Eden Hazard isn’t off to the best start with Real Madrid.
That changed Saturday, though the Spanish giants didn’t offer up the best finish, either.
Hazard scored his first goal for the club and had an assist, but Real Madrid nearly watched Granada wipe out a three-goal lead in a 4-2 victory at the Santiago Bernabeu.
The two clubs actually entered the match atop the La Liga table, Real Madrid with 15 points at this early stage and Granada with 14 and the goal difference advantage on Atletico. Two weeks after Granada stunned Barcelona, they nearly rallied for another shock result.
Karim Benzema scored in the second minute to give Real Madrid an immediate advantage, and Hazard took a clever touch and dinked a finish to pay off Federico Valverde’s aggressive midfield work in first-half stoppage time (via beIN Sports):
Luka Modric added a third goal just past the hour mark on a pass back center from Hazard, and it seemed like Real Madrid would cruise to victory. Only Real Madrid don’t ever seem comfortable amid comfort, do they?
Darwin Machis converted a penalty to pull one back for the visitors in the 69th minute, and Victor Diaz then glanced a header across the box that Domingos Duarte punched home:
That gave Granada about 10 minutes to chase an equalizer, but ultimately James Rodriguez scored in injury time to seal the win for Real Madrid.
Perhaps Hazard’s goal will kickstart his season. He missed the first month due to injury, and has looked off the pace after arriving from Chelsea in June as the club revived its Galactio transfer policy.
Real Madrid’s messiness to start this campaign has more or less been confined to the Champions League, and it will spend this week at the summit of La Liga.
If they want to remain there the rest of the season, Hazard will need keep up his production.
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