A comprehensive win for Real last night against Malaga, where they didn’t need to get out of second gear. Malaga were more concerned about the weekend fixture vs Osasuna, they rested key players for the Real match. However, the major concern was Ronaldo’s injury which forced him of with 10 minutes to go, with important games coming up in the league and the second leg vs Lyon in the Champions League, will Ronaldo’s injury begin the end of Mourinho’s time at Real?
The game got of to a slow start, both teams having possession, Real having the majority as you would expect, Benzema had a two goals ruled out for offside either side of his first. Simple goal, free kick from the right from Alonso, Benzema stayed onside to volley in from close range. Malaga defenders were nowhere to be seen. The second wasn’t long in coming, a Malaga corner was cleared to Ozil, who played a neat ball to Marcelo, his through ball was missed by the defender leaving Di Maria with an easy chance to make it 2-0.
Marcelo was a constant outlet down the left flank with Ozil and Di Maria playing neat one-two’s combining the play well which led to Madrid’s third. Neat play on the edge of the box, Di Maria played a delicate ball over the top allowing Marcelo to drill the ball high into the far corner. Madrid were in complete control at the break.
Immediately from the resumption, it was Madrid pressure, there was another Benzema goal, header at the back post, sandwiched by a Ronaldo hat trick. His first was a neat left foot finish, his second a trademark Ronaldo penalty involving Malaga’s right back being sent off and his third a close range volley following a teasing cross by Canales. The most worrying part was straight after his third goal, he signaled to the bench that he had to come of. The initial indication was it looked serious but we will see what the outcome will be.
The high scoring game allowed some Madrid fringe players such as Adebayor, Gago and Canales to get a run out for the last 20 minutes highlighting Madrid’s dominance.
Madrid still 7 points behind Barcelona, with 12 games left and an El Classico at the Bernabau. Will Madrid be able to claw the 7 points back to win the title for the first time since 2008? Tough ask but with Barcelona having injury concerns and a second leg with Arsenal at the Nou Camp, their focus may be else where.
Next up: Barcelona vs Real Zaragoza – Saturday 19:00 Racing Santander vs Real Madrid – Sunday 20:00
Will Madrid be able to keep the pressure on Barcelona?