MX23RW : Friday, February 15 23:57:20
Nov 25, 2017 at 3.15pm UK at ​Estadio Santiago Bernabéu (Madrid)
Attendance: 75,671
Real Madrid
Benzema (9'), Casemiro (21'), Ronaldo (76')
FT(HT: 2-1)
Rolan (18'), Castro (58')

Live Commentary: Real Madrid 3-2 Malaga - as it happened

Relive Sports Mole's live coverage of the La Liga clash between Real Madrid and Malaga.

Real Madrid have defeated a spirited Malaga side 3-2 at the Santiago Bernabeu to keep up the pressure on La Liga's top two.

Karim Benzema gave the hosts an early lead, but they were pegged back by a Diego Rolan strike in the first half.

Casemiro headed home a corner to restore their advantage before the break, only for Chory Castro to equalise for Malaga in the second period.

Cristiano Ronaldo netted the decisive goal in the 76th minute, tucking home the rebound after his own penalty was saved by Malaga goalkeeper Roberto.

Find out how all the action unfolded with Sports Mole's text commentary below.

2.20pmHello and welcome to our live text coverage of the La Liga clash between Real Madrid and Malaga at the Santiago Bernabeu. The hosts are aiming to reduce Barcelona's 10-point lead at the top of the table, while the visitors start the afternoon in the dropzone. Team news is on the way...

2.24pmREAL XI: Casilla, Carvajal, Vallejo, Varane, Marcelo, Isco, Kroos, Lucas Vazquez, Casemiro, Ronaldo, Benzema

2.28pmMALAGA XI: Roberto, Hernandez, Gonzalez, Juankar, Rosales, Castro, Adrian, Recio, Rolan, Penaranda, Keko

2.32pmThere are a number of talking points among that Real Madrid XI. Firstly, Keylor Navas, Gareth Bale and Mateo Kovacic have all returned to fitness but have not been risked in the starting lineup, although Navas and Kovacic are named on the subs bench. Bale has been injury prone of late and manager Zinedine Zidane has made it clear that he won't be rushing him back to the fold.

2.36pmCaptain Sergio Ramos suffered a broken nose during the 0-0 draw with local rivals Atletico Madrid and is yet to return to the team. His place in defence goes to youngster Jesus Vallejo this afternoon.

2.40pmAnother notable change is the inclusion of Lucas Vazquez on the wing, while Luca Modric drops to the bench. He will be expected to provide support for Real's front pairing of Ronaldo and Benzema as Los Blancos go in search of the goals that could help them reduce Barcelona's massive advantage at the top of La Liga.

2.44pmMalaga are without the services of Federico Ricca, Zdravko Kuzmanovic and Miguel Torres for their trip to the Bernabeu but are otherwise at full strength, and will no doubt head into the match full of confidence after last weekend's 3-2 win over Deportivo. That result put them withing four points of escaping the bottom three, but they will need to be at their best to take anything from Real this afternoon.

2.48pmReal are in exactly the same position they were in ahead of the Madrid derby - joint-third in the table with city rivals Atletico, six points behind Valencia and 10 behind Barcelona. Today's match marks a big opportunity to eat into those deficits, since Barca face a tough test away to Valencia on Sunday.

2.52pmHere's what the two managers had to say head of kickoff...

2.55pmZIDANE: "They're a team who don't deserve to be where they are in the table. They play good football. We know it'll be another difficult match and we'll have to play very well." (via

Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane on March 6, 2017© SilverHub

2.57pmMICHEL: "These teams are used to attacking you. They have their individuals but they can also have a hard time defending. Before us, Levante, Betis, Las Palmas, Tottenham and Eibar have all been to the Bernabeu. These teams all had their chances as they all had good possession and depth, so that's what we're concentrating on." (via

3.00pmPREDICTION: This is a big game for Real because tomorrow's Barca-Valencia fixture will see at least one of those sides drop points. Therefore they will be desperate for a positive result and they have enough quality among their ranks to achieve one. That said, they've had a tendency to conceded goals this season and without the influence of skipper Sergio Ramos, they might just ship one today. I'm going with 2-1 to the hosts.

3.04pmReal line up with a 4-4-2 formation today while Malaga have set out a 4-2-3-1 with Diego Rolan, who is on loan from Bordeaux, leading their attack. Expect them to sit deep today in a bid to soak up the pressure and hit Real with a few surprise counters.

3.08pmThere's little over five minutes to go until kick off, so here's a quick look at who the two teams have on the bench today...

3.11pmREAL SUBS: Navas, Modric, T. Hernandez, Llorente, Mayoral, Kovacic, Ceballos

3.12pmMALAGA SUBS: Rolon, Baston, Juanpi, Ontiveros, Baysse, Prieto, Mula

1 minKICK OFF! We are underway at the Santiago Bernabeu. Will Real cut Barca's lead at the top of the table today and dump more misery on Malaga in the bottom three? Stay tuned to find out...

