Real Madrid set club record with 16th consecutive win
Real Madrid recorded a club record 16th consecutive win in all competitions with a 2-1 victory at Malaga on Saturday to move five points clear at the top of La Liga.
Karim Benzema opened the scoring when he turned home Cristiano Ronaldo’s low cross after just 18 minutes to register his 13th goal of the season.
Malaga ‘keeper Carlos Kameni then kept his side in the game with a string of impressive saves as Ronaldo was held scoreless for the first time in the league this season.
However, Gareth Bale smashed home a second seven minutes from time and the visitors held on despite having Isco sent-off moments later and seeing Roque Santa Cruz half the hosts’ deficit in stoppage time.
“I will get the merit for this record, but in reality I have the luck to coach a fantastic team, with fantastic players at a fantastic club,” said Real boss Carlo Ancelotti.
“I have the profound admiration for these players that are playing very well. We need to keep going though because the season is very long.”
Bale was first to threaten with a fierce effort from outside the box that was beaten away by Kameni and the Cameroon ‘keeper then had to make a brilliant save to deny Ronaldo from close range moments later after he was teed up by Bale.
However, just as Malaga were beginning to gain a foothold in the game, they were hit by a classic Madrid counter-attack as Ronaldo was freed down the left and his low cross was swept home at the near post by Benzema despite Malaga’s protests that Weligton had been fouled by the French striker. Casillas had a lucky escape midway through the half when Sergi Darder’s dipping volley slipped between his legs and off the outside of the post.
Bale was denied once more by Kameni as the 30-year-old bravely blocked at the Welshman’s feet after he had slightly overrun another fine through ball from Ronaldo. Malaga were unfortunate not to be level once more before the break when Duda’s long-range free-kick came crashing off the bar.