Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 20th 2015 Contents BARCELONA, Spain---Karim
Benzema scored to help Real
Madrid eke out a 1-0 win over
Granada and take the overnight
lead of the Spanish league yes-
Granada s disciplined defense
and the solid goalkeeping of
Andres Fernandez held Madrid
in check, while the visitors
attack matched their star-stud-
ded hosts chance for chance in
an evenly-contested first half.
But Keylor Navas thwarted
Granada s forward before Ben-
zema tilted the match in
Madrid s favor 10 minutes after
halftime with a close-range
header to put the Santiago Bern-
abeu crowd at ease.
Madrid s Cristiano Ronaldo
saw his scoring run end after
eight goals in his previous two
Madrid has 10 points, one
more than Barcelona. The defending cham-
pions can reclaim the league lead against
Levante on Sunday.
Madrid, which had won its previous
three matches in all competitions by the
combined score of 15-0, kept a club record
fifth straight clean sheet with Navas in
goal after the club had tried to send him
to Manchester United in a failed transfer
for David de Gea.
"I had the chance to stay where I wanted
to be and I will give it my all to remain
September 20, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
here," Navas said. "It was complicated because you
know it is an awkward situation. But that is the
past and I try to focus on the present, which is all
Elsewhere, Valencia was held 0-0 by nine-man
Real Betis after Dani Ceballos saw his second book-
ing in the 48th. Betis beat Real Sociedad 1-0 last
round despite playing the entire second half a man
Atletico Madrid visits Eibar later, while Espanyol
is at Sociedad.
Madrid said it had invited the Syrian refugee
who was tripped at a border hotspot by a Hungarian
journalist in an incident that generated global out-
rage. Osama Abdul Mohsen had arrived to the cap-
ital earlier this week after a Spanish football academy
offered to help them rebuild their life.
Madrid was without Gareth Bale and Sergio
Ramos after both were hurt in a 4-0 win over
Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League on
Tuesday, joining James Rodriguez and Danilo on
the injured list.
Granada s strong showing, however, was still a
surprise at Madrid, where last season it lost by the
humbling score of 9-1.
Granada coach Jose Sandoval said his team had
been motivated by tweets published by Madrid
which had asked its supporters to guess how many
goals the team would score.
"They showed a lack of respect for us, they
underestimated us," Sandoval said. "I am pleased
with the looseness my players showed today. If we
had had some luck we could have gotten a different
The visitors best opportunity came in the 20th
when striker Youssef El Arabi had a goal waived
off for a questionable offside call.
Fernandez had already saved a shot by Ronaldo
and then atoned for a poor block of a Ronaldo free
kick which left Lucas Vazquez alone in front of
the net by saving his attempt in the 23rd. He also
stretched a foot to repel Luka Modric s strike in
Navas had his turn to rush out and smother
Isaac Success effort in the 39th. Success went
close in the 53rd when he chipped the ball over
the bar after El Arabi set him up.
The Nigerian forward was left to rue his miss
moments later when Benzema broke the deadlock
by nodding in Francisco "Isco" Alarcon s cross
from inside the six-yard box.
"I would have liked to have scored more goals,
but you have to give credit to Granada," said Madrid
coach Rafa Benitez, who is undefeated in five match-
es at this new club. "They gave a good impression,
but we got the goal." (AP)
...Benzema goal gives Madrid
1-0 win over Granada
10-man Udinese 2-1
for 1st win of season
MILAN---Empoli recorded its first victory of the
season yesterday, coming from behind to win 2-
1 at 10-man Udinese in Serie A.
Massimo Maccarone scored in stoppage time after
controlling a great pass from Riccardo Saponara.
Duvan Zapata had given Udinese the lead in the
19th minute with his first goal for the club, heading
in Antonio Di Natale s cross from near the left corner
The match turned on its head in the 72nd minute
when Udinese midfielder Panagiotis Kone was sent
off for a second yellow card. Empoli leveled less than
minute later, Leandro Paredes sidefooting the ball
through a sea of legs into the far bottom corner from
the edge of the area. (AP)
Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo,
left, tussles for the ball with
Granada's Miguel Lopes during a
Spanish La Liga soccer match
between Real Madrid and
Granada at the Santiago
Bernabeu stadium in Madrid,
yesterday. AP PHOTO
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