A second-half goal from Karim Benzema helped Real Madrid move to the top of the La Liga table with a rather unconvincing 1-0 victory over Granada CF.
The visitors missed a host of chances – particularly in the first-half – and Rafa Benitez’s charges made them pay the price despite being at far from their best as Benzema’s goal on 55 minutes proved to be decisive.
In a thoroughly lively and eventful match, Granada CF threw caution to the wind and were almost rewarded for their bravery. In fact, they took the lead on 20 minutes when the influential Youssef El Arabi opened the scoring only for the referee to controversially rule the goal out for offside.
Not to be disheartened, the visitors continued to threaten whilst keeping Real at bay at the other end with Luka Modric among others denied by the impressive Andres Fernandez.
But Real’s efficiency proved to be the difference as Benzema headed home a wonderful cross from Cristiano Ronaldo 10 minutes after the restart.
Ronaldo needed a hat-trick to surpass Raul’s record of 323 goals to become Real’s all-time record goalscorer but it proved to be a frustrating afternoon for the Portugal star as he failed to get on the scoresheet.
Benitez’s side move to the top of the table having taken 10 points from a possible 12 although Barcelona have a game in hand as they host Levante on Sunday.