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Primera División

  • 30 April 2011
  • • 17:00
  • • Estadio Santiago Bernabéu, Madrid
  • Referee: Miguel Ángel Ayza Gámez
  • • Attendance: 72000

Real Madrid 2-3 Zaragoza: Jose Mourinho's title dreams all but faded as Lafita inspires relegation-threatened visitors

Real Madrid 2-3 Zaragoza: Jose Mourinho's title dreams all but faded as Lafita inspires relegation-threatened visitors

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Goals from Sergio Ramos and Karim Benzema were in vain as Lafita's double and Gabi's penalty astonishes the Bernabeu as Zaragoza stole all three points

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Jose Mourinho's week of conspiracy was brought down to earth as Real Zaragoza's shock victory at the Bernabeu has severly dented Real Madrid's title hopes.

Mourinho's men, still reeling from their Champions League semi-final first-leg defeat on Wednesday, stay eight points adrift of Pep Guardiola's charges in domestic matters with just four league games remaining.

For Real Zaragoza, their second successive victory has bumped them into 12th, four points clear of the drop zone.

Los Merengues were comfortable passing the ball around in the early stages as Javier Aguirre’s stifling tactics tried to prevent Kaka, Karim Benzema and Gonzalo Higuain from clicking as they so amazingly did last week in their 6-3 drubbing of Valencia.

The trio looked disjointed as the Zaragoza defence stood admirably in defiance against their world class opponents. Javier Aguirre’s 5-4-1 counter-attacking formation was working efficiently as Madrid's star-studded attack was thwarted time and again.

Uche had an excellent chance to grab the opener for the away side. Immediately afterwards though, Madrid’s first real chance of the game arrived as Kaka’s drive flashed just wide of the left post.

Lafita created a brilliant chance for himself as he latched onto Gabi’s though ball but leaning back, he blasted his finish high over the bar. The best move of the game ended with Higuain combining wonderfully with Kaka but Doblas was alert to stop the Argentine striker’s effort.

However surprisingly it was Zaragoza who broke the deadlock in the 40th minute. A calamitous air kick from Casillas gave Lafita the simple task of slotting the ball into the back of the net to silence the Bernabeu and leave the Spanish goalie embarrassed. Los Blanquillos went in at half-time in the lead as Jose Mourinho’s horror week continued.

Casillas calamity | Real Madrid's goalkeeper looks on after his error

Zaragoza’s tactics worked well before the break but they worked to perfection after the interval. Yet another counter attack caught out the Madrid defence and Ricardo Carvalho was judged to have felled Lafita. Gabi dispatched the penalty into the bottom right corner, sending Casillas the wrong way to give the Aragons a 2-0 lead in the 54th minute.

Jose Mourinho’s men wasted little time in upping the tempo and they pulled one back in the 62nd minute through Sergio Ramos. The Spaniard headed Mesut Ozil’s floated cross into the bottom right corner as Doblas’ resistance was finally broken. A siege was then laid on the Zaragoza goal and Ozil created yet another chance, his dinked ball over the top was smashed against the bar by Benzema with Doblas beaten.

Madrid huffed and puffed but Zaragoza countered once again and the tireless Lafita took a touch followed by an expertly taken finish to beat Casillas on 77 minute and Zaragoza were 3-1 up.

Drama ensued in the final minutes as Benzema scored a late consolation by thumping the ball past Doblas and moments later Carvalho was sent off for taking down Uche as the striker broke free. Kaka looked to have rescued a point but his header was just about held on the line by Doblas and Zaragoza held on for the victory.

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