First Division - Day 10

Real Madrid 4 - Málaga 3

Madrid: Casillas; Sergio Ramos, Cannavaro, Heinze, Marcelo; Sneijder (Michel Salgado 46'), Gago, Guti; Van der Vaart (Diarrà 83'), Higuaín, Drenthe (Saviola 72'). 4-3-3.
Málaga: Arnau; Jesús Gámez, Helder Rosario, Weligton, Calleja; Eliseu (Nacho 61'), Apoño, Miguel Ángel (Fernando 81'), Duda; Adrián (Albert Luque 81'), Baha. 4-4-2.

Team changes: Madrid: Marcelo, Guti, Van der Vaart, Drenthe for Pepe, Diarrà, Robben, Raúl / Málaga: No change.

0-1. 06. Eliseu. Turned ball in from close up after Gago deflected cross on to post.
1-1. 08. Higuaín. Turned ball back in after Arnau pushed out shot from Marcelo.
1-2. 18. Baha. Ran on to Duda's through ball and guided shot wide of Casillas.
2-2. 37. Higuaín (penalty). After Weligton cut out Higuaín's pass with his arm.
2-3. 70. Apoño (penalty). After Gago tripped up Duda inside penalty area.
3-3, 71, Higuaín. Beat Arnau with shot inside post from outside of area.
4-3. 78. Higuaín. On the follow up after Arnau saved Higuaín's own penalty.

Yellow cards: Weligton 36', Heinze 39', Higuaín 41', Gago 68', Duda 72', Calleja 77', Apoño 82' / red cards: Sergio Ramos 44'.

A battling performance from Real Madrid, who came from behind three times to beat Málaga 4-3 despite playing for half the match with ten men. The hero of the game though was undoubtedly Higuaín, who carried the side on his shoulders scoring all four of the goals. Eliseu put the visitors ahead in the sixth minute, his run down the right wing ending in his cross being deflected against the post by Gago. The Portuguese winger reacted quickly though to latch on to the resulting rebound and turn a shot past Casillas.

Two minutes later began the Higuaín show, the striker equalising on the follow up after Marcelo had picked up a return pass from Van der Vaart and forced a block out of Arnau. Poor defending allowed Baha to latch on to Duda's through ball and restore the lead, but before half time Higuaín got his second of the night from the penalty spot after referee Iturralde González ruled that Weligton had cut out his pass with his arm inside the area, a borderline decision.

Things got more complicated for Bernd Schuster's side though on the stroke of half time when Sergio Ramos was sent off after stepping on Eliseu as he lay on the ground, and Málaga took the lead for a third time when Apoño fired a penalty in off the bar after Gago had pushed over Duda.

But once again Higuaín came to the rescue, levelling the scores for the third time just a minute later with a low shot past Arnau from outside of the area. And with twelve minutes to go Iturralde awarded a third penalty after Higuaín fell under a challenge from Calleja, the striker coolly turning the ball back in to the net after Arnau had saved his spot kick. A magnificent effort from Madrid's new star, and his side top the table pending Barcelona's game later in the evening.