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Granada v Real Madrid Live Commentary, 2/7/16

1 - 2
Y. El-Arabi (60)
K. Benzema (30)
L. Modrić (85)
Estadio Nuevo Los Cármenes


And that will do it for this one as Real Madrid emerge victors, thanks to a late and spectacular winner from Modric. El-Arabi scored off the bench in the second half to cancel out Benzema's opener, but Granada just could not hold on for a point. That keeps them mired in the relegation zone, while los Blancos close the gap on leaders Barcelona back to four points. That's all the time we have, thanks for tuning in!
Make no mistake - there will still be an inquest into another below-par display from Madrid on the road. Modric's goal looks to have papered over a few cracks, but this was not a title-calibre performance.
Desperation time for the home side, but they seem to be completely out of ideas. Two free-kicks launched into the mixer are cleared with ease. Granada are seconds away from ending this match with nothing, after all their effort.
That is a tough one for Granada to swallow. Immediately after that goal, there were shots of fans shaking their heads in disbelief - they were floored. But how do you account for a moment of genius like that?
Dani Carvajal
Real Madrid
Nacho gets thrown on for the final minutes as Madrid suddenly have a lead to defend! Carvajal is withdrawn.
M. Kovačić
Real Madrid
Kovacic teed up his compatriot but really, that goal was all Modric!
L. Modrić
Real Madrid
THERE IT IS! MODRIC RESCUES MADRID! The visitors couldn't pass their way through, so the Croatian goes one better. He simply belts in an unstoppable strike from the edge of the area to send los Blancos ahead late on!
Finally Madrid manage a decent spell of possession in the opposition half. A lot of the play is running through the duo of Modric and Kovacic, but there's no avenue for the killer ball inside the area.
Dani Carvajal
Yellow Card
Real Madrid
Rochina gets pulled back by Carvajal, earning the Madrid full-back a yellow card.
Not a whole lot happening on the pitch, but Success nearly changes that pattern when he runs at Marcelo, but he can't pick out a team-mate with his eventual delivery. Madrid, meanwhile, haven't threatened in a while.
A. Doucouré
A. Peñaranda
Penaranda's night is at an end as Doucoure enters the fray.
This is a brave finish to the game from Granada, who aren't sitting back and settling for a point. They're still running right at Madrid and getting men in attacking positions. Is there to be a winner?
M. Kovačić
Real Madrid
Kovacic has replaced Isco in the second change of the game for Madrid.
Zidane is not looking happy out there on the touchline, but there's only so much that he can to do inspire his team to victory without strapping up the boots again. I'm sure there's a pair ready for him.
R. Krhin
Fran Rico
Rico is off and Krhin is on for the closing stages.
It's been an abject performance from Ronaldo in this match, as he's not been a factor in this game since going close with a few chances before the half-hour mark. Madrid need someone to step up now.
PENALTY? Success attempts to round Navas, but he's confronted by the keeper and goes down in a heap. It looked risky upon first glance, but replays show that the Costa Rican stopper got hands to the ball first!
GOAL RULED OUT AGAIN! The ball is in the back of the net as El-Arabi converts inside the six-yard area after a flick-on from Lomban, but he was offside, and it's another accurate cancellation by the officials.
That wasn't a bad look at goal for Ramos, who hoisted himself into the sky to attack a header, but was unable to keep it down. Anything other than a win will be devastating for los Blancos' title hopes.
Granada shook off a rocky defensive period to draw level, but I can't say the same for Madrid. Their response to conceding the equaliser has been the opposite of what Zidane would want.
With 34 goals, El-Arabi has now equalled Enrique Porta as Granada's all-time leading scorer in La Liga (via Opta).
El-Arabi had a goal disallowed at the Bernabeu in the reverse fixture back in September, but there was no stopping that one! In the buildup to the goal, the referee appeared to impede Modric, who complained to no avail.
J. Rodríguez
Real Madrid
Jese is thrown on in place of James as Madrid chase a reply.
