What a first half by Real Madrid today! It was best half I've seen by Madrid in quite a long time. I have to admit I was a little bit nervous about Málaga before the game started. Their summer acquisitions have been quite good, with the likes of Santi Cazorla and Jeremy Toulalan, both of whom are pretty good players.
Mourinho decided to start Kaká and Higuaín instead of Özil and Benzema. At the beginning of the game, Demichelis could have been called for a penalty on Cristiano Ronaldo. Mateu Lahoz didn't blow the whistle, and 30 seconds later Khedira committed a penalty on Joaquín. The referee didn't want to call that foul either, so the game remained tied.In only the 11th minute, Higuaín received an absolutely amazing pass from Di Maria into the box. Pipita dribbled the goalkeeper and placed the ball into the net. I frankly thought Higuaín was offsides, but the replay showed the referee was right--the Argentinian was in the same line as the defenders. Cristiano Ronaldo made the right decision on that play, because he could have pushed the ball in to finish his goal drought; however, he was in a questionable position and the referee could have called offsides if he touched the ball.
Twelve minutes later, Ronaldo completed a nice cross from Di Maria (again). The good play surprised Máaga who had just two men inside the box, and the quality of the pass allowed Cristiano to first-touch the ball with his left foot. It was nice to see Madrid getting such a comfortable result that soon into the game and Cristiano getting back into his usual goalscorer potential.
His second goal came with his left foot again after Madrid recovered the ball in Málaga's territory. Málaga's goalkeeper Ruben could not do anything in these plays. For the first time in quite a long time, Madrid showed good accuracy and didn't need more than three shots to get these firsts goals. In the 38th minute, Sergio Ramos (who was outstanding in the CB position again) headed back a corner-kick and Ronaldo showed his skills. The only thing he could do was the back-heel. When I saw the goal, I had to see the replay in order to understand what our star did there.
It was halftime, the game was pretty much over, and our team knew it.
Málaga started the second half in great form to show their crowd they could face off an elite team like Real Madrid for at least a half. As José Mourinho stated in his press conference, Madrid's margin in the scoreboard was so vast that the team lost their focus. Joaquín hit the post in a free-kick and Casillas had to sweat to prevent the Andalusian team from scoring.
Our captain completed a nice game, and so did our defense. Arbeloa passed another test. He hardly performs at an outstanding level, but he never fails. Marcelo has yet to improve his one-on-one defense much, but he gives us so much offensively that nobody doubts he is our starting left-back.
Mourinho decided to change Higuaín, Kaká (whose game was not very impressive, unfortunately) and Di Maria. The substitutes were Benzema, Özil and Callejón. Each of them had many chances to contribute because Real Madrid didn't even try to score more goals.
That can be really dangerous in some other games. I'm not asking for first half's high level during the whole 90 minutes, but we certainly should try to play better than we did in this second half.
I would now like to mention Xabi Alonso and Sami Khedira in this recap. They both worked hard to prevent Málaga's midfield from being able to create a lot of goal scoring chances. Málaga's dangerous plays came from players like Cazorla, Joaquín and Isco.
I think it is pretty obvious that Sami Khedira is Alonso's favorite partner in this two-men midfield of Mourinho's. Xabi always plays well when he has Khedira by his side.
We completed a good game overall with a pretty amazing first half. I would recommend that everybody watch that first half whenever they have a chance.
Let's hope we keep this streak going because we will be facing some hard games in November.