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19.10.2013 » Real Madrid 2-0 Malaga. Caballero saved the visitors from humiliation

Cristiano Ronaldo praying during a match for Real Madrid

Real Madrid hosted Malaga at the Bernabéu this Saturday afternoon and got away with the 3 points despite an average performance. With a stunning display, Malaga's goalkeeper Willy Caballero kept the game open right until the end, but Ronaldo's goal from the penalty spot ended up settling the match for the Merengues.

There are always concerns that games played immediately after a long international break may bring up some unpleasant surprises, but fortunately for the Merengues, that has not been the case. Real Madrid got past Malaga by 2-0 at the Santiago Bernabéu, thanks to second-half goals from Angel Di María and Cristiano Ronaldo. Carlo Ancelotti's men struggled to deal with Malaga's offside trap throughout the whole match and when they found a way to beat it, they ran into a very solid and inspired goalkeeper, the Argentinian Willy Caballero. Nevertheless, the victory didn't slip away and Real Madrid can now start preparing their next Wednesday's match against Juventus, for the UEFA Champions League matchday 3.

Cristiano Ronaldo game photos in Real Madrid vs Malaga
Real Madrid 2-0 Malaga goals and highlights video:

Carlo Ancelotti has finally decided to give a chance to Alvaro Morata and played him in the line-up, side by side up with Cristiano Ronaldo and Angel Di María. The 20-year old "Canterano" didn't manage to score in the 75 minutes he played, but at least he has never seemed overwhelmed with the opportunity and has put a lot of work in terms of helping his team with defensive tasks. In midfield, Asier Illarramendi was also given a starting spot, but the former Real Sociedad player didn't really manage to perform very well, as he ended up failing too many passes and never seemed very secure when he had the ball on his feet.

Malaga came on to the Bernabéu probably hoping to find an anxious home side, a team who is clearly still far from producing the level of football that the fans demand. Ancelotti has already asked for the supporters to be patient with the team, but time tend to be a tricky factor in sport, especially if results don't go the way people expect. With today's victory, Real Madrid may have bought a few more days to breath and try to improve their chemistry on the pitch, but with next weekend's Barcelona vs Real Madrid coming up as the following league fixture, Ancelotti is running against the clock to come up with a different gameplan that may eventually grant him a good chance of leaving the Camp Nou with a positive result...

Despite the big amount of goalscoring chances created by Real Madrid (the Merengues finished the game with 16 shots on target!), the first half ended with a goalless draw and a rising fear that this could end up being another disappointing day for the Merengues. Cristiano Ronaldo had already hit the crossbar and missed a 1-on-1 situation against Caballero, while Álvaro Morata saw the Malaga goalkeeper denying him the opener with a true superb save, throwing his body in the air as if he was handball goalkeeper.

Cristiano Ronaldo in Real Madrid new jersey, 2013-2014

Luckily, just a few instants after both teams came back from the locker room, Real Madrid managed to get in front. Angel Di María picked up a ball on the right, set it up for a cross with his left foot and saw Cristiano Ronaldo rising in the air and almost reaching it up high. The Portuguese forward couldn't get his head to touch it though, but the cross's trajectory ended up going straight to the far post, leaving Caballero a bit hesitant on what to do. Malaga goalkeeper still stretched to reach the ball, but his reaction had came on just a bit too late, which allowed for Real Madrid to grab the precious lead. That was Di María's first goal in La Liga this season, his 3rd in all competitions.

The 2-0 arrived already very near to the referee's final whistle and after Gareth Bale was brought in to play the last 15 minutes of the game. It was precisely the former Tottenham player who drew the penalty kick that allowed for Real Madrid to settle the game. Bale tried to get away from a defender by using his speed, but as he entered Malaga's penalty area he lost his balance after a few pushes. The referee pointed to the spot even though the contact didn't seem to have been strong enough to justify the call. Cristiano Ronaldo didn't worry much about it, stepped up to take it and finally got to beat Caballero, making it 2-0 for Real Madrid. The Portuguese player would then show an interesting reaction during his goal celebrations, as he apologized to Madrid fans for having missed so many chances throughout the whole match.

Real Madrid will now go into a highly demanding week, hosting Juventus next Wednesday and travelling to the Camp Nou to face Barcelona on Saturday. Barça has actually dropped their first points in the league this season, which means that the two teams will face each other with only 3 points setting them apart. We'll also have some quite interesting games to follow in mid-week, with an AC Milan vs Barcelona in the San Siro, a Schalke vs Chelsea clash in Germany and a thrilling Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund at the Emirates Stadium. Certainly more than enough reasons to stay hooked up to the TV next Tuesday.

Cristiano Ronaldo jumping higher than all others, in Real Madrid 2-0 Malaga

Real Madrid line-up vs Malaga:

Goalkeeper: Diego Lopez
Defenders: Marcelo, Pepe, Sergio Ramos, Carvajal
Midfielders: Illarramendi, Khedira, Isco
Attackers: Angel Di María, Cristiano Ronaldo, Morata

Match stats provided by www.ronaldo7.net
Real Madrid
vs
Malaga
2
Goals
0
22
Shots
3
16
Shots on goal
1
8
Corner kicks
3
4
Fouls commited
11
0
Yellow cards
4
0
Red cards
0
67%
Ball possession
33%

Cristiano Ronaldo next game for Real Madrid will be for the UEFA Champions League, this Wednesday (October 23, 2013), against Juventus. You can watch Real Madrid vs Juventus, AC Milan vs Barcelona, Schalke vs Chelsea and Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund, all matches provided from our football live section.

Real Madrid next game:
Real Madrid vs Juventus
kick-off time (23-10-2013):

Jakarta (Indonesia) | GMT+7: 01:45
Spain
(Madrid) | GMT+2: 20:45
Portugal and England (Lisbon/London) | GMT+1: 19:45
Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) | GMT-3: 15:45
New York (United States) | GMT-4: 14:45
Los Angeles (United States) | GMT-7: 11:45
Beijing (China) | GMT+8: 02:45

Sources: ronaldo7.net / goal.com

Cristiano Ronaldo trying to dribble a defender, in Real Madrid vs Malaga

Cristiano Ronaldo apologizing fans, instead of celebrating goal for Real Madrid

Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale in Real Madrid 2013-2014

Cristiano Ronaldo with his arms open, screaming and shouting

Alvaro Morata trying to beat Willy Caballero, in Real Madrid vs Malaga

Cristiano Ronaldo frustration and despair, in Real Madrid vs Malaga for La Liga

Angel Di María, Real Madrid winger in 2013-2014

Gareth Bale playing for Real Madrid, in 2013-2014

Cristiano Ronaldo and Jesé Rodriguez

Cristiano Ronaldo smiling next to Carlo Ancelotti

Cristiano Ronaldo scoring a penalty-kick in Real Madrid vs Malaga

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