MADRID | Real Madrid needs one victory to secure the Spanish La Liga football title after they held off a second-half comeback from Granada on Monday night to win 2-1 and move four points clear of Barcelona.
Madrid will be crowned champions if they beat Villarreal at home tomorrow regardless of how Barca fare at the Camp Nou against Osasuna.
But they were made to sweat by a Granada team that are gunning for Europe and have been arguably the division’s surprise of the season after being promoted from second tier last year.
Ferland Mendy and Karim Benzema looked to have set Madrid on course for a comfortable win at Los Carmenes but Granada were transformed after the break and Darwin Machis’s 50th-minute strike gave them hope.
An increasingly nervous Madrid were clinging on by the end and needed Sergio Ramos to clear one shot off the line as Zinedine Zidane’s side dug in for a ninth consecutive victory.
“Our vision when we start every season is to win the league,” said Zidane. “There are two games left. We are close but we’re not there yet.” When the final whistle blew, Zidane roared with relief and Ramos clenched his fists after coming through their toughest test since the restart.
“We can’t relax, we’re a bit closer but we have to carry on,” said Ramos afterwards.
“We let our guard down here a bit on the second half. We won the first half and lost the second and maybe that’s a warning for us. We have to make sure we don’t repeat that mistake.” Madrid could win LaLiga for the third time in eight years at the Alfredo di Stefano Stadium tomorrow night. “It would mean a lot,” said Ramos.
Source | AFP