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First Division - Day 15

Almería 1 - Real Madrid 4

Almería: Rubén; Michel Macedo, Ximo Navarro, Trujillo, Fran Vélez (Corona 82‘); Verza, Thomas; Edgar Soriano (Wellington Silva 67‘), Dubarbier (Jonathan Zongo 59‘); Hemed. 4-2-3-1.
Madrid: Casillas; Dani Carvajal, Pepe, Varane, Marcelo; Illarramendi, Kroos, Isco; Bale, Benzema (Coentrao 85‘), Cristiano Ronaldo. 4-3-3.

0-1. 33. Isco. Controlled Benzema cross and cut in to curl shot wide of Rubén.
1-1. 39. Verza Drilled shot past Casillas after Varane headed away Macedo cross.
1-2. 42. Bale. Steered header wide of keeper after Kroos crossed from right.
1-3. 81. Ronaldo. Ran on to return Benzema pass and steered shot past Rubén.
1-4. 88. Ronaldo. Fired shot inside near post after Carvajal laid ball across.

Yellow cards: Verza 11’, Bale 34’, Soriano 52’, Marcelo 57’, Illarramendi 62’, Fran Vélez 64’, Ronaldo 76’.

Real Madrid go off to the Club World Cup in Morocco knowing that they have secured top spot for another week at least after beating Almería 1-4 on Friday night. Kroos saw an early volley deflected on to the bar by a defender, and Isco opened the scoring for Ancelotti’s side with just over half an hour gone, controlling Benzema’s cross on his chest before curling a shot wide of the keeper. Soon afterwards Verza equalized with a low shot from outside of the area after Varane could only head Macedo’s cross in to his path, but Bale headed the visitors back in front from a Kroos centre shortly before the break. Casillas had to save a Verza penalty however after Marcelo tripped Edgar in the area after the restart, and there were some nervous moments before Ronaldo added two late goals, the first after a quick passing move, and the second with a shot inside the near post after Carvajal laid the ball back from the right wing. Madrid extend their record winning run to twenty matches and open up a five point gap over their rivals pending the rest of the weekend games, but their hosts drop below Córdoba in to the relegation zone after nine matches without a victory. Their B team coach Miguel Rivera was in charge for this one after Francisco was fired earlier in the week, but Juan Ignacio Martínez (known affectionately as JIM) was in the crowd, and is expected to take over next week. A hard job, but on this performance they have the raw material to survive.