Real Madrid CF
Real Madrid CF
Real Madrid 2-3 Zaragoza: Jose Mourinho's men crash at home again as Lafita inspires relegation-threatened Aragons
Goals from Sergio Ramos and Karim Benzema were in vain as Lafita's double and Gabi's penalty condemned Mourinho to yet another home defeat
By Patrick Devaney
A late rally from Real Madrid was not enough as they fell 3-2 at home to Real Zaragoza in an astounding win for the visitors.
Well taken goals from Lafita and a clinical penalty from Gabi secured the win for the Aragons as consolations from Sergio Ramos and Karim Benzema could not prevent Mourinho’s second home league loss in the space of a month, his old nine year record looking mediocre now.
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 | San Iker bemoans his error that gave Zaragoza the lead
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.
Zaragoza now have some breathing space at the bottom as they are four points above the drop zone after a heroic performance at the Bernabeu. Meanwhile Real Madrid now trail Barcelona by eight points having played a game more and now Los Merengues have virtually succumbed to their Catalan rivals who look to have secured a third consecutive Primera Division.
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