Real Madrid got back to winning ways in a 2-1 home victory against Malaga, but it wasn’t for a late scare.
Sergio Ramos rode to Real Madrid’s rescue once more as the European champions endured another difficult afternoon to squeeze past lowly Malaga at the Santiago Bernabeu.
— Sergio Ramos (@SergioRamos) January 21, 2017
Even by his own prolific standards for a defender, Ramos is having the season of his life in front of goal as he bulleted home a Toni Kroos corner and then tapped home another set-piece delivery from the German for his seventh and eighth goals of the season.
The league front-runners, who saw their 40-game unbeaten run come to an end last week before suffering a second successive loss in the Copa del Rey, opened up a four-point lead over Sevilla.
Ramos began the scoring after 35 minutes, escaping his marker before sending a trademark header past Carlos Kameni from Toni Kroos’ corner. He then doubled the lead two minutes prior to half-time, poking in another Kroos delivery.
FACT: Sergio Ramos scores his 7th & 8th goal of the season…that’s his 78th and 79th career goal.
Unbelievable for a defender. 😳👏 pic.twitter.com/xgh7Vxt1Pd
— Football Facts (@FootbalIFact) January 21, 2017
Whilst Ramos was riding to Real’s rescue, off-colour Cristiano Ronaldo endured another afternoon to forget in front of goal and was even whistled by the Madrid fans early on after a sluggish start to 2017.
Ronaldo shot straight at Carlos Kameni with just the Cameroonian to beat and Karim Benzema headed over as Madrid started brightly.
The dangerous Gonzalo Castro continued to provide a threat however, and it was more fine work from the former Germany international that led to the away side pulling a goal back.
The midfielder danced past two men down the left before shooting at Keylor Navas, who could only parry the ball into the path of Juanpi and he finished clinically into the roof of the net.
Real Madrid 2-1 Málaga FT:
Pass accuracy: 86%-81%
Chances created: 11-7
Sergio Ramos the match-winner. pic.twitter.com/FrEq4OTSMi
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) January 21, 2017
Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane said: “We won the game, we started strongly and created chances. The disappointing thing is that we didn’t take all of those chances. After the game, the team were pleased because we picked up all three points despite the difficulties we had.
“With the chances we had, 2-1 is a fair result. We’re struggling to score goals at the moment and our opponents are hurting us when they get on the front foot. We have to look at it calmly, because that’s how the biggest improvements are made. Now it’s time to rest up because there is another match just around the corner.”