Full time: Real Madrid 5-0 Granada
The referee calls a halt, and Real Madrid move six points ahead of Barcelona, who face a tricky trip to Villarreal tomorrow. This wasn’t quite the humiliation it threatened to be when Real went four goals up after 31 minutes, but was still entirely straightforward.
Isco scored twice, while Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Casemiro added gloss to the final score. Their unbeaten run now extends to 39 games, and they will set a new Spanish record if they avoid defeat against Sevilla in their second-leg Cup tie next week. Sevilla will offer more of a test than they got today. Thanks for joining me. Adios.
90 mins: A late chance for Granada, as Kravets spins and shoots in space inside the area – but Navas saves smartly to seal the clean sheet.
89 mins: Granada give the ball away in midfield and Ronaldo motors forward, before slipping the ball to Rodriguez. His cross towards Benzema is cut out, and the striker is offside.
87 mins: Modric wins the ball in his own area and gallops upfield, working the ball to Ronaldo who stings Ochoa’s palms with a piledriver from the right-hand side of the area.
85 mins: Benzema prods a weary pass to a Granada player, and the visitors break, with Navas racing 30 yards off his line to clear from Kravets. It’s been a second-gear second half from Real Madrid.
83 mins: Benzema shuttles out to the left, and plays a beautifully weighted pass to Ronaldo – but his cross, towards Asensio in the middle, is nodded away.
81 mins: First Ronaldo from the right, and then Rodriguez from the left, try to pick out Benzema with a lofted ball, but Granada battle to clear the ball away.
80 mins: Keylor Navas has to extend himself to punch clear Pereira’s testing cross. Bad news for the Real Madrid kit man, who will now have to wash Navas’ shirt.
79 mins: Ronaldo, still admirably impatient despite the scoreline, takes a quick throw-in, then throws his head back as a return pass is cut out.
78 mins: Ezequiel Ponce is an excellent name.
77 mins: One more change for Granada, with Ezequiel Ponce replacing Franck Tabanou. No surprise that he’s another loanee – from Roma, this time.
76 mins: Asensio splits the defence with a through ball to Ronaldo, who is just offside. At the other end, Gabriel delivers an undercooked cross as Granada search for a consolation.
75 mins: Granada have a shot! Kravets was offside, and knew it, when he took it, but still.
74 mins: Ronaldo miscues a header from the free kick, as Real Madrid’s shot count rises to 21, to Granada’s zero.
72 mins: Casemiro needlessly upends Javi Marquez, earning a booking in the process. Moments later, Tabanou joins him in the book after a reckless lunge on Carvajal.
71 mins: Ronaldo lines the wall up and stands over the ball – but Rodriguez races in from the left and curls it just over the bar.
70 mins: Gabriel Silva is booked for handball, committed 25 yards out, just right of goal, i.e. prime Ronaldo territory.
68 mins: Fabio Coentrão is on, in place of the excellent Marcelo. The crowd are doing a chant to the tune of ‘Rivers of Babylon’. The Bernabéu vibe: relaxed.
67 mins: Granada win a free kick which skids across the penalty area and out to Ruben Vezo on the right, whose return ball sails over Navas’ crossbar. Alberto Bueno has come on for Granada, replacing Boga.
64 mins: Marcelo lines up a volley but thuds it into the ground towards Benzema, whose shot is well saved by Ochoa. The flag is up already. Granada’s goalie has been their best player, which brings this classic to mind:
63 mins: Ronaldo is forced wide by Ruben Vezo, and sends a shot clattering into the advertising boards, before tumbling over and appealing for a penalty. The referee isn’t interested.
61 mins: Javi Marquez, who has just come on for Agbo Uche, finds Tabanou with a raking diagonal pass. Tabanou gives Carvajal something to think about, jostling with the full back and forcing him to prod back to Navas.
GOAL! Real Madrid 5-0 Granada (Casemiro)
Casemiro becomes Real Madrid’s 21st goalscorer of the season, arriving at the far post to turn in Rodriguez’s free kick from the right.
56 mins: Agbo is booked for raising an arm to Casemiro’s face in a midfield challenge.
55 mins: Nacho gets forward again in the five-a-side style, and his one-two with Benzema is cut out by Gabriel Silva, one of few Granada players emerging from this with any credit.
