Sergio Ramos and
Robinho sealed victory for the debut of López Caro in the First Division. A
solid Real Madrid, with an exceptional Seville midfielder, a wise Guti in
control and a decisive Zidane with assists, broke the will of Málaga in barely
thirty minutes. In the second half, it was time to consolidate and secure the
Despite there being lots of games left to play, Real Madrid had to pass a
quality control test with the arrival of López Caro. His footballing strategy
was reflected in the line-up: Guti was to lead the plays, and Sergio Ramos to be
an extension of the defence. With the team well-armed, but without Beckham,
Málaga came out determined to tighten the screws on Helguera and Pavón, who had
to work hard to stop the variety of aerial plays that the Malagans made. The
instructions of the coach had to be shouted over the poorly kempt turf of La
Rosaleda, as the back line was thirty metres from Iker Casillas.
Salgado and Ronaldo showed their rivals that they wanted victory. Antonio Tapia
knew that his team could suffer from the plays created by Guti and Zidane, and
so he ordered Hidalgo and Anderson to thwart any advance by the White's thinkers.
Nevertheless, on multiple occasions, they mistook pressure for heavy-handedness.
Daudén Ibáñez had to put a brake on the over-enthusiasm of the locals, who tried
to slip a goal past the referee when Salva hit the ball with his hand after a
corner (17th min). Sergio Ramos worked hard and helped Roberto Carlos with Edgar
and Helguera with Salva. His polyvalence allowed Guti to be able to control
events with more calm and Baptista to not have to come back too much.
Zidane gives the orders; Ramos and Robinho carry them out
Just when Casillas had started to get warmed up, with shots by Nacho and Salva,
Madrid finished off the game. If anyone had any doubts about the tactical work
done in the first week with López Caro at the helm, in the first corner they had
in their favour, any doubts disappeared. Zidane knocked over a ball which Sergio
Ramos, on the far post, headed into the net (33rd min). A blow for Málaga.
Robinho, more on form and accurate than in previous matches, had given a warning
shot with a shot which the blue and whites defenders stopped on the line, but he
refused to forgive any more. Again, Zidane would be crucial. As the coach had
asked, the number ‘10’ was on the right. From there he made a run and connected
with Zidane. And with an explosive acceleration and a powerful shot, he silenced
La Rosaleda (37th min).
Tapia tried to bring his players out from the slump they were in before the
break thanks to new chances from Robinho and Zidane. Málaga were at the mercy of
Madrid, who was moving around with even more tranquillity than in the first half.
Antonio Tapia saw that the road to victory was rocky and at any moment it could
get even worse. On the Madrid bench and on the pitch they wanted an even bigger
result, to further increase their feeling of solidarity and teamwork they were
experiencing at Málaga .
Maintaining the score
Initiative, long balls, and fighting spirit were the weapons of Malaga to try to
get breathing space. Impossible. Real Madrid were moving around carefully, and
the opening on Robinho's wing eased the congestion in midfield. López Caro
wanted to give a break to some of the pillars of the victory as the three points
were in the bag. Roberto Carlos, Ronaldo –who was looking for his reward-,
Robinho and Zidane were prowling around the area of Arnau to crush any last
hopes from a rival who were collapsing visibly. The coach's debut ended on a
good note and a whole week to prepare for the fixture against Osasuna at the