3 minReal look determined to notch up that early goal this afternoon. They go straight on the attack as Isco gains possession wide on the right, bears down on the penalty area and pings a cross towards the near post, which Roberto punches clear, allowing his defence to scramble the loose ball clear.

6 minThere's a sense of urgency in the home side's play. Isco has done a lot of running in the opening stages and has just won the match's first corner. Real play it short and it eventually finds its way to Marcelo, hovering on the left flank. He flashes a lofted pass across the penalty area, but there are no takers.

9 minMarcelo gives the ball away in the final third, allowing Castro to gain possession and power into the Real Madrid half. He attempts to exchange passes with Rolan, but his teammate is dispossessed before he can deliver a return ball.

9 minGOAL! Real Madrid 1-0 Malaga (Karim Benzema)

9 minReal break the deadlock following a pacey run by Marcelo along the left channel. The Brazilian plays a cross into the centre of the box where Ronaldo out-leaps Roberto and glances a header against the crossbar. The rebound falls kindly for Benzema, who simply couldn't miss from just yards out.

13 minMalaga look rattled after falling behind. Real have completely dominated possession these past few minutes, and if the visitors hope to take anything from this match, they're going to have to change their approach. When you're behind at Real Madrid, you have to take the game to them.

16 minThe visitors surge forward through Chory Castro, who is given plenty of space to advance on the final third. He plays a neat cross towards the centre of the penalty area, but a powerful header from Jesus Vallejo deals with the threat. Castro should have been closed down earlier, but Vallejo did his job well there.

18 minGOAL! Real Madrid 1-1 Malaga (Diego Rolan)

18 minMy word! We're level at the Bernabeu, and it was shocking defending from Real Madrid that has led to Malaga's equaliser. Keko found himself unchallenged in the final third and took the opportunity to play a ball over the top to Rolan inside the box. The Uruguay has the space to take a touch before rifling a shot beyond Casilla from close range. The Real defence was all at sea there!

21 minGOAL! Real Madrid 2-1 Malaga (Casemiro)

21 minIt's raining goals at the Bernabeu and this one came from a corner. Toni Kroos took it from over on the left and his cross towards the centre of the penalty area was inch-perfect. Casemiro times his run well and meets it with a bullet header that ends up in the bottom corner. Malaga could have marked the set piece better, but Real deserve credit for rolling up their sleeves and going in search of that equaliser.

25 minCLOSE! Real are looking unsteady in their own penalty area and Keko and Castro are exploiting that. Malaga force their opponents onto the back foot as Keko makes a good run on the right. His cross finds its way to the back post where Castro meets its with a header, but Vallejo makes a vital interception on the goalline.

29 minBOOKING! Adalberto Penaranda is the first player to go into the book this afternoon for a mistimed lunge. Moments later, Benzema has a sniff at goal, breaking into the box and shooting just wide of the far post.

33 minThere's almost an opening for Malaga as Rolan beats his marker and plays a low cross towards the near most. It almost picks out Castro in a good position, but Carvajal tracks back and makes the interception. Good defending from the Los Blancos man.

37 minSAVE! Roberto makes a fantastic save, diving to his right to keep out Ronaldo at full stretch. Marcelo plays a through-ball to the Portugal international, who gets half a yard on his marker and shoots first time. Roberto needed to react quickly at full stretch to keep out that curling effort with his fingertips.

41 minReal Madrid are playing at great place when going forward and have put plenty of crosses into the box. Marcelo just played a long, searching ball into the area, forcing Roberto to race off his line and collect. At the back, however, Real are sorely lacking the authority of Ramos and always look like conceding when the visitors get anywhere near the byline.

44 minSAVE! Los Blancos' crossing has been first rate this afternoon, but unfortunately for Real, so has Roberto's goalkeeping. Casemiro demonstrates great vision to pick out the head of Ronaldo in the box with a pinpoint cross, but the Malaga goalkeeper makes a fantastic acrobatic stop at his near post.

45 minThere will be at least three minutes of stoppage time to play.

45+3 minGOAL DISALLOWED! There's controversy at the stroke of half time as Castro heads a free kick into the Real Madrid net, only for the goal to be ruled out. The away fans were furious because they thought the referee had blown the whistle second before the ball crossed the line, but looking at the replays, it appears he blew for a foul on Casemiro during the build-up.

45+3 minHALF TIME: Real Madrid 2-1 Malaga

4.08pmIt's been an entertaining first half at the Bernabeu and Real lead 2-1 thanks to goals from Karim Benzema and Casemiro, but Malaga have given a decent account of themselves and were briefly level through Diego Rolan. For all of their flare going forward, the hosts look shaky at the back and may yet concede again the second half, if Malaga continue to put them onto the back foot.

