-Ruud Van Nistelorooy is takes his bow in front of the Benabeu to recieve an ovation from the crowd. Let me say that it was an absolutely classy move from Florentino Perez amd Jorge Valdano to arange this for an absolute Class Act of a player. Happy Hunting in Hamburg Van Gol!
-Carlos Sanz, 2010 Dakar takes the the honorary Kickoff. I'm not really a fan of motorsports so I can't comment much on this
-A Minute Silence for presumably the victims of the Haiti Earthquake. My thoughts and prayers go to them.
The starting XI is as shown above. It's worthy to note however that a Canterano in the form of Mosquera is on the bench. The first canterano to make his debut straight from Valdebebas to the pitch with the first team under the watch of Pellegrini, perhaps? I hope the chance comes to him.
Guti's the surprise member of the starting XI... maybe NOT that big a surprise as AS had published regarding his possible inclusion to the lineup this past week in Real Madrid’s clear need for a creative passer to open up the stubborn defences we’ve been facing so far this 2010. This is done at the expense of Marcelo. Let's hope it works out for Madrid.
2:35 - Play from the kickoff it still rough and tumble ending with Kaka losing with the ball and the announcer talking AGAIN about Cristiano Ronaldo' scoring drought (400+ minutes without a goal... not enough Castrol I suppose).
4:58 - Ramos crosses the ball in: ending with a foul by Benzema
5:44 - Caicedeo shoots. Casillas saves comfortably only to release it for an early counter:
6:43 - Duda ALMOST beats Garay to the ball. The Argentinean luckily beats him to it. At least he showed some degree of footspeed
7:36 - Uff! Duda's cross hits Xabi Alonso's head and onto the crossbar! ALMOST... and I repeat... ALMOST a freak goal right there!
9:21 - Nice exchange from Madrid it nded though with Malaga intercepting Benzema's layoff for Kaka.
11:06 - A series of chances for Madrid: ending with Benzema laying off for Guti who shoots into a wall of Malaga legs.
11:25- Benzema works an opening but his dink past 3 Malaga defenders is to strong... he loses it. Good move from the Frenchman though.
13:13 - Corner for Malaga. Concentration alert for us. A Foul on Garay is called.
14:05 - Good Pressuring work by Real Madrid on Malaga's half.
14:35 - What a Volley from Guti! Saved by he keeper though! Uff!
16:34 - Argh! Kaka misses a shot after a great Real Madrid exchange pins Malaga in their own box
19:40 – A pass from Guti to Kaka is intercepted and starts a possible Malaga counter which is thwarted by a crunching tackle.
23:06 - Here we are again... we're now past the first half of the first half and it's still 0-0 and we're struggling to break down a bus parked in front of an opponent's goal. It's been sloppy passing galore thus far. Hoping it will change soon.
24:06 - Ronaldo deliver a cross that's headed away by Malaga.
27:00 - Those irritating whistles from the Bernabeu are coming out. I perhaps will never see the day the Bernabeu crowd will show themselves as true loving fans the way the Anfield-types do so... but I continue to pray.
27:58 - Chaos at the back from Casillas who comes out of his box to clear a threat and has to head away again after Malaga tries again with him still caught out. Wow! Our Goalkeeper showing some Centerback Skills too. I'd be screaming at him if I was Pellegrini though...
28:44 - Uff! A header off a corner for Malaga. Out.
29:34 - Cristiano shoots at someone at the rafters yet again.
33:13 - Uff! Sergio Ramos rampages through the Malaga right flank, only to be tackled inside the box as he looks to make his cross in.
35:08 - Gooooool! Benzema releases Kaka... who crosses in for a streaking Cristiano Ronaldo, who shows us all that his Castrol is running perfectly. Nice to see the 3 signings collaborate for the goal.
37:55 - Wow...1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9 outfield Malaga players behind the ball. This is not a bus parked at their goal mouth... it's a fricking subway coach!
38:25 - GOOOOOL! Castrol Boy Again! from the edge of the Penalty Box! Assist from Guti! Golazo!!!! Marcelo likes it so much that he's banging the ceiling of the dugout. Hahaha!
40:03 - Now we're seeing the Real Madrid of late-2009 who are pinning their opponents down in their half and creating perpetual danger for them.
42:36 - Guti's passing hasn't always been effective so far... but he's been playing puppet master from the Madrid midfield which is a good sign. When we play with a Guti and Xabi Alonso on song, I'm not sure even Barca can match us. Not today though... just a short fantasy thought...
43:10 - Free Kick to Real Madrid. RPG Alert.... saved by the keeper. Uff! Albiol's follow up sails over.
46:10 - First Half ends.
Halftime thoughts: unless we fuck it up big time, this one's in the bag. Now... if only Benzema can score.
45:00 - Real Madrid start the 2nd half with Marcelo at left back. Is Garay Hurt?
50:30 - Real Madrid are playing the ball really well in their buildup to attack.
51:20 - Great streaking run by Kaka only to lose it. That looked like the Kaka we all loved... if only just for a while. Such vintage Kaka moments usually end with a great assist or a goal though...
52:20 - Shit! Ramos' goal is ruled out after a good move from Benzema keeping the ball depsite being swarmed by 2 Malaga defenders. C'mon Benz! Score a goal! We all wanna see it!
56:40 - The Madrid dragnet seems to have dropped slightly deeper as the pressure on Malaga only seems to start upon their crossing of the halfway line. Signs of complaceny: this is NOT good.
58:08 - Shit! A great potential for a counter is wasted as Benzema's layoff is intercepted.
62:53 - Lass shoots from distance. Saved comfortably.
64:51 - A Pass from Guti ends with Ronaldo getting beaten to it. Let me just say that Ronaldo is probably enjoying his time on the pitch with the '14' seems to be finding the '9' a lot in this match.
67:15 - Guti comes off for Granero.... who starts his match with a DANGEROUS cross.... cleared away though.
69:32 - What that fuck!?!??!?!? Cristiano Ronaldo just got sent off! Replays show that it's for an elbow.... or a series of them onto his defenders' (who was trying to drag his shirt) face. This is bad news! We are heading to the Riazor next week without Pipita & Castrol Boy: our 2 leading goal scorers! SHIT!!!!!!
72:19 - Is this a chance for Malaga? An extra man on the pitch with Real Madrid's best player off it.
72:57 - UFFFFF! A perfect chance for Xabi Alondo is sent to the stands! Great cross from ex-Liverpool teammate Alvaro Arbeloa.
76:50 - Real Madrid are still are in control. They're definitely not looking like the're playing with a man down.
78:44 - Raul comes on for Kaka. I have to say this: I miss seeing the Captain score.
80:17 - Oh Gawwd! Benzema totally blows his shot as he's met with whistled by parts of the crowd. Come on man!
82:16 - Granero is fouled at the edge of the box. he loks funny with his hair cut so short. Albiol heads over.
87:35 - Raul Albiol is fouled as he tries to carry the ball form his half to the Malaga half. The ex-Valencia Centerback's had a good ga:me I'd have say.
88:43 - Granero!!!!!! What a shot! Saved! You gotta love El Pirata's audacity.
Match ends after 3 minutes of extra time... comfy in for us... more in the next few days.