Real Madrid won a crucial battle in their way to conquer La Liga, as the earned a hard-fought victory against Malaga. Cristiano Ronaldo was the match-winner once again. Nevertheless, Bernd Schuster’s men can be proud of their performance, as they threatened to equalise until the last minute.
Los Blancos should have taken an early lead as the referee denied a clear penalty. Gareth Bale took the ball down inside the box and looked to cut in on his right foot but went down under the challenge of Marcos Angeleri. The ref waved play on although it looked like a clear foul.
Malaga’s Nordim Amrabat gave Los Merengues defence a lot of trouble. Yet, Real made it 0-1 in the 23rd minute as Cristiano Ronaldo received the ball on the left of the box and skipped passed the challenges of Ignacio Camacho and Angeleri before lashing a strike into the bottom right corner.
The Portuguese later hit Karim Benzema accidentally and the Frenchman had to be replaced by Angel di Maria.
Amrabat had a couple of chances to equalise before half-time, but he missed both: the first one was saved by Diego Lopez and the second one went wide off the post.
Carlo Ancelotti’s men could have extended their lead as Di Maria carried the ball the length of the field before putting it on a plate for Isco, but the Andalucian didn’t have a good day and fired high and wide of the crossbar.
As both teams started to show tiredness, the match gained interest. The hosts missed a great chance as Sergio Sanchez collected a loose ball outside the box and sent a volley high.
Ronaldo also came close to making it 0-2 as he met a corner from Di Maria, but plantted his header wide of the post.
Malaga pushed forward in the last minutes. Pepe was providential to save a brilliant assist by Amrabat. Roque Santa Cruz came close to equalising with a brilliant header that went wide of the post.
However, Malaga’s efforts could have cost them a worse defeat, since Madrid could have scored in two counter-attacks. Argentinian goalkeeper Willy Caballero met Cristiano’s and Jese’s shots.