4.12pmReal claimed 59% of the possession in the first period, compared to Malaga's 41%, which is a fair reflection of the game for the most part. The visitors, however, have done just as much with the ball when they've had it inside their opponent's half.

4.16pmReal had 12 shots on goal in the first half, six of which were on target, while Malaga had five, only one of which was on target.

46 minKICK OFF! The match is back underway, with Real kicking from left to right in the second half.

50 minA defeat for Malaga today would equal their worst run of consecutive away losses in La Liga: seven. Both them and Reakl have started the second half slowly, with the only talking point being a dipping Lucas Vazquez cross, which was punched clear by Roberto without too much trouble.

53 minCHANCE! Karim Benzema gains possession on the byline and plays a low cross towards Toni Kroos in front of goal. Hew lets fly with real venom, but Roberto is equal to his strike, tipping it over the bar. More good goalkeeping from the Malaga stopper, who has played his part in keeping the scoreline down this afternoon.

57 minReal Madrid live dangerously as Keko uses his pace to leave his marker behind along the left channel. His low pass into the box is so close to finding Rolan in the box, but it pings off the Uruguayan and ends up in the arms of Kiko Casilla, who is a little fortunate since that rebound could have gone anywhere.

58 minGOAL! Real Madrid 2-2 Malaga (Chory Castro)

58 minMalaga are back on level terms! It comes against the run of play, but they won't mind. Gallardo lines up Castro 25 yards out and he lets fly from there. It looks spectacular, but in all honesty, Casilla should have got to that. The Real keeper was wrong-footed by an awkward bounce, but Castro ultimately deserves to get his name on the scoresheet after impressing all afternoon.

60 minSUBSTITUTIONS: Malaga look like they're going for this one, making an attacking change by throwing on for Baston for Penaranda. Real Madrid respond with a change in midfield, swapping Isco for Modric.

64 minSITTER! Ronaldo has just missed a golden opportunity to fire Real back in front! Raphael Varane nodded the ball on for the Portuguese inside the box. It only needed the faintest of touches from his teammate to guide it over the line, but Ronaldo fails to make contact unmarked! Clanger!

67 minSUBSTITUTION: There's a major blow for the visitors as Keko, who has been a key player for them in the final third all afternoon, is forced off injured. Malaga with him and send on Juanpi.

68 minSUBSTITUTION: There's a major blow for the visitors as Keko, who has been a key player for them in the final third all afternoon, is forced off injured. Malaga withdraw him and send on Juanpi.

70 minThis is a must-win match for Real. They cannot afford to drop points with Barcelona holding such a big advantage at the top of La Liga. There's no sign of them forcing a breakthrough at the moment - Malaga are competing for every ball and matching them for possession.

74 minReal make hard work of clearing a free kick in their penalty area. It bobbles around the box, just waiting for a Malaga player to take a swing at it, but Lucas Vazquez eventually heads it clear, picking out Benzema as he nods it away.

75 minPENALTY FOR REAL! Luis Hernandez brings down Luca Modric inside the box and the referee immediately points to the spot. Ronaldo will likely take this...

76 minGOAL! Real Madrid 3-2 Malaga (Cristiano Ronaldo)

76 minRonaldo's penalty is saved by Roberto but the Portuguese reacts quickly to tuck away the rebound. That was a stroke of good fortune for him, but Real will take it all day long. A sense of relief spreads throughout the stadium.

80 minSUBSTITUTION: Real make their final change, and it's a defensive one: Theo Hernandez replaces Toni Kroos. Los Blancos are determined to hold onto the lead this time, but they're going to have to defend better.

84 minMalaga are piling bodies forward now, in search of a third equaliser, but there's a break in play as their captain Recio goes down injured and is in need of treatment. This could be bad news for the visitors as they have used all three of their substitutes.

88 minGOAL DISALLOWED! Ronaldo has the ball in the net but his celebrations are cut short as the linesman's flag rightly goes up for offside. Real could really have used a four goal here, but Malaga live to fight on into the dying stages...

90 minThere will be three minutes of stoppage time to play.

90+3 minFULL TIME: Real Madrid 3-2 Malaga

5.05pmReal Madrid scrape a narrow 3-2 victory against a spirited Malaga side thanks to goals from Benzema, Casemiro and Ronaldo. Malaga pushed them all the way, twice drawing level through Rolan and later Castro.

5.09pmThis a vital win for Los Blancos as it leaves them within seven points of table-topping Barcelona and three of second-placed Valencia, who play each other tomorrow. Malaga finish the afternoon in the relegation zone, but they can take a lot of pride from this performance (not that pride ever saved a team from the drop).

5.13pmThat's all we have time for at the Santiago Bernabeu but stick with Sports Mole for our ongoing coverage of all of this weekend's biggest matches. Many thanks for joining us!

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