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Deportivo La Coruña Vs. Real Madrid, La Liga 2013: Madrid Gets A Late Win (1-2)

Real Madrid's reserves decided to waste a full first half against Deportivo. Kaká, Callejón, Higuaín, Marcelo, Essien and Modric all had good chances to earn lineup spots against Barcelona and Manchester United, but their horrible performances in the first half didn't help their cases very much.

Jasper Juinen

If Real Madrid was trying to get a momentum-building win prior of the Copa del Rey match at the Camp Nou, the team clearly failed. Yes, the players walked away with the three points, but their performance was terrible until Mourinho decided to put Ronaldo, Khedira and Özil early in the second half.

The defense looked quite bad during the whole game. Pepe doesn't seem ready to play against Barcelona or Manchester United, but it would be really important to recover him given how bad Sergio Ramos has looked in the past few games. Marcelo should stop playing football right now, as it's quite painful to watch him play. It'd be better for him to focus on losing some weight and getting ready for what could happen if Real Madrid goes through in the Copa del Rey or the Champions League.

Deportivo scored first after Riki shot the ball passed Diego López, who should've covered his post better. Real Madrid's goalkeeper made a couple of good saves before and after his mistake, but the blame on Deportivo's goalk should clearly lie on his shoulder.

Real Madrid's tries on breaking through Deportivo's defense were useless, as the referee ended the first haf. Early after that, Mourinho replaced Marcelo, Modric and Essien for Cristiano Ronaldo, Özil and Sami Khedira. The team clearly improved after that. Callejón was moved to the left back and Khedira was left alone in the midfield, since Deportivo had shown they weren't attacking that much anymore.

Kaká and Di María benefitted from Özil and Ronaldo's presence, and the Brazilian playmaker converted a long-distance shot in the 73rd minute. It was good to see Real Madrid shooting from distance, as long-passes weren't working well. Even though Kaká scored a goal and delivered a good semi-assist to Cristiano Ronaldo in the team's second goal, Real's number 8 didn't play as great as in other games overall. It'll be interesting to see whether Mourinho still trusts him or not for the next couple of huge games.

Higuaín scored Real Madrid's game-winning goal in the 88th minute after Kaká found Cristiano Ronaldo in the box. The Portuguese player quickly passed it to Higuaín who just had to push it inside. The game wasn't over, though, as Di María was sent off in the 91st minute after seeing two yellow-cards in just 20 seconds. The referee could've just keep it in a single yellow card, but he decided to send off another Real Madrid player for the third Liga BBVA game in a row. Di María will be available at the Camp Nou, though.

It'd good to see Real Madrid getting easy wins before tough matches, but it seems that Cristiano Ronaldo and some other key starters can't get a break.