Real Madrid Vs. Málaga, La Liga 2013: Real Takes It After Crazy First Half (6-2)

Denis Doyle

Real Madrid earned a comfortable 6-2 win against a Málaga side that ended the game down with just 9 men. The bad news are that Mesut Özil left the game with a probable ankle injury.

Real Madrid won the three points in a game similar to a friendly match. The teams scored six combined goals in the first half. Cristiano Ronaldo had the time to miss a penalty in those first 45 minutes, with Málaga's keeper Willy Caballero saving it with his ankle and getting injured in the meantime.

The whole team played brilliantly but Málaga being down to 10 men after the penalty (Sergio Sánchez was sent off) certainly helped. Modric's game in the Attacking Midfielder position was polished and beautiful again, and so was Benzema and Özil's. The German took on a much more offensive role this time, leaving the playmaking duties to Modric and scoring a really beautiful goal. Benzema still lacks the killer instinct, but he still had the chance to play well enough and show he's Real's best striker. Modric left the pitch with a standing ovation after he scored Real's fifth goal. Some Spanish journalists even said that Betis' Beñat or Arsenal's Santi Cazorla are better than Modric. They might be hidden in their caves after Modric's recent games.

Albiol scored his second goal as a madridista and celebrated his wife's recent pregnancy. Mourinho gave him some minutes with Varane, Nacho and Coentrao in the defensive lineup. Pepe was left off the team's list and Sergio Ramos is still recovering from his injury. Albiol definitely has the quality to play as the team's backup center back, so he should not be on the transfer list if he accepts his role, especially with Ricardo Carvalho leaving the team at the end of the season.

Málaga didn't play great, but nobody could ask a lot from them after that early red card. Nacho appears to be much more comfortable in that right wing, and he's now trying to do a little bit more offensively. Xabi Alonso didn't like that as much as one could see Real's number 14 encouraging the canterano to be more defensive-minded. On the other hand, Cristiano Ronaldo didn't have a memorable night, but he helped Coentrao a lot in the defensive part of the pitch.

Higuaín is still getting booed every time he steps on the pitch. it would be good to see the Bernabéu supporting both the players and the coaching staff, but that might be just the way it goes after such a painful Champions League elimination. Castilla right back Fabinho had the chance to make his debut with the first team replacing Fàbio Coentrao. He's been playing well with Real Madrid's B team, showing he can be a powerful right back, probably not good enough to make the first team's roster though.

It should be noted that Michael Essien completed a fairly good game in the midfield once again. He's not been playing there a lot this season, but The Bison has proven to be valuable for Mourinho and his teammates. He might not me the powerhouse midfielder he was years ago, but he's always been a very smart player. Di María scored the team's sixth and last goal in the injury time.

The bad news for Real Madrid are that Mesut Özil had to leave the game in a stretcher with an ankle injury. He clearly felt the pain, so it's still unknown whether he will feature in the Copa del Rey Final or not. The team will likely release a medical statement soon. Özil is a very important player for the team and will surely do everything he can to play against Atlético Madrid on May 17th.

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