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Real Madrid Vs. Malaga Copa del Rey Match Recap

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Real Madrid played the worst first half of the Jose Mourinho Era. The team that has always been a good defensive team in the corner kicks saw Málaga scoring two similar goals in just a 20-minute span.

Mourinho decided to start Callejón in Di María's wing, while Albiol took Ramos's spot. Lass was chosen to play alongside Xabi Alonso, and the french player was certainly one of the best men in the pitch.

It was not a good first half for Real Madrid. Xabi Alonso completed what might have been the worst first half of his career. With Lass Diarra at his side, the Spanish midfielder needs to cover a lot more ground, since Lass is a more chaotic player and doesn't keep the positional control as much as Xabi needs. Alonso's moves are always slow, but he balances that with very good tactical positioning. That doesn't mean that either Lass or Xabi are bad players, but a couple of midfielders need collaboration and understanding, and everyone can tell they are not comfortable playing with each other.

Lass Diarra was surely the best Real Madrid player in the first half, but that is because no other player performed at his usual level. Malaga's goals show a lack of focus and concentration in Real Madrid's defense, something that is not normal in this team.

Kaká tried to create offensive chances during the first half, but he was not accurate enough to do so. Mourinho started the second half by making all three substitutions at once. Khedira joined the game for Arbeloa (placing Lass in the right back), Özil took Callejón's spot and Benzema placed Kaká on the bench.

Benzema soon showed that he is the best pure striker in the world as if now. The first time he received the ball he filtered an amazing chip pass to Marcelo. This is sometimes what is needed when a defense is very tight, and Mourinho's lineup was designed to go on the counterattack. Benzema and Özil changed the situation and introduced a more creative game.

It was the 68th minute when Sami Khedira dribbled the ball inside Málaga's box in a very powerful way while placing the ball inside Caballero's goal. It was good to see the German player scoring Madrid's first goal. This writer has a lot of confidence in Sami Khedira--he completed a very good second half.

Two minutes later, Sergio Sánchez passed the ball slowly to his goalkeeper and Higuaín ran after the ball. He arrived there earlier than Caballero, dribbled him and scored. The crowd was already into the game and Real Madrid's game was starting to look unstoppable.

Málaga lost the tempo of the game and Madrid took advantage in a great counterattack launched by Higuaín and finished by Benzema in the 78th minute. The French player even had another chance to score with five minutes to go after a great pass from Cristiano Ronaldo, but he missed the target.

Real Madrid could've gotten a bigger win if Cristiano had a regular game, but these comebacks are great to see. Málaga now needs to beat Real Madrid in order to advance to the next round of Copa del Rey.

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