Real Madrid Thrash Malaga To Go Top
The flood of goals promised by coach Mourinho started to come. Ten of its 16 goals have been scored in the previous two games as Real Madrid goes to a +13 goal-average, the best in La Liga. They beat Malaga 4-1 this weekend and also moved top of the Spanish championship table as only Villarreal can replace Mourinho’s side if this win on Monday. The ‘Yellow submarine’ are just two points behind Real and with one game in hand. However, it was a massive contribution coming from both Cristiano Ronaldo and Higuain. They scored two goals each, while Stadsgaard scored the only goal for Malaga at Estadio La Rosaleda.
Delighted with the clear victory, both Portuguese Mourinho and Ronaldo confirmed their promises regarding the many goals when Real started the new season on the edge. “I knew the goals would come sooner or later. I am happy because I played a great match and the team played well overall. I am very happy and very confident,” Ronaldo, who was very calm in front of the goals, said at the end of the game. “I never said I was anxious. I knew things would start happening and thank God they are. We are in good shape and at the top of the table. Ozil is in great form. His confidence increases match by match. We are very happy with him, but with Khedira, Pedro Leon and all the new signings as well. We know that if we win on Tuesday that we will have one foot in the next round. We play at home and are obligated to win. It will be a great match,” he added. It was the night when everyone looked confident looking forward. Mourinho himself claimed that the team played a complete match. However, they need to come back and focus for the next game against AC Milan in the Champions League. The Spaniards will play the Rossoneri on Tuesday, home at Santiago Bernabeu.
But Mourinho sees already how the team retains more possession and creates more chances that its opponents. “We played a good match. We played a little differently and more compact in the first half. Cristiano and Di Maria gave the opponent a lot of trouble by playing along the same flank. I switched to a more balance system once we were up 0-2. I didn’t like the fact that Malaga scored, but I give them credit for working on such a play. We knew what we had to do and we were familiar with Malaga’s set pieces. We were not very focused. The game was 0-3 and virtually over, and the goal woke Malaga up. We played a complete match both tactically and mentally.” Apart from this, Saturday it was also the day that Real captain and keeper Iker Casillas received the Principe de Asturias award. It wasn’t only Casillas who looked happy with the special award, but the Portuguese boss himself. Added Mourinho: “The president explained to me what the Principe de Asturias award being presented to Iker Casillas means to Spaniards and Madridismo. Both Real Madrid and I have tremendous respect for His Majesty. I hope Iker and Spaniards enjoy the moment. Whatever is good for Madridismo is good for me. Casillas will train in the morning and by eight at night will be at the team hotel. The president made me this promise and Iker will fly on a private plane. There will not be any pre or post ceremy for him. I am happy to have changed my mind and because a Real Madrid icon will be receiving this award.”
Meanwhile, Casillas too looks ahead pretty confident as the team started to look very well recently. “We have been on target on goal in recent matches. Everything goes in one day and nothing does on others. We are playing good football. We have worked hard over the last six matches to get to this point. We continue to improve. We have completed the adjustment phase and now we confront an important round of matches in La Liga and the Champions League.”
He also commented upon Tuesday game against AC Milan. Real dominates the group G which also includes Ajax Amsterdam and AJ Auxerre. Mourinho side are first with six points in two matches and followed by the Italians with four. Casillas believes the game is one of the most crucial matches they played this season. As for the special award, the keeper seemed very happy the more the praises came from the coach and Jorge Valdano as well. The other man of the game, Higuain, showed himself delighted with team’s performance against Malaga, but also with his double that due to Ronaldo. He served the Argentine twice, while Ozil also had a solid contribution to Ronaldo’s goals. He created a wonderful pass for the Portuguese to the first goal as later he would bring the penalty transformed by the same Ronaldo.
Said Higuain: “We are happy because we managed to score. We are working with clear heads and it shows in the fact that we are scoring. The team played a great match. I always try to score and help out in any way I can. That is all that counts.” Pedro Leon looked stunned by team’s performance. “The team played a phenomenal game. We won by playing well. I am very calm. I know the coach had faith in me. I tried my hardest to make it back onto a squad list. These things happen in football and I will continue working hard,” while Xabi Alonso, who joined Real this summer after departing from Liverpool, seems happy with every game the team dominates and win. “The match started off well and we controlled it throughout. It was a complete match by the team. Winning on the road is important. We are putting up good numbers, but this has just gotten started. We have to take it slowly. We now have a crucial match against Milan that we want to win. We need to continue playing like we did tonight,” the midfielder said.
On the other side, Barcelona defeated former leader Valencia 2-1 at Camp Nou to get closer too to the leadership positions. This does not seem to scare director general Jorge Valdano too much. As long as the team stays focused and displays authority, things couldn’t go but well. “The only way to describe a player who scores two goals, provides another two assists and keeps the defense in check is outstanding. Cristiano Ronaldo’s attitude and talent have never been a question. We have never doubted a player whose output is exceptional,” he said, before praising Leon’s play and Casillas for the award received. “Pedro Leon returned with a great attitude. The players are starting to understand what the coach wants. Pedro Leon’s response is that which corresponds to a Real Madrid player. The Principe de Asturias award is a major honor. Real Madrid will allow Casillas to attend because he, Madridismo and surely all of Spanish football are looking forward to receiving it.”11