Isco Shines In Ronaldo's Absence To Lead Real Into Third Spot
Result: Malaga 1-2 Real Madrid
Date: 15 April 2018
Venue: La Rosaleda
Isco played a starring role in the absences of Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale as Real Madrid defeated Malaga 2-1 in LaLiga on Sunday evening.
Los Blancos were without the services of Ronaldo, Bale and Luka Modric for the encounter.
Karim Benzema had a chance to give Los Blancos the lead as early as the third minute following a counter but he could not direct his half-volley on target.
Isco played Benzema through on the right channel in the 15th-minute but the Frenchman, clear on goa, fired over the bar.
Mateo Kovacic should have opened the scoring for Zinedine Zidane’s men in the 21st minute with a free header inside the box but was denied by Malaga goalkeeper Roberto Jaminez, who made a save at the bottom corner.
Zidane’s charges were asking a lot of questions after 25 minutes and it was only a matter of time before they found the breakthrough.
Isco sensationally got the breakthrough for the visitors on the 30-minute mark from a direct free-kick that dipped over the wall and into the bottom corner, giving Jimenez no chance, 0-1.
Zidane’s troops could not add any more goals in the first stanza and only took the 1-0 lead into the dressing room.
Los Blancos continued the second half where they left off in the first and only looked to increase their intensity.
Madrid doubled their lead in the 64th minute through Casemiro, who netted from close range following a square ball from Isco, 2-0.
Gonzalo Castro nearly pulled a goal back for Malaga 20 minutes before time from a free-kick, but Madrid shot-stopper Keylor Navas parried the ball over the bar to preserve the clean-sheet.
Los Blancos were seemingly content to see the result out without pressing for the third goal with 10 minutes remaining as they passed the ball around with ease.
Malaga did pull a goal back in the closing stages through Rolan's close-range finish, but it was nothing more than a consolation as Real held on for the win.