Real Madrid earned 3 hard fought points in their La Liga clash against Malaga on Matchday 13. The match was a goal fest as the crowd at Santiago Bernabeu witnessed 5 goals, 3 coming from the home side, while the remaining 2 coming from the visitors Malaga. Both teams remain where they were in the La Liga standings. 3rd placed Real Madrid continue to find a way out of their below par season start, while 18th placed Malaga look to escape the relegation battle.

Zidane’s Real Madrid outclass Malaga in a 3-2 thriller

Team news and Formations

Zinedine Zidane made 3 changes from the side that defeated APOEL in the UEFA Champions League few days ago. Nacho Fernandez, Luka Modric and Marco Asesnio were replaced by Jesus Vallejo, Isco and Casemiro.

On the other hand, Jose Miguel Gonzalez made 2 changes from the side that won 3-2 against Deportivo La Coruna. Baysse and Rolon were rested for Diego Gonzalez and Recio.

Both sides played the 4-4-2 formation.

First Half

The opening 10-15 minutes were completely dominated by Real Madrid. They started to create chances right from the 2nd minute. Lucas Vasquez had a nice chance right at the start to give Real the lead from a header from just near the penalty spot. However, the header went high over the crossbar.

Just 7 minutes later, Ronaldo latched on to an inch perfect cross by Marcelo. Unluckily for Ronaldo and luckily for Real, the header hit the crossbar and Benzema was quick enough to score from the rebound with a bullet header. Real got the early lead they were looking for.

Dani Carvajal had a promising chance to double Real’s lead in the 15th minute when received a precise lofted cross. His quick shot to the bottom right wasn’t good enough to get past the Malaga goalkeeper.

It was all Real Madrid till the 18th minute, just when some shocking defense from Real lead to Malaga’s equalizer. A poor attempt by Toni Kroos to find Raphael Varane was intercepted by Keko, who found himself unchallenged and took the opportunity to play a ball over the top to Diego Rolan inside the box. The Uruguayan had the space to take a touch before rifling a low shot into the bottom left corner beyond Casilla from close range. Real’s defense there was absolutely lethargic.

Just 3 minutes later, Real were awarded with a corner kick. Toni Kroos whipped in a perfect corner kick and his cross towards the center of the penalty area was met with by Casemiro, who timed his run really well and fired a header into the bottom right corner to take Real ahead. The next 20 minutes did not have much of goal scoring chances.

In the 44th minute, a little before the half time whistle, Real had a chance to increase their lead as Ronaldo rose above Malaga’s defenders and headed a brilliant and precise cross towards the top right corner. However, Roberto Jiminez came to the rescue of the visitors making a heroic save for Malaga. This was probably his best save of the game.

Seconds before the referee blew the whistle for half time, Malaga were awarded with a free kick. Malaga were briliiant to be able to convert from the free kick as Paul Baysse managed to find the net. However, a controversial decision by the referee to blow the whistle even before the ball could touch Baysse’s head, resulted in the goal being disallowed.

The first half saw 3 players being penalized. Penaranda, Adrian and Marcelo were the amongst the ones booked. Juan Carlos was substituted in the 36th minute after he picked up an injury an Lucas Vasquez was also given some medical attention in the opening 45 minutes.

The disallowed goal meant that the half time score would remain 2-1 in Real Madrid’s favor.

Second Half

No half time changes were made by either of the sides and Real Madrid kicked off the second half.

Real Madrid was in complete control of the game in the first 10 minutes of the second half until Chory Castro’s long range shot took Malaga to equal terms. The goal came totally against the run of play and Casilla should have probably done better there.

Real Madrid exchanged passes and kept the ball with them for the next few minutes. That was a dull phase of the game with no chances created at all. The referee caught Luis Hernandez tripping in the 76th minute and Real were awarded a penalty because of his foul on Modric. As expected, Ronaldo stepped up to take the penalty. However, he failed to convert from the spot as Roberto Jiminez managed to keep it out. Luckily for Ronldo, the rebound fell into his path and he tapped home from close range.

This foul had cost Malaga the game as the scoreline didn’t change after this goal and Real Madrid took all 3 points from this match winning 3-2.

Ronaldo scored a disallowed goal in the 88th minute which was wrongly ruled out for offside. That was the last attempt on goal from both sides in this match.

Real Madrid made all 3 changes in the second half. Isco, Toni Kroos and Karim Benzema were replaced by Luka Modric, Theo Hernandez and Borja Mayoral respectively. Malaga made just a single change in the last 45 minutes of the game with Juanpi replacing Keko, who was one of the key players for Malaga.

Real Madrid won the match 3-1.


Real Madrid were certainly not at their best. They were attacking throughout the game, as they had 16 goal attempts, out of which 9 shots were on target. However, they were pretty sloppy in the defensive and made some very poor and silly defensive errors. The defensive services of Sergio Ramos were missed and Real Madrid did suffer. With less than a month left for the El Clasico and Real Madrid struggling this season, big names like Ronaldo and Benzema will need to step up and help the team out. Real Madrid need to stick to their plans

Malaga need to play the way they played today, giving a top side like Real Madrid such tough competition and managing to equalize twice. They will have to show some fighting spirit and stay determined to escape relegation and stay in the La Liga.

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