Ronaldo nets winner in narrow Malaga win

Real Madrid kept alive their La Liga title hopes with a hard fought 3-2 victory over spirited Malaga in Saturday’s clash at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.

  • Real Madrid 3 Malaga 2
  • Benzema scores but Rolan equalises
  • Casemiro restores Real’s lead
  • Castro levels
  • Ronaldo wins it for the hosts

Match summary

Real started strongly and took the lead through Karim Benzema though not long after Diego Rolan found an equaliser. Casemiro soon made it 2-1 before the break.

After the interval, Gonzalo Castro scored a stunning strike to make it 2-2 before Cristiano Ronaldo got the winner with a rebound from his saved penalty.

Match report  

Real Madrid started on the front foot and took the early lead as Karim Benzema struck home in the ninth minute. After a cross from the left was met by Cristiano Ronaldo’s head and cannoned off the bar, Benzema tapped home from close range.

Yet, in the 18th minute the visitors hit back as Diego Rolan hit home from Keko’s accurate cross from the right-hand touchline. After chesting the ball down, the player finished into the bottom left-hand corner beyond Kiko Casilla.

Incredibly, three minutes later it was 2-1 to the hosts as Toni Kroos’ corner was met by Casemiro who headed home into the bottom right-hand corner.

Just after the half an hour mark, Benzema missed a golden chance to make it 3-1 but he dragged his strike beyond the left-hand post from Dani Carvajal’s pass. In the 39th minute Ronaldo was denied by goalkeeper Roberto Jimenez, who tipped his powerful strike from Lucas Vazquez’s pass around the post.

Just before the break he saved brilliantly again from a Ronaldo header after the Portuguese connected with another Carvajal cross. After the interval Malaga made Real pay for their misses as Gonzalo Castro scored a remarkable effort from distance.

From 25-yards, Castro powered home a strike into Casilla’s bottom right-hand corner as Zinedine Zidane’s men were stunned. 

Further chances would fall to Ronaldo however Los Blancos restored their advantage in the 76th minute from the same player. After Luka Modric was brought down in the box, the Portuguese saw his penalty saved but was fortunate to convert the rebound.

The 32-year-old thought he had grabbed his brace in the closing stages when he tucked the ball home from a cross, though it was flagged for offside as the home team hung on to collect a much-needed three points.

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