MÁLAGA 1 - REAL MADRID 2
Madrid suffer for their record
Real Madrid recorded their 16th win in a row. Kameni was the hero for Málaga, who had chances and fought until the end. Benzema and Bale netted, while Isco saw red.
Each Real Madrid counter-attack is like a documentary about antelopes. There is no team in the world that has perfected both the noble art of escaping and chasing, of running across the savannah. Everyone knows it. Some opponents try to combat it with judicious defensive plans and others do it by appealing to their own concentration. Málaga opted for the second option: pray. Be brave, applied, remain true to your style and pray. The result ensured a place in the sky, but they did not win in order to scare.
For a good team like Málaga, who share some of Madrid’s virtues, there is nothing worse than facing Madrid, the true swashbucklers. There is no way to be original. Each idea thought up by the apprentice awakens a better idea from the master. And this was the case, with each portion followed by a double serving: of counter-attacks, of pressure, of chances, of goals.
Within the first ten minutes, Cristiano angrily demanded a penalty and the truth is that there was little arm movement. Sergio Sánchez grabbed his shirt as if he was the president of his fan club. The dragon didn’t flinch – neither did the hydra. Cristiano knew that he had to get away from Sergio Sánchez to construct the first goal. So, a few minutes later, he attacked Rosales down the side, showing him a catalogue of tricks and assisted Benzema.
The great play from Cristiano distracted us from the Frenchman’s tug on Weligton, which was surely the last act of a tight race. We will speak in favour of the referee, a lustrous debutant in La Liga, who maintained a consistent approach with all fouls within the box – he didn’t whistle for anything. It was that which deprived us of a frantic 4-6 scoreline with five beautiful penalties.
While all this was going on, the best bits of Málaga could be found in Samu’s bursts and Santa Cruz’s efforts. And with Madrid, in addition to a very generous Cristiano, we saw the enthusiasm of Bale, who was rewarded with a goal late on in the match, a medal for the fabulous progress made by his right leg.
And with Isco’s issue, if you think about it, it was not so rare. Against their first love there are some who are defeated by the melancholy, by those nights on the beach. Conclusion: a grey match and an unjust dismissal, an arbitral exaggeration made by a referee who wanted to whistle for something.
There was another match, no less important, that belonged entirely to the goalkeepers.
Kameni prevented Cristiano from scoring his 21st goal with a pair of prodigious interventions to thwart point-blank efforts.
Isco and Bale also tested his heavenly inspiration. Casillas, at the other end of the pitch, alternated between indecision when dealing with long shots and miracles that we are accustomed to.
And in added time, Santa Cruz’s goal did justice to the merits of Málaga and to those of Madrid. On the record: to achieve the record of 16 wins was neither easy nor was it was achieved against any rival. La Rosaleda clicks this year. Whoever has tried it knows it.