26.02.2011 » Deportivo 0-0 Real Madrid. Unlucky C. Ronaldo hit the post again
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Real Madrid and Cristiano Ronaldo failed to keep pace with league leaders Barcelona, in Spanish La Liga, after they were held by a resolute Deportivo La Coruña side, this Saturday evening in "El Riazor".
Real Madrid are now seven points behind Barcelona, following the 0-0 draw at the Riazor, after missing many chances in the match second half, but also because Deportivo goalkeeper, Daniel Aranzubia, had a very inspired night, preventing several goals with outstanding saves.Real Madrid announced their attacking intentions from the first whistle, but somehow, they weren't able to settle into an early rhythm, maybe due to a rash of fouls by the hosts. Kaká had the first good chance of the match, in a play where he combined with Karim Benzema, before firing a shot high and wide of the target from outside the box.
Cristiano Ronaldo almost broke the scoreless deadlock in the 20th minute as he created space for himself, before unleashing a drive that Daniel Aranzubia did well to pluck out of the air, in a good save. The Portuguese star did have the ball in the back of the net near the half-hour mark, but the play was ruled offside by inches.
Depor then repelled wave after wave of Real Madrid attacks for the next 15 minutes and were more than content to head into the half-time interval on level terms. José Mourinho's men were well aware of Barcelona's 3-0 victory over Mallorca, earlier in the day and came out all guns blazing to start the second half. Cristiano Ronaldo forced Aranzubia into a diving save and then Kaká wasn’t able to pull the trigger after a mad scramble in Deportivo's penalty area. The Galicians almost hit their illustrious visitors with a sucker-punch in the 53rd minute, as the mexican Andres Guardado's wonderful cross was mere inches away from being tapped in by the striker Jose Sand. But the Deportivo resolute defending was starting to frustrate Real Madrid and a good sign of that was Pepe being shown a yellow card for shoving Juan Rodriguez in the back as he hurried to gather the ball.
Time was starting to become a factor for Real Madrid as Cristiano Ronaldo dipping free kick was pushed away by the fantastic Aranzubia in the 76th minute. Substitute Emmanuel Adebayor almost gave the visitors the lead moments later but his left foot shot from close range hit the post and somehow stayed out.
Deportivo were now under siege, as Cristiano Ronaldo made a great slalom between two defenders, before firing a low shot that came off the post and Aranzubia did very well to get a small touch on Angel di Maria's attempt to score, in what was a magnificent save.
Real Madrid should have taken the lead in the 84th minute as Xabi Alonso picked out Cristiano Ronaldo on the wing and his picture-perfect cross left Karim Benzema with a simple tap-in. However, the Frenchman was inexplicably unable to get the ball out of his feet and the best chance of the game didn't turn out in a goal.
Deportivo were then able to hang on, after four minutes of extra time, to pick up a draw against Real Madrid, who now fall 7 points behind Barcelona.