Spanish League: Day 27


No one was quite sure how Real Madrid would handle the absence of Cristiano Ronaldo. Jose Mourinho on Friday stated that it wouldn’t affect the team’s ambition, but what he forgot to mention is that the Whites would also play exquisite football during the first half of the match. Racing Santander withstood the onslaught every way they could, and after taking their foot off the gas in the second, Real did concede a goal, but it wasn’t enough to keep the Whites from celebrating 109 years of history in style.

Marcelo misses an clear opoortunity against Racing

Real Madrid took El Sardinero by storm. The Whites put together one play after the next and kept Racing on their heals throughout the entire first half. By the time the 15th minute ticked off the clock, Real had taken five shots on goal with one striking the crossbar. With memories of Riazor taking shape, Ozil made sure to quell Madridista nerves, and on 22’ he magically combined with Benzema and Adebayor, who punched in the first goal of the night.

Racing were against the ropes and Real smelled blood. Four minutes later, Ozil found Benzema with a brilliant deep pass and the Frenchman placed it perfectly into the back of the net. In a show of precision football and teamwork, the first half came to a close with the Whites in the driver’s seat.

The hosts advanced positions and pressured after the restart. With the ball frequenting their feet more often, Racing moved in on Casillas. Alonso tackled Giovani in the box on 51’, but Pinillos telegraphed the spot kick straight into Iker’s hands. Real Madrid took their foot off the gas, making it more difficult to create scoring chances. Racing continued to move forward and on 70’ cut the lead to one with a goal by Kennedy. Five minutes later, however, the Whites put the nail in the coffin when Di Maria connected with Benzema from distance and the striker fired home to make it 1-3.

With business taken care of, Canales stepped in for his first action in El Sardinero since leaving Racing. Di Maria then provoked a penalty in the Whites’ favor, but Adebayor was unable to strike gold. Of note, Castillas’ Alex Fernandez stepped in for an unforgettable final five minutes in what was his first team debut.


Stadium: El Sardinero
Attendance: 18,444
Goals: 0-1, min 23. Adebayor. 0-2, min 26. Benzema. 1-2, min 71. Kennedy. 1-3, min 76. Benzema.

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