For the most part on Saturday night, Real Madrid looked a bit like a team who haven't quite gotten back into their groove following their winter break. Cristiano Ronaldo was not poor by any stretch of the imagination, but did not look like Cristiano. Angel di Maria did not play, and it showed. However, there was one player at his absolute best on the pitch. Mesut Özil looked downright brilliant, setting up three goals for Madrid, as they won comfortably by a final score of 5-1, even though they didn't look their best.
The first goal was a brilliant one, with Özil assisting Benzema with a stunning backheel in the 19th minute. Granada surprised everyone by providing an instant answer, as Mikel Rico nodded in a great header off of a cross by Ikechukwu Uche in the 22nd. They would not be level long, as Sergio Ramos would put his team up for good in the 34th minute with a headed goal off of an Özil corner kick.
Madrid all but ended the game just 70 seconds into the second half, when Gonzalo Higuain scored from 15 yards, finishing off a cross by Marcelo. The best piece of brilliance in the match came in the 50th minute, when Özil found Benzema with a pinpoint long ball, which Benzema controlled and struck into the back of the net. Unfortunately for Benzema and Madrid, the Frenchman injured his ankle during the shot and had to exit the game, with Jose Maria Callejon replacing him.
Ronaldo scored his team's final goal in the 90th minute. The setup was lucky, but the finish was anything but. A miscontrol by substitute Kaka caused the ball to fall into Ronaldo's path at the edge of the area, and he ripped a shot into the back of the net with a rocket of a shot.
For more on Los Merengues, check out Real Madrid blog Managing Madrid.