Real Madrid entered this game trying to establish a new club record for consecutive wins. Even after player against Basel on Wednesday, Carlo Ancelotti sent out his best available players against Málaga to go for the win and the record. No rotations this time.
Málaga's intentions were clear for the start of the game: just hold on and wait for a counter. The ball was Real Madrid's and they enjoyed some good chances early but without success. The team with the black kits was often near Kameni's box. Ronaldo even had a great chance, shooting near the penalty spot (great assist by Bale), but the Cameroonian GK made a great save.
Ancelotti's men were a lot more dangerous entering from the left wing, and that finally reflected on the scoreboard after a great play by Ronaldo on that side, getting past two defenders to perfectly cross it to Karim Benzema who made it 0-1. Great anticipation by the French striker on that play to beat Sergio Sánchez.
After the goal, Málaga started to possess the ball a bit more but without a clear idea on how to attack Real Madrid's defence, led by a terrific Pepe. Still, they almost scored courtesy of a ridiculous mistake by Iker Casillas, who poorly attacked an average long shot, almost sending the ball inside his own goal. Lucky for him, the ball hit the post and went out. Other than a good header by Santa Cruz earlier, that was just Málaga's second "dangerous" shot so far.
Gareth Bale looked good in the first half, and had a couple chances but still wasn't as sharp as he should be. At the 41', he had a great chance entering the box from the right after a terrific pass by Ronaldo, but couldn't control properly, giving Kameni time to go out and deflect his shot.
Right before the half, Duda hit the crossbar on a great free-kick shot. The story so far was the atrocious job by the ref, who missed two clear PKs against Málaga as Ronaldo and Ramos had their jersey pulled inside the box.
The second half kept the pace of the first one. Real Madrid possessed the ball an had the best chances but again, the ref missed another PK. He called the foul on Bale, but he called it outside of the box.
At this point if the game, it was clear that Carlos Kameni was the man of the match and he acted like it at the 55', when he denied Isco after a great counter set up by Benzema on Ronaldo.
Málaga looked way more aggressive and intense. They were shooting more and Santa Cruz was beating Ramos on set-pieces, but they just didn't have a clear chance to tie the game. Their urgency was evident, and with Real Madrid looking a bit tired Carletto sent Illarramendi in to replace Benzema.
Ronaldo amazingly had a chance wide open in the middle of the box after a defensive mistake but Kameni made yet another terrific save. Meanwhile, Casillas looked miserable, and gave Málaga another chance at the 80'. He poorly handled a long shot again, leaving the ball right there for the taking. Thankfully, Illarramendi was there to save his team. It's as if Casillas just couldn't control any kind of shot.
Then, after that unnecessary scare, Marcelo quickly set up a counter on a long ball to Ronaldo, who superbly headed it backwards to Bale. With nothing but space in front of him, Bale galloped inside the box and finally beat Kameni with a deadly shot. 0-2.
Just when it looked like it was all over, Isco saw a second yellow card at the 86' and was sent off. The play was barely a foul, but Garrido somehow thought it deserved a second yellow. First the missed three PKs and now this. It actually got worse a few minutes later. After he had made a good save on a free-kick, Casillas was finally beat by Santa Cruz with a good header at the 92'. Roque beat Pepe, who had been perfect until this, and left Casillas without a chance to make it 1-2. Thankfully, it was too late for Málaga's cause. Game over.
And that's 16 straight wins for Real Madrid, the best streak in team history! It was uglier than expected thanks to Kameni, but it counts anyway. However, someone had a bigger impact than any player on the pitch, and that was the referee. What a pathetic job that was by Garrido. Three missed PKs, a mess on offsides and a laughable red card. Real Madrid has to protest that.
Overall, it was a decent performance by a clearly tired Real Madrid. Defensively, they looked terrific until Santa Cruz's goal and offensively, they would've scored at least five goals against most GKs, but Kameni had one of the best performances of the season and held them to two scores. Casillas looked terrible all night long. Slow, hesitant and nervous. He was the exact opposite of Kameni tonight, but got away with at least three really bad mistakes.
With the record in hand, it's time to focus on the fatigue issue to close the year the best way they can.