Real Madrid: Ancelotti hails midfield trio as Real go top of LaLiga
Carlo Ancelotti hailed his Real Madrid midfield as the best in the world after Toni Kroos, Luka Modric and Casemiro turned on the style in a 4-1 win at Granada.
Kroos grabbed his first two assists of an injury-blighted season, while Modric and Casemiro laid on a goal apiece in an impressive rout on Sunday, as Madrid beat Granada for a 13th successive time in LaLiga.
The last time Granada scored a home win over Madrid was in February 2013, when they won 1-0 thanks to a Cristiano Ronaldo own goal, his only such blunder in 292 appearances in the Spanish top flight.
There was no danger of a repeat as Madrid grabbed this game by the scruff of the neck and were 3-1 up and chasing more goals by the time their hosts had Monchu sent off for a wild challenge on Vinicius Junior.
Marco Asensio, Nacho, Vinicius and Ferland Mendy got the goals, but Madrid's midfield three were outstanding, as Ancelotti admiringly acknowledged after the game.
With Real Sociedad only able to draw against Valencia in the evening game, it meant Madrid finished the weekend on top of the table by one point.
"What can you say," Madrid head coach Ancelotti told reporters. "They're playing at a very high level and are still the best midfielders in the world for me. They're doing things that I don't even ask from them, they do it naturally, and it's a big advantage for this club.
"They are the past, present and the future. If we're talking about the near future, absolutely. If we're looking in 10 years' time, then perhaps not. But we're in good shape for the future because Eduardo Camavinga, Federico Valverde and Antonio Blanco are ready too.
"They're used to playing together and they have qualities which are hard to explain. The way they switch positions during the game, sometimes Modric drops deep to play through the press and sometimes it's Kroos, Casemiro moves forward."
Kroos created a game-high four chances and finished the game with a passing accuracy of 97.4 per cent.
Madrid could have had more goals, but Granada goalkeeper Luis Maximiano made five saves. It was the fourth time this season the young Portuguese has made five saves or more in a LaLiga game, and only Espanyol's Diego Lopez has done so on more occasions (seven).
Ancelotti included Nacho at centre-back out of a wish to give Eder Militao a rest. He substituted the lively Vinicius late on, too, but stressed that was not due to injury but out of a wish to protect the young Brazilian.
"I took Vini Jr off to avoid any issues," Ancelotti said, quoted on Madrid's website. "The game was heating up, for us and for Granada I thought it was best to take him off."
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