54 mins: Ronaldo attempts to set Modric free with a toe-poked ball that’s badly overhit. Ronaldo then admonishes Modric for failing to run through two Granada players to retrieve it.
52 mins: Benzema can’t control the ball as it bobbles around in the box and Granada clear, but Real Madrid are charging forward soon enough, Benzema getting another chance but slicing high and wide.
50 mins: Agbo Uche hauls Rodriguez down, but the referee plays advantage, and it’s worked to Carvajal on the right, whose cross is turned behind for a corner.
49 mins: Isco has a chance at a hat-trick, rising to meet Carvajal’s cross but heading it a long way wide. He’s now going off, replaced by Marco Asensio.
48 mins: Another Real Madrid change is coming up, with Isco still looking uncomfortable. Real have two trips to Jorge Sampaoli’s high-octane Sevilla coming up, so they’ll want him fit.
46 mins: Carvajal feeds Benzema, in space centrally, who fires an effort that Ochoa does well to turn away. A match-up of the 2014 World Cup’s two finest goalkeepers out here, with Ochoa certainly the busier of the two.
James Rodríguez is on, in place of Toni Kroos rather than Isco, who had looked to be injured in the first half.
I’ve just been perusing the La Liga table, and note that Valencia are 17th, three points above Granada. No disrespect and all, but what the hell are they playing at?
Don’t forget, you can follow all the January deals in La Liga and beyond with our handy transfer interactive guide:
Half time: Real Madrid 4-0 Granada
One way traffic here, with Isco scoring twice and Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo also on the scoresheet. That unbeaten record will extend to 39 games; it’s very much a case of how many. Back in a bit.
45 mins: Isco, feeling the effects of that challenge, sets up Ronaldo, whose speculator from distance is skewed wide. And that’s half time.
44 mins: Samper, on loan from Barcelona – there are nine loanees in this Granada team – gets a booking for a late clip on Isco.
42 mins: Modric and Benzema combine neatly on the edge of the area, before Modric’s prodded effort is saved by Ochoa, low to his right.
41 mins: Marcelo wins a corner that’s headed away by Ruben Vezo, and Granada work the ball upfield. A neat pass from Sergi Samper sets Gabriel clear on the left, but his cross is gathered by Navas.
39 mins: Benzema prods a diagonal pass towards Ronaldo, who is brought down in stages. Kroos lines up the free kick, way out wide on the left, but it’s nodded away from danger.
In other news, Wayne Rooney has just equalled Bobby Charlton’s all-time Manchester United scoring record. Rob Smyth is watching that one. Real Madrid’s all-time top scorer? Cristiano Ronaldo.
36 mins: Isco, searching for a first-half hat-trick, fires a shot towards the near post, but Ochoa springs across to turn it away. From the corner, the ball ricochets back to corner-taker Kroos, but his daisy-cutter is saved comfortably.
34 mins: The commentary have said that Granada’s young loanees are having a ‘gap year’ in Andalusia. I’m glad I didn’t have to play Real Madrid in my gap year.
Granada would take a 4-0 defeat now, I’ll wager.
GOAL! Real Madrid 4-0 Granada (Isco)
Double figures could be on here. Modric skips into the area and slots the ball across the six-yard line, allowing Isco to tap in for his second.
30 mins: Granada have a back five in place, but it’s doing nothing to stop Real’s full backs getting forward. Marcelo fires an angled shot at Ochoa, before Carvajal volleys at goal after a cross from – why not – centre-half Nacho.
28 mins: Uche Agbo, on loan from Watford, tries to get lone striker Kravets in the game with a slide-rule pass. It doesn’t come off.
GOAL! Real Madrid 3-0 Granada (Ronaldo)
It’s Marcelo in space on the left again, and he holds off Tito and whips the ball into the middle, where Ronaldo is waiting to nod the ball home. Real averaging a goal every nine minutes.
24 mins: Marcelo, kickstarting the majority of Real Madrid’s attacks from the left, sends in a cross that’s deflected behind, with Kroos close by. Kroos takes the corner, but Granada get it clear.
23 mins: Boga, on loan from Chelsea, is the only Granada player in the opposing half as he’s beaten to a through ball. He’s joined by Tabanou, who picks out Gabriel Silva in the box, but his cut back is into a swarm of white shirts.