Sergio Ramos
Yellow Card
Real Madrid
Ramos gets booked for a bad foul on Lopes. First yellow card of the game for Real Madrid.
Y. El-Arabi
Yellow Card
El-Arabi gets booked for his celebration, but he won't mind that one bit!
Great pass from Rochina, which picked out the run of El-Arabi perfectly.
Y. El-Arabi
WHAT AN INTRODUCTION! El-Arabi sprints down the right and latches onto a great cutting pass from Rochina, sliding a finish under the body of Navas that Carvajal just fails to keep out!
Y. El-Arabi
David Barral
El-Arabi is on to replace Barral in the first change of the game for either side.
Madrid are chasing the assurance of a second goal. The last thing they want is to be under siege late on if Granada are only one behind. The hosts, meanwhile, are rocking at the moment.
SUPER SAVE! Modric has laid on some lovely passes this evening, and supplies Benzema with another peach. The Frenchman is clear on goal and applies the finish, but Fernandez somehow manages to keep it out!
THAT COULD HAVE BEEN TWO! Benzema is clear of the offside trap, and eschews the option of Modric to have a go on goal, but he hits the wrong side of the net. Left too open once again.
Rochina lashes one over the top of the bar as Granada chase a way back into this game. It's still an open game here, with both sides not shying away from committing men forward in attack.
WHAT A SHOT! Modric attacks a high ball at the top of the box, showing otherworldly technique to hammer it towards goal, but Fernandez manages to get hands to that one!
EARLY OPPORTUNITY FOR THE HOSTS! Barral leaps high to pummel a header towards goal, but Navas is there to make sure that it doesn't enter the back of the net! So close!
Off we go again.
And that will do it as the referee brings a quick end to the first half. Granada are behind due to a Benzema goal, but have played nothing like a side sitting second from bottom. They look entirely capable of getting back into this game, even with Madrid fashioning some excellent chances. A lot to play for in the second half, so do stay tuned.
What a chance that was! Lopes makes a run goalside of Marcelo, which catches the defence completely out. He then angles an inviting ball across the face of goal that was begging for a touch that never arrived! Once again, Granada cause problems!
From a corner, Navas sprawls athletically to punch it clear, but he was nearly put in a spot of bother by pressure from a pair of Granada players. Madrid manage to get rid of the danger, though.
PENARANDA GOES CLOSE! The winger manufactures space on the right-hand side with a good run, and lashes a shot for the near post, but a strong block from Varane thwarts that chance!
Penaranda and Success have been close to latching onto a few casual sequences from Madrid when they pass the ball among their defensive players. As long as that type of opportunism persists, Granada are always a threat.
A bit of an uncertain period for the home side as Madrid are narrowly caught offside on two separate occasions. They're pushing their defensive line up in order to suffocate the visitors' midfield.
Appeals for a penalty as Success takes a tumble inside the area, but the referee tells him to get to his feet. Granada don't look like they want to dwell on conceding the first goal for too long.
Rubén Pérez
Yellow Card
Perez goes in late on James, and gets a yellow card, the second for Granada and of this game overall. The Colombian has won a few free-kicks here as the home side pay close attention to him.
Dani Carvajal
Real Madrid
Moments after I advocate a little more caution from Carvajal, he goes ahead and sets up the opener with some typically marauding full-back play.
K. Benzema
Real Madrid
BENZEMA OPENS THE SCORING! It was coming for Madrid, you have to say. Carvajal makes inroads down the flank and crosses for the Frenchman to tap in, unmarked, inside the area. Far too easy.
As good as some of the full-back play from Carvajal has been, it has been his eagerness to attack that has left a few avenues open down the flanks for Granada to rush into.
As the first half progresses, it's clear that Madrid are the side in the ascendancy. Just as I finish typing that though, Success shakes Carvajal down the left-hand side with a lovely shimmy, with Ramos needed to come across and block at the near post.
