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BARCELONA, Spain – A moment of inspired attack by substitute Marco Asensio kept Real Madrid level on points with Spanish league leaders Atlético Madrid in what turns out to be a crosstown competition

Asensio came off the bench and led Madrid to a 2-0 win over Granada at the Alfredo Di Stéfano Stadium on Wednesday. Shortly after Asensio hit the post with a shot, he set Casemiro ready to take on 57 Minute to finally break through Granada’s defense

Karim Benzema scored Madrid’s second goal in the closing seconds of the game when Granada was unbalanced in search of an equalizer

Madrid’s fifth consecutive league win finished second behind Atlético due to the goal difference. They are both six points ahead of Real Sociedad and Villarreal. Fifth place in Barcelona is eight points behind

Atlético has more games in hand than the chase package Atlético has played 13 games, Barcelona 14, Madrid and Villarreal 15 and Sociedad 16

“We have to be happy with the way we play,” said Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane, who has changed the situation over the past three weeks after a bad start to the season

“We have to keep working hard and fighting in the field like we did. Now we have to rest a little, spend a few days with our families and then go back to work”

After the Spanish league compressed its game calendar due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, which suspended competition for several months, it gave its teams just a few days of winter vacation instead of the usual two weeks for the next game round to begin on Tuesday

Visitors even had a good chance of stunning Madrid shortly after kick-off Kenedy intercepted a pass from Madrid’s Raphael Varane and walked past Roberto Soldado to start Antonio Puertas just so his shot could soar

Madrid stuttered in attack and lost striker Rodrygo Goes in the 38 Minute when the 19-year-old Brazilian grabbed his right thigh and asked for a replacement.He had to be carried away on a stretcher

The creative midfielder, who has struggled to regain his shape since his knee surgery last year, showed why he was once considered a future star for Madrid and the Spanish national team

Asensio went in the 55 Minute just a few centimeters from the goal when he hit a pass from Dani Carvajal on the post with a bold heel blow

The fear seemed to break Granada’s focus for the first time and there were brief holes in his area seconds after Asensio hit the wood, Granada goalkeeper Rui Silva had to fend off two shots from Toni Kroos and Federico Valverde

The goal came on Madrid’s next attack when Asensio dribbled to the end line and crossed the ball into the heart of the area so Casemiro could jump over his marker and go home

Granada pressed for an equalizer, but the volleys of the flanks into the box were well defended by Madrid

Benzema then scored his eighth goal of the season and was the joint top scorer in the competition with Villarreal striker Gerard Moreno

Eden Hazard was back in the Madrid squad after his last injury since joining the Spanish club and was sidelined for six games

Zidane said he decided to keep his injured star waiting because “it was a difficult game”

Alavés scored a 2-1 win over Eibar, who scored early thanks to a goal scored by Pedro León right after a corner kick

León rolled his shot off the flag into the near post, where goalkeeper Fernando Pacheco let the ball cross the line as it hit his body and found the net. The league scored León well for the goal

Celta Vigo’s winning run under new coach Eduardo Coudet was canceled at 4 a.m. after Getafe drew 1-1 in Madrid

Iago Aspas transformed in the 17th a penalty for Celta to break Damian Suárez’s long-distance strike

After a two-time defeat in the first eight games, the newly promoted Cádiz has now lost five of seven defeats

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Real Madrid

World news – CA – Asensio spurs Real Madrid on to a 2-0 win over Granada