Yeah Yeah. The score line may suggest that it was a goal galore at the Bernabeu, but the fact remains that Real Madrid had to dig deep this time to get the bunny out of the hat.
Real Madrid went one man down and one goal down at one point in the middle of the match, but we are the two time La Liga reigning champions. Real Madrid came back with a bang. Anyway, there are a lot of positives and believe me, a lot, a lot of negatives of this game tonight , from which Real Madrid can learn a lot (used the word ‘a lot’ 3 times in 1 sentence, I know).
Point to be noted is that Real Madrid came from behind 3 times and still beat Malaga. That must do a world of good to the confidence of the players.
The game started at a frantic pace with Real Madrid trying to dominate the game and Malaga trying to close Real Madrid players down at every opportunity. Real Madrid showed some neat touches to ward them off by the way.
It was Málaga who took a shock lead though as Portuguese striker Eliseu drove into the box from the right touchline, jinking past Marcelo and Gabriel Heinze before squaring the ball into the box, only for it to cannon off a defender, onto the post, and back for him to tap in.
Seriously, I cannot believe how he dribbled past two defenders because he was so close to the by line that any sensible defender would have just stood his ground, but noooo, Heinze and Marcelo had other ideas.
Just minutes later though Real Madrid were level as in-form striker Higuaín got his sixth goal of the season after Guti had played a lovely ball through for Marcelo, which Marcelo smashed into keeper Francesc Arnau only for the rebound to fall straight to Higuain to tap it in.
it was an incredible start to the game. The midfield was wide open which allowed both teams to attack attack and some more attack. It was staggering to see such a open game at this level.
One of the commentators even remarked that this is looking like School football game, because the defence was so ‘not there’ for both the teams.
Anyway, Sneijder saw a shot parried by Arnau which Rafael Van Der Vaart nearly followed up with another goal, but his shot hit the side netting, and then, with just 17 minutes on the clock the scoreline was changed again, and yet again it was Málaga who took the lead.
Malaga broke down the wing (as most teams, if not all, do at the Bernabeu) and midfielder Duda squared the ball across the box for Nabil Baha to slot home from close range, sending Antonio Tapio into raptures.
Seriously, Malaga did deserve the goal because they tried hard to gain the advantage back. Real Madrid’s defence looked hapless and disorganised.
Again it was the stupid Heinze who did not bother to clear the low cross that came from the left hand side and the attacker rolled it into the goal. Cannavaro just stood there, leaving the Striker unmarked waiting for the linesman to call for offside.
At the other end Málaga were holding firm and the most threatening that Real Madrid looked after going behind was from set-pieces, as first Van Der Vaart and then Sneijder got the opportunity to test Arnau from close range.
Neither could though as they smacked their shots into the wall and the visitors very nearly grabbed a third on the counter as Adrian burst into the box and drove towards goal, but Iker Casillas was equal to it and saved.
Indeed, it was a set-piece that produced the next goal as Higuaín got his, and Real Madrid’s second, goal of the match, from the penatly spot.
Weligton was the guilty party as he hand-balled inside the area, although his body appeared to be outside, and Higuain (not allowing Van der Vaart to take any penalties at all) made no mistake from 12 yards as he smashed it low and hard past the fingertips of Arnau.
It was the perfect time forRealMadrid to score, with just ten minutes to go before the half-time whistle, but they were to be severely disadvantaged just seven minutes later as they were reduced to ten men.
Sergio Ramos (dumb 22 yo), who already had the pressure of th critics on him was the man seeing red as he appeared to accidentally stand on Eliseu after tackling him fairly.
The referee however must of seen it as deliberate as he sent him down the tunnel, much to the disbelief of Schuster (and myself) who surrounded Iturralde González in protestation.
On the first look, I could not believe that the referee had shown Sergio Ramos a red card for that. But when I watched in the replay, it did seem to be a little intentional. Anyway, he got a sent off, bye bye.
Schuster didn’t even give him ‘a pat on th back’ (why should he?)
There was no changing the decision though and as the half-time whistle sounded just a few minutes later the whistles rang out around the Bernabéu.
Real Madrid in Trouble Because of Stupid Referee AGAIN!!!
Despite having only 10 men the second-half started with Real Madrid controlling the play and dominating possession, although the first real chance fell to Málaga.
Duda, who was yet to find a decent delivery with a free-kick, whipped in a set piece only for it to bounce around in the box and fall to Miguel Angel, who should have done better than blast wide with his volley.
Malaga looked dangerous and kept on attacking the wings of Real Madrid. Eliseu especially was a real threat, being fouled on multiple occasions when he burst down the flank.
However, Real Madrid were still looking the more comfortable of the two sides and Fernando Gago should had done better than hit straight at the keeper when teed up by Higuaín from just outside the box.But then again, he is a defensive midfielder, scoring goals is not one of his traits.
Malaga still seemed content to hit on the counter-attack despite their numerical advantage and they should haveworkedCasillasonafewoccasionsbut