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18.03.2012 » Real Madrid 1-1 Malaga. Cazorla shines in late upset at the Bernabéu

Cristiano Ronaldo frustration and despair, after Santi Cazorla equalizer, in Real Madrid 1-1 Malaga, for La Liga 2012

Santi Cazorla was the author of a late surprise in the Santiago Bernabéu last night, equalizing the game to 1-1 and stopping Real Madrid's 11-games winning streak in La Liga. Benzema scored before the break, but Cazorla gave Malaga a reason to celebrate late in the 2nd half, in a game where Pelegrini's side dominated the ball possession.

Real Madrid were surprisingly held to a 1-1 draw this Sunday night, as they hosted Malaga in the Santiago Bernabéu. Cristiano Ronaldo assisted Karim Benzema brilliantly for the opener close to the 35th minute of the 1st half, but Santi Cazorla, who probably deserves the man of the match award, equalized after scoring from an impressive free-kick with already 1 minute played in the 2nd half added time. With 11 games left in La Liga, the Merengues saw their lead to Barcelona being cut to 8 points and there's a dangerous visit to the "El Madrigal" this next Wednesday waiting for José Mourinho's men, in a promising clash with Villarreal.

Cristiano Ronaldo game photos in Real Madrid vs Malaga
Real Madrid 1-1 Malaga goals and highlights

Cristiano Ronaldo and Real Madrid players wearing shirts with shirts with encouraging messages to Barcelona's Eric Abidal and Bolton's Fabrice Muamba, in 2012

Real Madrid conceded their second draw of this La Liga season and they have no one else to blame but themselves. Malaga visited Madrid without complexes, outplayed the Merengues on midfield and truth has to be said that they got rewarded with a deserving point near the end of the match. Surprisingly, Manuel Pellegrini's side had a total of 53% ball possession and even though they've only reached their goal in the 2nd half added time, there were several good chances for that to happen throughout the game, as well as there were big opportunities for Real Madrid to extend the lead.

In a similar way to what has happened in a recent past, Real Madrid failed to start the game with the right foot and allowed Malaga to control the tempo of the game with good passing combinations. Pellegrini's side showed that they aren't ranked 4th in La Liga just by chance and players such as Cazorla, Joaquín and Isco all had great performances.

Cristiano Ronaldo impressive flexibility in a Real Madrid game for La Liga in 2012

Despite the better start from Malaga, it was Real Madrid who found a way to score the first goal of the night. Cristiano Ronaldo received a pass from Kaká on the left wing, decided to run a few meters with the ball close to his feet, just before cutting inside and making a sudden cross with his right foot. That pass came out being a world-class assist to Karim Benzema, who just had to head the ball to an empty net, easily beating Malaga's goalkeeper, Willy Caballero.

Malaga had been the better side in the first half, but a clinical Real Madrid allowed José Mourinho's men to go into half-time with a 1 goal advantage. The Portuguese coach probably realized there was an urgent need of a big improvement after the break, but unlike many other games this season, the Merengues found it hard to contradict Malaga's dominance on midfield and ended showing visible signs of frustrations in several moments of the game.

Cristiano Ronaldo assist to Karim Benzema goal, in Real Madrid vs Malaga in 2012

Nevertheless, it also has to be said that Real Madrid slightly improved their performance levels in the 2nd half, as they changed their game approach and started to create more danger from counter-attacks. Cristiano Ronaldo and Benzema were very close to extend the lead in a few occasions, but some of those were superbly denied by Caballero, while others were simply wasted by bad decisions.

There's an old saying in football about a team not scoring from their chances and ending up conceding a goal afterwards. Unfortunately, it proved to be right this Sunday night at the Santiago Bernabéu and the late upset arrived precisely in added time, with already 91 minutes on the clock. Granero fouled a Malaga player near Real Madrid's penalty area, in a period where the Merengues were already feeling the pressure of holding this 1 goal advantage at home. Malaga's most technically gifted played, Santiago Cazorla, was put in charge of taking the free-kick and pulled off a top notch free-kick that simply froze the Santiago Bernabéu. The final score was set to 1-1 and Real Madrid dropped 2 points from their lead over Barcelona, which now makes it a 8 points gap now.

Santi Cazorla free-kick goal, in Real Madrid 1-1 Malaga, with Iker Casillas trying to reach the ball, in 2012

Real Madrid line-up vs Malaga:

Goalkeeper: Casillas
Defenders: Marcelo, Pepe, Sergio Ramos, Lass Diarra
Midfielders: Xabi Alonso, Khedira
Attackers: Ozil, Kaká, Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema

Match stats provided by
Real Madrid
Shots on goal
Corner kicks
Fouls commited
Yellow cards
Red cards
Ball possession

Real Madrid next game is for La Liga against Villarreal, this next Wednesday (21-03-2012). In the meanwhile you can watch Benfica vs Porto, Barcelona vs Granada, Juventus vs Milan and QPR vs Liverpool, all from our soccer live streams section. Cristiano Ronaldo is expected to be on the line-up when Real Madrid visits Villarreal this next Wednesday.

Villarreal vs Real Madrid kick-off time (21-03-2012):

Jakarta (Indonesia) | GMT+7: 04:00
(Madrid) | GMT+1: 22:00
Portugal and England (Lisbon/London) | GMT+0: 21:00
Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) | GMT-2: 19:00
New York (United States) | GMT-5: 16:00
Los Angeles (United States) | GMT-8: 13:00
Beijing (China) | GMT-8: 13:00

Sources: /

Cristiano Ronaldo dribbling tricks and skills, in Real Madrid 2012

Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema giving hands in Real Madrid, in 2012

Cristiano Ronaldo body balance against a Malaga defender in La Liga 2012

Xabi Alonso watching Santi Cazorla technique skills, in Real Madrid vs Malaga in 2012

Santi Cazorla celebrating his free-kick goal, in Real Madrid 1-1 Malaga, in La Liga 2012

Cristiano Ronaldo right foot strike, in Real Madrid 2012

Cristiano Ronaldo opening his arms, as a sign of frustration and lack of luck, in Real Madrid in 2012

Cristiano Ronaldo great moving chest control, in Real Madrid 2012

Ricardo Kaká jumping and funny hair, in Real Madrid 2012

José Mourinho giving instructions to Real Madrid players in La Liga game, in 2012

Sergio Ramos passing technique, in Real Madrid 2012

Xabi Alonso sliding tackle, in a Real Madrid in 2012

Cristiano Ronaldo wearing a Real Madrid shirt, with a 'Get Well Soon' message to Bolton's Fabrice Muamba, in 2012

Cristiano Ronaldo shocked by late equalizer at the Santiago Bernabéu, after Santi Cazorla's free-kick goal

Cristiano Ronaldo dribbling Demichelis, in Real Madrid 1-1 Malaga, in 2012

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