|Benzema gives life to the champion|
Iker Casillas was a starter again in the Copa del Rey and Higuain was positioned as centre forward. Real Madrid had a less intense start to the clash than usual, while Malaga handled the ball well, hardly experienced trouble in defence and were led by Isco's speed and verticality in attack.
Malaga scored the opener in a corner-kick. Cazorla served the ball and an unmarked Sergio Sanchez netted a header (9'). The Whites suffered a blow but gradually had more chances on goal; Ronaldo had the best on the 27-minute mark, but Caballero cleared the ball. Malaga scored again one minute later from another corner-kick, this time finished off by Demichelis.
Forced to react, Mourinho made Ozil, Khedira and Benzema come on after half-time, and the team worked hard to make a comeback. Cristiano and Higuain came close to finishing off a pass on the goal-line (50') and the team started to dominate the encounter.
Ten magical minutes followed. Khedira scored the first goal for the locals by powerfully entering the area and defeating Caballero with a great crossed shot (68'). The crowd went wild and encouraged its team. A huge mistake by Sergio Sanchez in a pass back to Caballero prompted an Higuain steal and goal with hardly an angle on the target (69'). The equaliser forced Malaga to only focus on defending while waiting for the match to end.
Real Madrid scored the winner on the 77-minute mark through Benzema, who netted a great goal after receiving a spectacular assist from Higuain. The Whites managed to turn the score around in an extremely complicated match and the crowd went wild. It was a spectacular start to 2012 and Real Madrid have the aggregate advantage in the tie, which will be decided next week at La Rosaleda.
Stadium: Santiago Bernabeu
Goals: 0-1, m.9: Sergio Sánchez. 0-2, m.28: Demichelis. 1-2, m.68: Khedira. 2-2, m.69: Higuaín. 3-2, m.77: Benzema.