Real Madrid 5 - 1 Levante (Spanish League, Day 30)

Real Madrid keep racking up points in the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium. The Whites thrashed Levante and have still won every home league match this year. Despite how the match finished, they had to come from behind following Michel’s opening goal. They did so resoundingly. Higuain, with a beautiful volley, scored the goal of the match to equalise before Kaka, from a penalty, put Real Madrid ahead prior to the break. In the second half, Cristiano Ronaldo and a brace from Ozil completed a rout that could have been more had it not been for the brilliant performance of an inspired Munua. A morale boost before of the quarter-final second leg against Galatasaray.

Higuain scores a superb goal against Levante
Spectacle and goals against Levante

Real Madrid were looking to maintain their perfect home league record this year and get their seventh straight home win in the championship. It was not going to be easy. The ever competitive Levante would try not to let that happen. The intentions of both teams were clear, as were the tactical approaches. The visitors chose to drop deep and let Real Madrid have control of the ball with the intention to surprise on the counter. The opening exchanges left that clear. Marcelo had the first shot on goal in the 2nd minute prior to Acquafresca’s effort two minutes later.

After the first ten minutes of play, the chances began to come for the home team thanks to their dominance in possession and continuous movement. They had four in just seven minutes. Higuain and Benzema, in the 13th and 14th respectively, had the first two of a series of shots from the edge of the box that was completed by Callejon, in the 19th minute, and Kaka a minute earlier. The Brazilian had the clearest of them up until that point. Higuain’s movement, taking two defenders with him, left the way open for the midfielder’s left-footed shot which brought the best out of Munua. Nevertheless, on the half-hour mark, it was the Valencian team that went ahead on the scoreboard. It came from a well worked counter-attack, although
Michel’s shot needed the lucky clip off of Pepe’s heel to take it beyond a surprised Diego Lopez.


Real Madrid 3 - 0 Galatasaray (UEFA Champions League, Quarter-finals, 1st Leg)

Real Madrid beat Galatasaray at home and are one step closer to their third consecutive European Cup semi-final. Goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Benzema before the end of the first half hour and from Higuain in 72nd minute, earned a win that was much deserved both in terms of how they played and the chances they created. Three goals scored, by each of the three forwards who played, and none conceded to take into the second leg, in which there will be no Xabi Alonso or Ramos due to suspension. A giant step towards progressing in a Bernabeu that remains unconquered.

Cristiano Ronaldo fighting hard against Felipe Melo
Real Madrid giant step towards semi-finals

Playing at home, Real Madrid edged closer towards their third consecutive Champions League semi-final. The Bernabeu crowd were crucial in pushing the Whites’ players, aware that their home fans have not seen them lose for 14 months, to show the connection that they share against Galatasaray. They suffocated the opposition playing the ball out of the back with a high press, moved the ball cleverly and at a high tempo and soon sent the first warning. A 30 metre Xabi Alonso pass to Di Maria, who controlled and played in Benzema, who then shot wide with his head on three minutes.

Real Madrid soon went ahead on the scoreboard. It took just nine minutes. Another steal in the midfield, which Ozil turned to gold. His precise pass was finished by Cristiano Ronaldo who beat Muslera with a chip that was as beautiful as it was effective. The Portuguese once again showed his affinity with the competition and became the Champions League’s top scorer. The start could not have been more promising and how Real Madrid were playing sent the message that they were not content with just the one goal.


Zaragoza 1 - 1 Real Madrid (Spanish League, Day 29)

Real Madrid drew in Zaragoza after the international break and became the first team to reach 4000 points in the championship. Rodri, in the seventh minute, put Zaragoza ahead with the home side’s first shot on goal and Cristiano Ronaldo equalised in the thirty-eighth minute after surprising Roberto with a left-footed shot. The Whites deserved more four days before the first leg of the Champions League quarter-finals against Galatasaray; Marcelo’s shot crashed into the post and Loovens cleared the ball off the goal line.

Callejon and Essien fight for recovering a ball against Zaragoza
Real Madrid could not reach the victory against Zaragoza

Real Madrid returned to action after the international break against Zaragoza at La Romareda. The premise was clear: continue the excellent form and results that had enabled them to string together seven consecutive victories. The Whites’ objective was made difficult before the first ten minutes of the game had ended. Rodri made the most of a deflection in the seventh minute and beat Diego Lopez in a one-on-one. The home side went ahead with their first shot on goal. Real Madrid would have to come from behind again away from home, but they had almost the entire match ahead of them.

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