Madrid edge Granada 1-0 in Spain's La Liga
BARCELONA, Spain (AP):
Karim Benzema scored to help Real Madrid eke out a 1-0 win over Granada yesterday and take the overnight lead of the Spanish League, while Fernando Torres netted one goal and set up another to lift Atletico Madrid into second place.
Granada's disciplined defence and the solid goalkeeping of Andres Fernandez held Madrid in check, while the visitors' attack matched their star-studded hosts chance for chance in an evenly-contested first half. But Keylor Navas thwarted Granada's forward before Benzema tilted the match in Madrid's favour 10 minutes after half-time with a close-range header to put the Santiago Bernabeu crowd at ease.
Madrid have 10 points, one more than Atletico and Barcelona, which can reclaim the league lead against Levante today.
Torres and Angel Correa both went on as second-half substitutes and inspired Atletico to a 2-0 win at Eibar, leaving Diego Simeone's side ahead of Barcelona on goal difference.
Valencia drew 0-0 at home with nine-man Real Betis after Dani Ceballos saw his second booking in the 48th, as Betis held on to take points despite having a player sent off early for a second straight match.
In the capital, Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo saw his scoring run end after eight goals in his previous two matches. But Navas, who had been seconds away from being sent to Manchester United at the close of the summer window as part of Madrid's failed transfer for David de Gea, extended the club record to a fifth consecutive clean sheet.
"I had the chance to stay where I wanted to be and I will give it my all to remain 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 that matters."
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 outrage. Osama Abdul Mohsen had arrived to the capital earlier this week after a Spanish football academy offered to help them rebuild their life.