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March 30, 2013
• Estadio de la Romareda, Zaragoza
Referee: Alberto Undiano Mallenco
• Attendance: 30000
Cristiano Ronaldo 38'
Full time in La Romareda. An early strike from Rodri gave Zaragoza the lead in the first half but a clinical strike from Cristiano Ronaldo gave Real Madrid the equaliser going into half time. A treble substitution of Ozil, Di Maria, and Khedira improved Jose Mourinho's men on the hour mark but Diego Lopez and and Roberto were the stars as the sides share a point. Thank you for joining us on Goal.com! I'm Martin Macdonald, see you next time!
90' + 2'
Brilliant goalkeeping from Roberto. Di Maria whips in a dangerous cross and the goalkeeper gets above Higuain and Ronaldo to punch the ball well away from danger.
Terrific play from Postiga. He battles and wins the ball from Ozil before turning, running forward, and earning a free kick out of Pepe. This all occurred when Zaragoza were under massive pressure. Superb.
Another save by Roberto!! Ronaldo looks to take the game by the scruff of the neck and goes on a powerful run down the left-hand side. He typically cuts inside before lashing a strike at the near post, but the Zaragoza 'keeper gets down quickly to make the save.
Yellow Card Álvaro
What is wrong with Mesut Ozil?! This time the German has the opportunity to float the ball into the box with a free kick from the right but he wastes his chance and curls the ball straight over the bar. His team-mates aren't particularly happy!
Diego Lopez denies Postiga again!!! Movilla curls in a teasing cross and the Portuguese rises above Pepe and Ramos to bullet a header at goal, but once again the Madrid goalkeeper saves his side by turning the attempt over the bar!
That was a chance for Madrid!! Marcelo bursts into the penalty area and can't make up his mind whether to shoot or cross. In the end he does a combination of both and the ball flashes wide past the right-hand post!
Mesut Ozil has been horribly out-of-sorts since his introduction. It's not that he's not been involved, he's broke down three of four attacks in the last few minutes due to poor passing. Not like him at all.
POSTIGA!!! What a save from Diego Lopez!! A cross is whipped in to the back post and the Zaragoza strike shakes his marker before heading downwards towards goal, but the former Sevilla 'keeper somehow manages to get across goal and make the block with his chest!
You still feel that there's a goal in this. It's all beginning to open up and both sides are being awarded more space in the final third, but time is ticking away.
Ramos is walking a tightrope here! The defender, who earned his 100th cap for Spain on Tuesday, chopped down Victor a few yards into the Zaragoza half. The referee shows leniency on this occasion.
Needs to be better from Modric. The Croatian finds himself in a great position down the right and looks to curl a cross to the back post to find Ronaldo but Roberto comes off his line to commandingly claim the ball and take the pressure off his defence. Good goalkeeping in the end.
Yellow Card Sergio Ramos
Very cynical challenge from Sergio Ramos! The Madrid captain receives his customary yellow card after Postiga had cleverly lobbed the ball over his head and looked to be running towards goal. Free kick to Zaragoza down the left.
Well I think Victor saw his name in lights there! The substitute had team-mates in better positions inside the box but he opted to have a crack from 30 yards. Unluckily for him it went horribly wayward and didn't pose any threat to Diego Lopez.
Di Maria latches on to a mistake from Romaric and looks to counterattack down the middle but a perfectly-timed challenge from Alvaro claims the ball back for the home side, who look to mount an attack for their own.
All these changes should certainly add a new dynamic to the match. Madrid have upped their game in the last 10 minutes but Zaragoza are remaining solid at the back to shut out Los Blancos. Still plenty of football to be played, though.
The home side follow suit and make a change of their own. Goalscorer, Rodri, is replaced by Victor Romero. A flurry of substitutions at La Romareda!
Wait, it's a treble change! Mesut Ozil comes on for Kaka. Jose Mourinho obviously doesn't like what he's seeing here!
It turns out it's a quickfire double change from the Madrid coach. Sami Khedira is also introduced in place of Jose Callejon. Modric will now move further forward.
Ángel Di María
Jose Mourinho makes his first change of the match, and it's an interesting one. Alvaro Arbeloa comes off for Angel Di Maria. It looks like Essien will move to the right-side of defence.
Yellow Card Rodri
Rodri is shown a yellow card for his protests.
Penalty shout for Zaragoza!!! Ronaldo fails to clear a free kick into the box and the ball falls to Postiga, who appears to be hauled to the ground be Essien! There was certainly contact there but the Portuguese went down pretty easily!
Yellow Card Arbeloa
Madrid have added a little intensity and pace to their play in the last couple of minutes. Loovens put the ball out for a throw-in and Ronaldo sprinted to pick up the ball to take it quickly. They seem eager to keep the speed of the game at a high tempo.
You won't see many worse shots than that! The ball breaks to Helder Postiga on the left wing around 30 yards from goal and he snatches a shot at goal that almost goes out for a throw-in! That was ambitious to say the least!
Forced change for Zaragoza. Apono has picked up an injury and he'll be replaced in the middle by Romaric.
Zaragoza continuing to work hard. They are keeping up their intense pressing of the ball, but as we all know, you can't keep that up for 90 minutes.
How have Madrid not took the lead???! Ronaldo receives a neat pass from Callejon and only has Roberto to beat but the 'keeper pulls a superb right-handed save out the bag to deny the Portuguese! The ball then breaks to Marcelo who smashes the ball off the left-hand post! Zaragoza are given a major let-off!
We are back under way in La Romareda!
Half time in La Romareda. A very entertaining first half! Rodri opened the scoring early doors with a terrific finish and Zaragoza have arguably been the better side, but Ronaldo has pegged the hosts back with a clinical left-footed finish at the near post. This could go either way! Join us in 15 minutes for the second half!