SOMEHOW GRANADA KEEP MADRID OUT! That was all down to an excellent intervention from Lomban, who got to Modric's cross just ahead of Ronaldo, who appeared dead certain to make it 1-0!
There's another injury out on the field, and this time it's Ramos who is the man in need of some attention. He challenged Success and lost out, landing rather awkwardly on his back.
Rochina and Varane go battling for a high ball, and it's the Granada man who is left worse for wear, needing a second to get back to his feet after that crunch. Another delay as the game begins to get a bit untidy.
Miguel Lopes
Yellow Card
Lopes gets booked for a tough challenge on Isco. He made little attempt to get out of the way of the ball, but upon replay, it did look like he really didn't have enough time to do so in the first place. A tad harsh, that one.
That's two goalscoring chances for Madrid now, but you still can't say that they're controlling this game. Granada are still causing havoc whenever they win the ball in midfield. Their transitions are too quick for los Blancos.
RONALDO WITH ANOTHER CHANCE! Modric threads in the Portuguese down the left side of the area, but he lashes his finish across the face of goal, nearly taking a lick of paint off the post!
THAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN THE OPENER! Madrid are back down at the other end of the pitch, and a cross from James should have been converted by Ronaldo, but he can't make a good connection!
GOAL RULED OUT! Penaranda is able to convert after Navas hashed a clearance after racing outside his box, but the forward was offside, given that when he received the ball, he was ahead of the goalkeeper with only one defender between him and the goal.
The energy from Granada is commendable in the early exchanges here. Madrid too are struggling to get men back into defensive position whenever they lose the ball. The midfield trio aren't doing their job in that respect.
NARROWLY OFF TARGET! Carvajal leads Madrid's first genuine foray forward, and it ends with a lovely cross towards Benzema, who just about fails to keep his effort down! Granada were sweating a bit there!
There's a bit of sloppiness occurring in the Madrid ranks as Varane has his pocket picked, moments after Modric over-hit a pass. Granada are sniffing around these loose balls menacingly.
A bold start from Granada here, as they show no fear putting pressure on the Madrid players on the ball. Most of the early play has been concentrated in the visitors half as Zidane's men have some defending to do.
Off we go!
With Gareth Bale still out nursing a calf problem, James Rodriguez starts alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema in the front three. It's an unchanged XI from Zidane after the Espanyol game. Granada name new signing Isaac Cuenca to the bench, while Adalberto Penaranda returns to the XI in place of Youssef El-Arabi.
Real Madrid subs: Casilla, Nacho, Casemiro, Kovacic, Arbeloa, Lucas Vazquez, Jese.
Real Madrid (4-3-3): Navas; Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo; Modric, Kroos, Isco; James, Benzema, Ronaldo.
Granada subs: Jesus, Krhin, Cuenca, Doucoure, El-Arabi, Babin, Biraghi.
Granada (4-2-3-1): Andres; Lomban, Costa, Lopes, Foulquier; Rico, Perez; Success, Rochina, Penaranda; Barral.
Madrid have won their last five meetings with Granada, keeping a clean sheet in four of those games - and they only conceded during an encounter they won 9-1 last April. However, El Grana did run them close during a narrow 1-0 victory in the reverse fixture back in September.
Real Madrid shook off a 1-1 draw with Betis to put six past Espanyol, meaning that they've scored 17 times in the four games under new boss Zinedine Zidane. A win will take them to within a point of second-place Atletico Madrid, but still leave them four adrift of leaders Barcelona, having played a game more by the end of today.
A 3-2 win over Getafe two weeks ago was the only respite for Granada amid a sea of losses. They currently sit second from bottom, and will need an unlikely win to get themselves out of the relegation zone. In their 10 home games this season, they have only managed to keep a clean sheet once.
Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the Liga clash between Granada and Real Madrid. Los Blancos need to keep winning with Barcelona and Atletico Madrid both picking up victories this weekend, and face a side with their own concerns at the opposite end of the table. Stick with us for all the action.