Real Madrid visited Malaga as they needed a win to continue their standing in first place and they were able to do it with a very difficult 1-0 win.
Carlo Ancelotti knew he needed a strong lineup but also had to be careful with Angel Di Maria, who was one yellow card away from missing El Clasico next week. Isco was able to finally get a starting place against his old team. The starting lineup consisted of:
Diego Lopez, Daniel Carvajal, Pepe, Raphael Varane, Marcelo [C], Xabi Alonso, Luka Modric, Gareth Bale, Isco, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Karim Benzema
Real Madrid –
Cristiano Ronaldo (23′)
There is no denying that Karim Benzema has been in outstanding form recently and he seemed like he was able to do some damage against Malaga as well. After about 30 minutes though, he collided with Cristiano Ronaldo during an attack and was not able to continue the game as he now faces a fitness battle ahead of next weeks game against Barcelona. The French attacker was substituted with Angel Di Maria. We are all hoping that he will be able to make it back in time and continue with the great form that he has been showing in recent weeks.
Isco was finally able to get the opportunity he has been waiting for but came out with a very disappointing performance. Many mistakes from the Spanish midfielder, especially a one-on-one with Malaga goalkeeper Willy Caballero, saw him being substituted off for Jese during the second half. Isco really needs more confidence and more time on the pitch. Everyone was able to see what he is capable of during the beginning of the season. With that said, we also have to keep in mind that he is not playing in his usual position as Carlo Ancelotti has stated many times that they are both working on getting him used to a new role.
Cristiano Ronaldo was his usual self during most parts of last night as he was always running and making some great opportunities for the team. The Balon D’Or winner was also able to get himself on the scoresheet with what proved to be the decisive goal of the game. With that said, there were many opportunities that he had where he could have easily passed but instead decided to go for goal himself, which resulted in an easy save for Caballero. Sometimes shooting isn’t the best choice…
A wonderful game for Pepe as he always did his best to make sure that Malaga weren’t able to cause any major damage on the night. He had one extremely bad challenge on Duda but, other than that, was a great and consistent player throughout the game. A great match for the Portuguese defender.
Xabi Alonso was able to make his 150th La Liga appearance in a Real Madrid shirt against Malaga and was able to show why he is so important for the team yet again after some great and decisive challenges. In those 150 games that he has played, Los Merengues were able to win 117 times. The Spaniard is getting old but isn’t letting any of it show on the pitch.
My Personal Player Ratings:
Diego Lopez: 8/10
Daniel Carvajal: 8/10
Raphael Varane: 8.5/10
Xabi Alonso: 8.5/10
Luka Modric: 7.5/10
Gareth Bale: 8.5/10
Cristiano Ronaldo: 8/10
Karim Benzema : N/A