Real Madrid on Saturday retained their 6-point lead over archrivals Barcelona while setting a new club record of 35-matches unbeaten as against the previous one set by Leo Benhakkers’ Los Blancos during the 1988-89 season.
With many of their stars rested while some are still receiving treatments, Zinedine Zidane set up a starting eleven of unfamiliar combination to face relegation threatened Deportivo La Coruna. Not as if Real’s side didn’t have the quality to brush off La Branquiazuis, Still, they struggled to get on their strides throughout the opening 45 minutes, giving Gaizka Garitano’s side initiatives to open the scoring time and again. Deportivo came close to doing just that when a header tipped off the post and somehow managed to lob over an onrushing player’s head as he slid into the open net while the ball bounced away fromMadrid’s goal line.
Despite the sub-par first half, Los Merengues were one-nil up, five minutes into the second half thanks to home boy Alvaro Morata’s vicious low drive into the bottom right hand corner.
Whether it be in the spirit of academy graduates having at it at chances being presented to them, or another thing entirely, Real found themselves behind in the space of two minutes courtesy of two quick goals from on-loan striker Joselu – another Real graduate. The first resulted from a rare error by Casemiro when he easily got disposed of the ball at the teeth of Keylor Navas’ penalty box while the second came from Sergio Ramos’s inability to close down and tidy out an onrushing Deportivo player.
For a time it looked ridiculous and trolls must have been sharpening their swords lying in wait to mock Florentino Perez’s investment since it would have turned out as a very big shame for a heavily assembled Galaticos to lose to a La Coruna side mostly made up of Journey men and second rate professionals – meaning no offence though.
However as Zidane’s team has been showing recently, they do have a new sense of resilience and with that they piled pressure on Deportivo’s defence until they broke down. First, Lucas Vasquez found Miriano Diaz who with the combination of his head and shoulder flicked the ball onto the distant top left corner of Deportivo’s goal leaving the keeper flat footed.
To crown it all was Sergio Ramos – who else? – headed in an injury-time winner from Toni Kroos’ corner kick, sparking the Bernabeu into a euphoria of joy and relief.