Cristiano Ronaldo's costly penalty miss sees Real Madrid drop points at Malaga
The Spanish giants lose ground on the title race after a poor defending display
Real Madrid dropped crucial points away to Malaga after a 1-1 draw which saw Ronaldo score and miss a penalty. The Capital club took the lead through a Ronaldo header after Toni Kroos whipped a free-kick from the right-hand side. And immediately they had a chance to extend their lead after Ronaldo won a penalty. But the Portugese saw his weak effort well saved by the keeper.
That proved to be the turning point as Malaga, who always looked threatening throughout the match equalized in the second half, after some poor marking in the box gave them a free shot on goal. The draw sees Barcelona extend their lead even further at the top of the league.
Malaga CF – Kameni, Rosales, Albentosa, Weligton, M. Torres; Camacho, Recio, Juanpi, Horta; op, Charles.
Real Madrid – Navas, Ramos, Nacho, Carvajal, Marcelo, Kroos, Kovacic, Modric; Isco, Jesé, C. Ronaldo.
First Half: Ronaldo scores but misses a penalty
Ronaldo started as the central striker as Benzema was unavailable through injury. Jese was handed a rare start playing on the right-hand side with Isco on the left. Kovacic was chosen ahead of James Rodriguez as the latter dropped to the bench.
The game had a slow start as both teams were finding it difficult to keep possession for a sustained period of time. The match exploded into life after Malaga had two chances in the space of two minutes.
First Juanpi had a great chance after a horrible mix-up at the back put him through one on one with Keylor Navas but his shot was disappointingly weak. The second chance saw Juanpi turn provider for Horta but sadly his shot was into the side netting after finding himself unmarked in the box.
That proved to be costly as ten minutes later Madrid won a free kick on the right wing. Kroos put in a beautiful ball and the Portuguese international headed it into the goal with great placement, giving the keeper no chance. But replays later showed that Ronaldo was clearly offside.
It seemed like Malaga's confidence was punctured after that goal, as they gave away a penalty just minutes later after Ronaldo was fouled in the box. The 31-year-old stepped up to take it but his low drive was saved by Kameni.
Kameni kept the home side in the game after that save but Real Madrid went into half time in the lead
Second Half: Malaga equalize to make it 1-1
The second half started in bright fashion with both teams looking threatening. Navas was the first keeper to be forced into action as he made a super stop from Horta after his shot deflected off Nacho. But Navas adjusted well to tip it over the bar.
Ronaldo then had a shot saved by Kameni, flying to his right to keep him from scoring a second. Madrid’s defence still looked shaky as Malaga grew more confident with each attack. But Malaga did look stretched on the counter as Madrid tried to find a goal that would kill the game. Unfortunately, their passing in the final third let them down.
Malaga certainly looked the more threatening and their attacking endeavour finally paid off. A great cross from Wellington on the right-hand side found Albentosa completely unmarked in the box and he powered home a half-volley into the back of the net to level the scores.
It had been coming as Madrid’s defence looked shaky throughout the game. Madrid now had to go in search of the winner. They thought they scored after Isco after he slotted past Kameni from a tight angle but his goal was declared offside to ironic cheers from the crowd.
Madrid tried to create chances in search of a winner, but Malaga stood firm in the end to secure a precious point. Madrid are now 9 points off the summit and face a mountain to climb in terms of closing the gap against Barcelona.
Real face Atletico Madrid next in La Liga which will be a do-or-die match for Zidane’s men in terms of the title race