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Real Madrid vs. Granada: Victory Will Put La Liga Powerhouse on Right Track

Ian Hanford@Ian_HanfordFeatured ColumnistSeptember 2, 2012

MADRID, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 02:  Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid competes for the ball with Guilherme M. Siqueira of Granada during the La Liga match between Real Madrid and Granada at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on September 2, 2012 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Real Madrid's dominant 3-0 victory over Granada at the Bernabeu was exactly what fans of the La Liga powerhouse have been waiting for. Cristiano Ronaldo was dominant, and the entire team took care of business in decisive fashion.

Madrid has played two contests in La Liga prior to this tilt, and neither resulted in a victory. Saturday's victory was their first Primera Division win of the new season.

That's not the end of the world for a side with their prodigious talent, but it's certainly not what was expected to start the year.

Saturday's win over Granada featured a double for Ronaldo, and Gonzalo Higuain continued his torrid pace by scoring his third goal of the season.

Not only did Madrid play excellent in the offensive third, but their defense stifled Granada's attack. They managed seven shots, but none were on net. On top of that, Madrid controlled the ball for 70 percent of the game.

The outcome was expected, but it's reassuring to see this team play so well. Luka Modric, Jose Callejon and Karim Benzema were given an opportunity to play, and all three players did their part in the victory.

It hasn't been all bad for Madrid this season. They did win their first Spanish Super Cup in four years over Barcelona, but this was their first completely polished victory.

We knew it would come, but seeing it is something else.

Madrid will continue their success from Saturday throughout the course of the La Liga slate. Ronaldo was in top form, and Higuain's production gives their attack an added element.

Real Madrid faces a rigorous schedule like every other elite team, and starting off slow isn't something you want to see happen. It's a long season, but starting off hot can be the difference, especially when you have another world power to deal with.

There was little doubt that Madrid was going to have an excellent season, but Saturday's win put them on the right track early on.

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