Real Madrid 3 - 1 Sporting Gijon (Spanish League Day 34)

Real Madrid suffered to win against Sporting Gijon at the Bernabeu. The visitors defended fiercely, but Ronaldo pulled rank to break the 1-1 draw and help give the team a victory before this week's games with Bayern Munchen and Barcelona.

Many records, poor football

Sahin replaced the suspended Xabi Alonso, and Callejon, Ozil and Marcelo also made the starting lineup. The game lacked pace in the opening minutes and Sporting's heavy defence thwarted Madrid's flow. The visitors even had the first chance through Trejo, who forced Casillas to concede a corner kick by taking advantage of hesitation in defence.

Sporting were awarded a penalty in a counterattack and Cuevas used it to net the opener, forcing Real to make a comeback. The locals dominated and kept possession, but weren't able to have chances on goal until Higuain headed in a phenomenal Ramos cross on the 37-minute mark. Sahin nearly scored a second strike six minutes later, but sendt the ball to the crossbar.

Benzema and Di Maria came on for Callejon and Sahin after half-time looking to speed things up in attack, but Sporting kept up their fierce defending. The necessity of another strike somewhat affected Real Madrid players. Ronaldo missed a free-kick 60 minutes in, and four minutes later hit a post from another shot. Higuain nearly scored from inside the box, but also missed by inches with everything going for him.

The crowd and the players were becoming anxious because a victory was a must, but Ronaldo, yet again, pulled rank by heading in a Di Maria cross on the 73-minute mark. The crowd and players were thrilled with the goal and the Portuguese striker celebrated by kissing the crest on his shirt.

The goal relaxed the locals and broke Sporting's strategy. Canella was sent off with a second booking in the 78th minute and Real continued to dominate. Benzema tallied a third for the team with a crossed shot (37') and the goal also allowed served to equal Real's 1989/90 107 goal record in the championship.


Stadium: Santiago Bernabeu
Attendance: 70,000
Goals: 0-1, min.30, De las Cuevas (pen). 1-1, min.35, Higuaín. 2-1, min.73, Cristiano Ronaldo. 3-1, min.82, Benzema.

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