Real Madrid keep run going as Rodrygo hits the target again

Rodrygo continued his red-hot form as Real Madrid returned to the top of LaLiga following a routine 2-0 win over struggling Granada.

The Brazil forward rifled home his seventh goal in his last five Real appearances to seal victory at Santiago Bernabeu following Brahim Diaz’s first-half opener.

Carlo Ancelotti’s men kicked off on Saturday evening having slipped to second in the table due to Girona’s 2-1 success over Valencia earlier in the day.

Yet they swiftly regained first place, above the Catalan club on head-to-head-results, following a straightforward success over the division’s second-bottom side.

England midfielder Jude Bellingham once again impressed but was unable to add to his 15 goals this season and picked up a first-half yellow card for dissent.

Victory for the hosts stretched their unbeaten streak in all competitions to 13 matches, dating back to the 3-1 derby defeat at Atletico Madrid in September.

Real were back in domestic action after maintaining their 100 per cent Champions League record with Wednesday’s 4-2 success over Serie A champions Napoli.

Brahim Diaz, right, celebrates his opening goal with Jude Bellingham

Their early dominance was rewarded with a 26th-minute lead.

Toni Kroos split the visitors’ defence with a fine first-time pass, allowing former Manchester City man Diaz to claim his third goal of the season by calmly lifting the ball over Granada’s substitute goalkeeper Andre Ferreira.

Bellingham wanted a penalty in the final minute of the half when he went down under a robust lunging challenge from Ignasi Miquel but his animated appeals were waved away by the referee.

Real initially looked content with their slender advantage during a fairly subdued start to the second period.

However, their slow, patient play was rewarded with a second goal in the 57th minute.

Bellingham looked certain to score following a cut back from the lively Diaz but Ferreira, who replaced the injured Raul Fernandez after 10 minutes, pulled off an impressive save, only to see the in-form Rodrygo emphatically lash home the rebound.

Granada’s sole success this season came at home to Mallorca back in August.

The away side never looked likely to set up a grandstand finish and did not manage an attempt on target as the hosts continued to monopolise the ball.

Federico Valverde went close to adding to Real’s advantage but he was denied by a superb one-handed save from Ferreira following a delightful pass from Bellingham.