Real Madrid: 3 takeaways from a 2-0 win over Granada

Real Madrid (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)
Real Madrid (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid, Raphael Varane
Real Madrid, Raphael Varane (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images) /

Raphael Varane has a shaky match in defense

Real Madrid are extremely lucky they did not concede a goal against Granada on Wednesday night, because Granada certainly had their chances. The visitors frequently flooded the box at the end of the match in search of a headed goal, and while Real should be commended for holding them off, they didn’t always show the most composure at the back.

The funny thing is, they looked shakier at the beginning of the game. Raphael Varane nearly had a nightmare outing akin to Leonardo Bonucci’s recent performance for Juventus vs. Fiorentina, in the sense that he was frequently gifting the ball to the opposition.

Varane’s distribution has been criticized frequently in the last few months, and while we have to be careful to have measured reactions when a center back struggles (their mistakes are always magnified in comparison to an attacking player’s), it’s fair to say that he was poor vs. Granada. Madridistas were nervous watching Varane with the ball at his feet, and that’s not something we’re used to saying.

The stats back it up, too. Varane completed just 83.3 percent of his passes, which is a terrible number for a center back at Real Madrid. He did a great job of clearing the ball and marking Granada’s forwards, but Varane very nearly put Real in a hole 1-0 within the first few minutes of the match.