November 3, 2012
Mourinho notches Madrid ton
Real Madrid moved into third place and handed Jose Mourinho his 100th win in charge of Los Blancos with a 4-0 victory over Real Zaragoza.
Gonzalo Higuain and Angel Di Maria put the hosts in a commanding position with a goal apiece in a two-minute spell midway through the first half but Zaragoza were unfortunate not to get back into the game early in the second period as Jose Mari fired a shot off the crossbar and Helder Postiga had a goal wrongly ruled out for offside.
However, Madrid wrapped things up in the final two minutes as both Michael Essien and Luka Modric scored their first goals since swapping the Premier League for the Spanish capital.
The hosts were slow to get going but came to life in the 15th minute as Cristiano Ronaldo headed just wide from Di Maria's teasing ball in. And the Portugal captain should have done better moments later with another header that this time sailed over from Alvaro Arbeloa's cross.
Iker Casillas was then called into action for the first time to save his side from going behind as he got down well to parry Postiga's effort from just inside the area.
But within three minutes the champions were ahead as Roberto could only parry Raul Albiol's header from Modric's corner back into the middle of the six-yard box, where Higuain was lurking to smash in his seventh goal of the season.
Two minutes later Madrid doubled their lead as again a decent first save from Roberto went unrewarded, as Di Maria latched onto the rebound after his initial effort was parried to brilliantly stroke the ball into the roof of the net.
Ronaldo then came within inches of a third with a drive across goal that whistled past the far post, however after that spurt from the hosts Zaragoza came back into the match in the period either side of the break and came close on numerous occasions in the second half.
Victor was the first man to be denied, Casillas brilliantly turning his curling shot wide, before the Spain number one made a more comfortable stop low to his left from Paco Montanes' long-range effort.
And Jose Mari went even closer moments later with a thundering effort that crashed back off the crossbar.
Postiga did eventually have the ball in the Madrid net on 68 minutes but he was wrongly flagged offside and Abraham summed up a frustrating night for the visitors nine minutes from time as he waltzed past Jose Maria Callejon, Sergio Ramos and Pepe only to blaze his shot over when faced with Casillas.
Ronaldo also fired a free-kick off the bar and was denied from closer range by Roberto before Essien made it three with a calm finish from Karim Benzema's pass.
And Modric had the last word with a low drive from outside the area after Roberto had parried another powerful effort from Ronaldo.
|Real Madrid||Real Zaragoza|
|1 Iker Casillas||1 Roberto Gago|
|18 Raúl Albiol||4 Álvaro|
|3 Pepe||16 Glenn Loovens|
|17 Álvaro Arbeloa||21 Abraham Minero|
|4 Sergio Ramos||19 Cristian Sapunaru|
|10 Mesut Özil||10 Apono|
|15 Michael Essien||15 José Mari|
|19 Luka Modric||2 José María Movilla|
|20 Gonzalo Higuaín||9 Hélder Postiga|
|7 Cristiano Ronaldo||11 Francisco Montañés|
|22 Ángel Di María||32 Víctor Rodríguez|
|8 Kaká||Leo Franco 25|
|9 Karim Benzema||Carlos Aranda 7|
|13 Antonio Adán||Javier Paredes 3|
|21 José Maria Callejón||Romaric 12|
|2 Raphael Varane||Franco Zuculini 20|
|30 Alex||Ádám Pintér 22|
|27 Nacho Fernandez||Javi Álamo 23|
|Karim Benzema for Gonzalo Higuaín (69)||Javi Álamo for Víctor Rodríguez (75)|
|José Maria Callejón for Ángel Di María (73)||Carlos Aranda for Hélder Postiga (79)|
|Nacho Fernandez for Álvaro Arbeloa (82)||Romaric for José Mari (87)|
|Luka Modric (37)||Abraham Minero (69)|
|Sergio Ramos (65)||Cristian Sapunaru (75)|
|· Squads: Real Madrid | Real Zaragoza|