Real Madrid have been made to work hard for their 4-1 win over a plucky Almeria this evening as they extended their Spanish-record winning streak to 20 games at the Estadio de los Juegos Mediterraneos.
Goals from Isco, Gareth Bale and a brace from Cristiano Ronaldo won the game for Los Blancos but Almeria, now nine league games without a win, might have earned themselves a point had Iker Casillas not saved Verza's penalty.
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Despite Madrid's impressive recent form it was Almeria who made the brighter start and Sebastian Dubarbier met a loose ball inside the box before firing in an effort which was blocked by Dani Carvajal.
The visitors were then subjected to a few uncomfortable moments as Almeria continued to force the issue in wide areas. A dangerous cross from Edgar Mendez was missed by Raphael Varane, but Carvajal was there on the cover to clear.
After getting through the opening exchanges unscathed, Madrid began to assert themselves in their final league game before travelling to Morocco for the Club World Cup next week and Toni Kroos hit the crossbar with a deflected volley.
Bale then found himself in space inside the Almeria box, but his low cross was too strong for Karim Benzema.
Madrid eventually got themselves in front through Isco, who took a cross down on his chest before curling the ball into the bottom corner.
Carlo Ancelotti's men looked to be in control of the game, but just five minutes later Verza equalised for Almeria with a powerful drive from 30 yards.
An entertaining half then saw Bale put Madrid back in front with a flicked header into the bottom corner.
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The Welshman continued to threaten the Almeria defence during the second half and used his pace to break away before coming close with a low effort that moved just wide of the post.
Almeria looked dangerous on the counter, however, and won themselves a penalty after Marcelo brought down Mendez inside the box. Verza stepped up to take the spot kick, but Casillas denied the striker after getting across to save.
Despite the missed opportunity Almeria grew in confidence as the half wore on and were unlucky not to find a goal following some well-worked chances.
They could not find a second equaliser, meaning that Ronaldo sealed the points with a pair of slick finishes late on.