Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti decided to start both Marco Asensio and Nacho Fernandez, and while fans were skeptical due to their struggles this season, both men got on the scoresheet in the first half.
Los Blancos conceded to Granada star striker Luis Suarez, but they pulled away with a truly dominant second half that showcased the very finest of #CarloBall.
Here are the player ratings for Real Madrid from their 4-1 win over Granada at Los Carmenes.
GK Thibaut Courtois
Thibaut Courtois made a big stop in the first half when Granada were only down 2-1 and were threatening to equalize. You can always count on him to make the big saves when the opposition is trying to creep back into the match. He had another one very late to deny Jorge Molina.
LB Ferland Mendy
Ferland Mendy had a rocky start to the match, hesitating on the ball too much and making bizarre decisions off the ball that cost his team possession. By the end, Mendy finished strong, cooly finishing Real Madrid’s fourth goal.
CB David Alaba
David Alaba was tremendous. He made so many excellent interventions and interceptions, and you can see he knows all the little tricks to stave off pressing attackers. The Austrian superstar is the general of this back line. His highlight was forcing one of Granada’s stars, Antonio Puertas, into literally falling over himself untouched to give away the ball on a promising counterattack.
CB Nacho Fernandez
Nacho Fernandez scored a well-taken second goal for Real Madrid off a set piece. After questions regarding his over-aggressiveness in defense this season, Nacho did not put a single foot wrong in Carlo Ancelotti’s starting XI this weekend, giving Eder Militao some well-deserved rest in central defense. The veteran Madridista blocked two shots, made a handful of clearances, and completed nearly 99 percent of his passes.
RB Dani Carvajal
An all-action display from Dani Carvajal. The right back was tremendous against Rayo Vallecano before November’s international fixtures, and he was tremendous again in this win over Granada. Attacking players may steal the spotlight, but Carvajal was there busting a lung, putting in crosses, recovering the ball, and doing everything he could to support the team. The unsung hero of this win, Carvajal had three tackles, two interceptions, and seven clearances in a flawless defensive performance.