GOAL! Real Madrid 2-0 Granada (Benzema)
Real Madrid saunter back up the field, and double their lead. Modric is given an age to line up a shot from Marcelo’s cut-back, and sees his low effort spilled by Ochoa. Benzema is on hand, possibly offside ahead of Ruben Vezo, to tuck the ball inside the near post.
19 mins: Another loanee, Manchester United’s Andreas Pereira, skews a hopeful shot high over the bar.
18 mins: Granada do make a move upfield, with Tabanou given space on the left, and angling in a low cross that Varane has to hoof away. Tabanou is on loan from Swansea, one of four Premier League loanees in the starting XI for Granada.
16 mins: Navas is tested for the first time, by an overcooked looping back-header from Casemiro. He collects it with ease.
13 mins: Chris Rogers will be glad he got out of bed, what with Real Madrid flying out of the traps in the first 10 minutes. Granada didn’t help themselves by giving the ball away 30 yards from their own goal. You can’t really do that.
GOAL! Real Madrid 1-0 Granada (Isco)
Samper is dispossed cheaply in midfield, Benzema hustles forward and slips a pass to Isco, who advances on Ochoa and tucks the ball underneath him.
10 mins: Another cross from the left, and Lomban has to execute a smart back header to clear the ball off the line, and away from Ronaldo. Real are knocking...
8 mins: Marcelo, basically playing as a left-winger, sends a deep cross towards Ronaldo. Again, it runs through to Carvajal, and again, the right-back mishits it badly – but it finds its way back to Marcelo, who fires just over from the edge of the area!
7 mins: Granada enjoy a serene spell of possession, with Real happy to draw them out of their shells, before Marcelo leads a break forward, and normal service is resumed.
5 mins: Ronaldo backheels the ball to Marcelo, in space on the left. His cross evades Benzema and runs to Carvajal, who flails at it – but he collects under little pressure, and almost picks out Benzema with a quick return ball across goal.
4 mins: Vezo wrestles Ronaldo off the ball, but goes unpunished, much to the home crowd’s chagrin. Granada are lining up in a 5-4-1, and it’s even less adventurous than it sounds.
2 mins: An up-tempo start from the hosts, Modric pinging a few early passes around as one fan tries to stir the crowd, relentlessly banging a drum.
Ronaldo is joined on the pitch by previous Ballon d’Or winners, including Zidane, Luis Figo, er, Michael Owen... and the original Ronaldo, looking his husky best. Kaka also appears by video link, before Cristiano and co saunter out to start the game.
Quick, Chris, you’re missing Ronaldo’s big moment...
How does Real Madrid’s unbeaten record compare against the longest runs in history? Take a look:
Cristiano Ronaldo, back in the starting line-up after missing the Cup win over Sevilla, seems like a man whose self-confidence could do with a lift. To that end, the Bernabéu will turn gold before kick-off as Ronaldo shows off his fourth Ballon d’Or.
Real Madrid: Navas; Carvajal, Varane, Nacho, Marcelo; Kroos, Casemiro, Modric; Isco, Ronaldo, Benzema.
Subs: Kiko Casilla, James, Coentrão, Mariano, Asensio, Morata, Danilo.
Granada: Ochoa; Tito, Vezo, Lombán, Gabriel; Samper, Agbo, Pereira, Boga, Tabanou; Kravets.
Subs: Oier, Silva, Marquez, Ponce, Jon Toral, Atzili, Bueno.
It’s 38 matches unbeaten and counting for Real Madrid, who haven’t lost since April and return to La Liga action three points clear of Barcelona, with a game in hand, having dropped just eight points all season.
In their way today are Granada, who have won just five league games since Real last lost one, way back in April. They are second bottom in the table, and have collected nine points – one more than Real Madrid have dropped.
Granada’s last visit to the capital didn’t go so well – they were beaten 7-1 by Atlético – and recent trips to the Bernabéu haven’t been much better. In April 2015, they were beaten 9-1 here. Sticking with the theme, Lucas Alvarez’s side are 33-1 to get a win today.
Real do have a few injuries to contend with; Gareth Bale, Pepe and Sergio Ramos are all out today. Avoid defeat, and they’ll equal Barcelona’s Spanish record, set last year. As these exclusive shots from training show, they aren’t taking this one lightly: