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, Toni Kroos
Real Madrid, Toni Kroos (Photo by OSCAR DEL POZO/AFP via Getty Images) /

Another quiet masterclass from Toni Kroos

Marco Asensio, Casemiro, and Karim Benzema all have cases to be Man of the Match against Granada, but Toni Kroos should be praised yet again for delivering a quietly masterful performance against a team with a great midfield and an even better gameplan.

As always, Kroos was the calm in the storm and seemed to be the only player who could reliably pass the ball out of the back for Los Blancos. Playing without Luka Modric, who has an overloaded adductor muscle, Kroos needed to be the one to carry Real Madrid from a passing quality perspective. Fede Valverde is a good player, but he can’t bring the sense of calm and quality on the ball of two experienced Champions League winners.

Kroos had three key passes and completed about 95 percent of his total attempts. He is always the one directing traffic and occupying a space at the center of attention whenever Real Madrid are building up. There isn’t a single player Real would rather have passing it out of the press than Kroos, though Modric is the best overall option due to his dribbling quality.

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Without Modric, Kroos had to step up that little bit more, and I would say he delivered. A significant chunk of credit for the 2-0 win vs. Granada should go to the German international, even if he wasn’t involved in either goal. He made the difference to those of us watching the match closely, just as he often seems to.