La Liga: Real Madrid 6 Malaga 2
Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 200th goal for Real Madrid as Jose Mourinho’s men destroyed nine-man Malaga at the Bernabeu.
A dramatic first-half saw six goals as Ronaldo, Raul Albiol, Mesut Ozil and Karim Benzema scored one apiece for the hosts. Malaga scored twice themselves through Roque Santa Cruz and Vitorino Antunes, but had Sergio Sanchez sent off.
Ronaldo also missed a penalty for Madrid. Malaga were reduced to nine men in the second-half as Martin Demichelis was also dismissed, with Luka Modric and Angel di Maria adding to an emphatic scoreline.
Mourinho kept faith with goalkeeper Diego Lopez while Albiol started in central defence due to the unavailability of defenders Sergio Ramos and Pepe. Julio Baptista and Santa Cruz formed a centre forward partnership for sixth-placed Malaga.
Following poor Malaga man-marking, Madrid opened the scoring inside two minutes with the first meaningful attack of the game. Albiol rose to powerfully head home a Modric corner.
Malaga - coached by former Real Madrid coach Manuel Pellegrini - tried to find their rhythm after that early setback and Paraguay striker Santa Cruz duly obliged by scoring a 14th-minute equaliser, heading home from a corner.
But for all their attacking positivity, Malaga often looked vulnerable at the back and in an open, free-flowing game, Madrid proved a handful and were awarded a penalty after 20 minutes. Sergio Sanchez was sent off for hauling down Ronaldo in the area and the former Manchester United star took the spot-kick, but his weak penalty attempt straight down the middle was saved by Wilfredo Caballero.
Madrid were then awarded an in-direct free-kick following a backpass handled by Caballero and Ronaldo made amends for his disappointing penalty miss as he smashed the ball into the back of the net to notch his goal for the Spanish giants.
Ozil added a third after 34 minutes when a blistering counter attack found the German in acres of space to coolly slot home.
In danger of being on the receiving end of a rout, Antunes gave Malaga a lifeline two minutes later as he placed a quite brilliant shot in the top right-hand corner.
Following excellent build-up play and disarray in the Malaga defence, France striker Benzema made it 4-2 to the hosts on the stroke of half-time with a very cool finish.
Madrid threatened early on in the second-half with the game seemingly out of sight, squandering a few chances, but Modric made it 5-2 with a long-range effort thundering in off the post after 63 minutes.
Demichelis was dismissed for Malaga for a second bookable defence, reducing the visitors to nine men, after hauling down Ronaldo who had carried the ball unopposed deep into opposition territory.
Di Maria made it 6-2 to Madrid late on in stoppage time to put the seal on an impressive display from Mourinho’s side.