Madrid on brink of Spanish title after win at Granada

Madrid, Jul 14 (AP):
After its ninth straight win following the pandemic break, Real Madrid is on the verge of reclaiming the Spanish league title.
Madrid defeated Granada 2-1 on Monday to move within two points of winning the trophy.
Ferland Mendy and Karim Benzema scored first-half goals to keep Madrid four points ahead of second-placed Barcelona with two rounds to go.
Madrid can clinch its first title since 2017 on Thursday with a win at Villarreal, or if Barcelona loses points when it hosts Osasuna. Two draws in the final two rounds will also be enough to secure Madrid a record 34th league trophy.
“We are a step closer but we can’t relax, we haven’t won anything yet,” Madrid captain Sergio Ramos said. “There are still points to be won. We depend on ourselves and we have a game at home coming up, hopefully we can win it and celebrate the league title.”
Madrid was in control early in Granada and Mendy’s first goal since joining the Spanish club this season came from a beautiful angled shot into the top corner after getting past a defender inside the area in the 10th minute.
Benzema added to the lead six minutes later by scoring his 19th league goal with a right-footed strike into the far corner.
Granada, which was 10th in the standings, got on the board with a goal by Darwin Mach s in the 50th and pressured to the end.
The hosts came closest to the equalizer with about five minutes left, when Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois had to make a difficult save and Ramos cleared a shot at the goal line.
Madrid had not conceded a goal in its last five league matches.

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