Ohhhh poor finish from Rodri!! Montanes goes on a swashbuckling run down the left and cuts inside before laying the ball on plate to his team-mate but he weakly passes the ball into the hands of the grateful Diego Lopez!
That goal from Ronaldo has given Madrid a kick up the backside here. They are certainly looking a lot more dangerous when they enter the final third.
Sensational save from Roberto!!! Marcelo floats a cross in from the left and Essien, who makes a late run into the box, powers a header towards he top corner that is somehow tipped over the bar by the Zaragoza 'keeper!
Assist Gonzalo Higuaín
Goal C. Ronaldo
GOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAL FOR REAL MADRID!! As I said! Never count Ronaldo out!! A speculative ball up the park from Pepe is took down by Higuain, who lays the ball out to the Portuguese who takes a touch to the left before rifling a strike into bottom left corner! Clinical finish!
It's definitely been a midfield battle so far. Roberto has barely had a save to make for Zaragoza and the only task Diego Lopez has had so far has been picking the ball out of his own net.
Two poor passes within a minute from Ronaldo. Firstly he fails to return a one-two back to Kaka and then cheaply gives the ball away to Apono in a dangerous position inside the centre circle. He's looked out-of-sorts so far, but never count him out.
Pepe is a lucky man!! The Portuguese takes a very heavy touch out of defence and Zaragoza almost manage to nick the ball. Essien commits a foul and the pace is taken out of the attack of the hosts.
Higuain manages to get in behind the Zaragoza defence but, with no support available to him, can only manages to squeeze in a shot at the near post which Alvaro manages to clear. Good defending in the end.
Zaragoza's attitude has been top class so far. They are working so hard to press, hustle, and harry the Madrid players as they look to play the ball out from the back.
Zaragoza manage to scramble away! The free kick is whipped in and the ball is put up into the air by Roberto! Loovens half clears the ball away and then eventually gets back to clear off the line after a header from Higuain!
Free kick to Madrid in a very useful position down the left flank. Kaka just showed too much skill and pace and was unceremoniously blocked by Sapanuru.
Some handbags on the pitch at the moment as Sergio Ramos and Rodri clash in mid-air. The referee remains calm and let's it all play out and pushing and pulling occurs. Nothing comes of it and the play resumes.
RODRI!!! He almost doubles his tally with a sensational strike! The Zaragoza goalscorer picks up the ball 25 yards from goal and hits a sweet strike towards the top right corner, but it misses the bar by a few inches! He's certainly not short in confidence!
Don't forget to post your thoughts, feelings, and predictions on the match on Twitter. You can follow us on Goal.com at @goal_intl and you can follow yours truly at @MartinMac1.
Poor cross from Oriol! The 26-year-old gets into a great position on the byline and has time to pick his pass into the box, but he overhits the ball into the box and Arbeloa manages to clear! That was a chance to get some quality into the penalty area there!
Zaragoza have been excellent in the opening quarter-hour. They have really went for it with their attacking and Madrid looked really susceptible to their attacks as they came forward. However, Jose Mourinho's men beginning to look slightly more comfortable.
Well, that's a contender for one of the worst free kicks you'll ever seen. Ronaldo steps up and smashes the ball into the ground and it eventually dribbles wide. Not his best by a long shot.
Yellow Card Luka Modric
Yellow Card Glenn Loovens
Poor challenge from Glenn Loovens! Ronaldo turns quickly and the former Celtic defender comes in from behind with a poorly-timed tackle. He'll receive a yellow card for that. Madrid get the free kick.
First yellow card of the match goes to Luka Modric. The Croatian naughtily handled the ball when Zaragoza nabbed the ball in the middle of the park.
RONALDO!!! Ohhh that was a chance for the Portuguese!! The Madrid man gets on the end of a ball over the top of the Zaragoza defence and looks to hit a controlled volley towards goal, but his attempt is sliced wide.
That was a proper celebration! Every single Zaragoza player ran down to the corner to celebrate with their team-mate! La Romareda is absolutely jumping!
GOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAL FOR ZARAGOZA!! What a start for Manolo Jimenez's men!! The ball breaks kindly for Rodri and the on-loan Barcelona B man strides forward before confidently sweeping the ball into the bottom left corner! 1-0! Incredible scenes!
Kaka cuts inside from the left wing and looks for the run of Higuain round the back of the Zaragoza defence. However, the Brazilian's pass was just overhit and the hosts get the goal kick.
Superb run from Montanes!! The midfielder latches on to a poor pass from Higuain and gallops towards goal, evading two or three challenges as he goes through the middle. The ball breaks to Rodri who mis-kicks his shot at the last minute! Madrid survive.
We are under way in La Romareda!
The sides have took to the field now, and we are only a few moments from kick-off!
Interestingly, Iker Casillas has reported returned to training for Real Madrid, but does not even make the match squad tonight.
Real Madrid are on a seven-match winning run in all competitions - their best sequence of results since January 2012.
Zaragoza are on a 12-match winless run in all competitions and remain the only team in La Liga to have not won a game in 2013.
This is two teams at the opposite of the form spectrum tonight...
Real Madrid (4-2-3-1): Diego Lopez; Arbeloa, Pepe, Ramos, Marcelo; Essien, Modric; Kaka, Callejon, Ronaldo; Higuain.
Zaragoza (4-2-3-1): Roberto; Sapunaru, Alvaro, Loovens, Abraham; Movilla, Apono; Edu Oriol, Rodri, Montanés; Postiga
I'm Martin Macdonald, and I'll be taking you through the action tonight!
Good evening folks! Welcome to Goal.com's LIVE coverage of the Spanish Primera Division clash between Real Zaragoza and Real Madrid at La Romareda!
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