1 home win over Granada.

Granada travelled to Madrid with the reputation as being tough to beat and in the first half at least they lived up to the billing, before French striker Karim Benzema’s brace proved to be their undoing.

Real Madrid, perhaps spurred on by coach Jose Mourinho’s criticism of their first half performance against Malaga five days earlier, began the match like an express train. However, Granada held firm and it took a moment of magic to see Madrid open the scoring.

Cristiano Ronaldo and German playmaker Mesut Ozil linked well to help Benzema score after 19 minutes. The goal meant Benzema became the top scoring Frenchman to play for Real Madrid, XInhua reported.

The goal looked as if it could open the floodgates, but Granada reacted well and were level in just three minutes after Mikel Rico headed home a cross from the right wing.

Ikechuwku Uche went close for Granada, who were enjoying their return to the Bernabeu after 35 years, but full back Sergio Ramos put the league leaders in front with a powerful headed goal from a corner 12 minutes before the break.

Argentine striker Gonzalo Higuain made it 3-1 to Madrid following a pass from Marcelo five minutes into the second half and three minutes later Benzema made it 4-1 with his second of the night after a solo finish.

Unfortunately he was injured in scoring the goal and needed to be replaced by Javier Callejon

Cristiano Ronaldo added a fifth in the final minute of the game, taking his goal tally to 20 for the season.

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