Recreativo Huelva 0-1 Real Madrid
Marcelo kept Real Madrid's title hopes alive this evening as he scored the only goal of the game against Recreativo Huelva at the Nuevo Colombino.
The Brazilian was on hand to finish past the goalkeeper after a lovely ball from Fernando Gago. The win means Madrid are six points behind leaders Barcelona again.
The defending champions did not have it all their own way this evening though and Iker Casillas was busy at times between the sticks.
However, even though Sergio Ramos missed a sitter from close range, Madrid managed to come out on top and now prepare to face Getafe during the week.
For Recre, the result means that they are still in the bottom three - and three points from safety with seven games to go.
With Barcelona already having won against Getafe, Madrid came into the match knowing they had to do the same, and they very nearly took the lead within ten minutes when Arjen Robben forced a fine save from Asier Riesgo. In a lively opening period, Javier Camunas drilled a shot wide from distance whilst Gonzalo Higuain and Raul linked up well at the other end but could not find the final ball.
Robben again made Riesgo make a smart save after he dribbled with the ball from the half-way line all the way to the box, before finally shooting. It was not all Madrid though, as Aitor fooled Fabio Cannavaro with a dummy before seeing his effort saved by the on-rushing Iker Casillas, and then Sisi struck a shot that the 'keeper did well to save low down.
Without a doubt the best chance of the half fell to Sergio Ramos on the half-hour mark, but he somehow missed his shot from underneath the bar. Seconds before, Raul had hit the post and with the goal gaping, the only excuse that Ramos can have is that it came to him too quickly to react, as he ballooned his effort over.
Nevertheless, soon after the break, Madrid did the lead, thanks to Brazilian Marcelo, who latched onto a brilliant pass through the defence by Fernando Gago and slotted past Riesgo. It was the perfect time to take the lead and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar probably should have doubled it minute later, but the goalkeeper was equal to his effort when he tried to beat him in a one-on-one.
Robben then went close when he shot wide not long after, as Madrid started to turn the screw with the one goal lead. Recre struggled to create as much as they did in the first-half and the goal seemed to have a negative impact on their play. The visitors continued to push though and Ramos showed some nice touches to link up with Raul but his final effort was tame and easily saved by the 'keeper.
Madrid should have wrapped up the points with twenty minutes left when Robben was clean through on goal, but even though he waited for Riesgo to go down, he could not chip over him. Adrian Colunga continued to threaten for Recre but too many times his crosses were poor and cut out by Casillas, and only with one minute left did they create another chance when Colunga volleyed wide from inside the box.
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James Walker-Roberts, Goal.com