Santi Cazorla’s stunning stoppage-time free-kick gave Malaga a deserved point to halt Real Madrid’s 11-match winning run in La Liga. Iker Casillas and Willy Caballero made smart stops to deny Salomon Rondon and Cristiano Ronaldo within the first five minutes but after Isco had missed another good chance for the visitors it was Real who went in front as Ronaldo’s cross found Benzema free at the back post to head home.
Caballero made another brilliant save to deny Ronaldo doubling Madrid’s advantage early in the second-half, but the hosts struggled to kill the game off and that proved costly as Cazorla curled in a wonderful 25-yard free-kick into Casillas’ top corner in the 91st minute.
Benzema was first to threaten inside the first two minutes as he cleverly flicked Lassana Diarra’s cross towards goals but Caballero made a comfortable save. Thereafter the visitors had a concerted spell of possession and could have gone in front when a lovely reverse ball from Cazorla put Rondon through on goal but Casillas got down well to collect his shot across goal.
At the other end Caballero had to be quick off his line to block Ronaldo’s attempted lob and then save Kaka’s effort from distance. However Malaga were giving a good account of themselves and created another good opportunity through Nacho Monreal’s run down the left, but Isco skewed his shot wide from a narrow angle.
Malaga go behind
Benzema came close again on 28 minutes as he slid the ball just wide after a wonderful give and go with Ronaldo, and those two were to combine again moments later for the opener as Ronaldo’s brilliant cross left Caballero in no man’s land and Benzema had the simple task of heading in at the back post.
The Frenchman passed up a good opportunity early in the second period as he delayed after being played through on goal and allowed Wellington time to recover and make a fine saving challenge. Caballero was next to Malaga’s rescue as he produced a stunning save low to his left to turn Ronaldo’s goalbound effort over the bar after a slick through ball from Kaka.
The Brazilian was replaced by Jose Maria Callejon with 23 minutes remaining and he nearly doubled Madrid’s advantage but headed just wide from another pinpoint Ronaldo cross. Benzema shot wastefully wide from Mesut Ozil’s sublime pass moments later and Callejon also had a shot charged down as Real struggled to put the game to bed.
Malaga made them pay and stunned the home fans in stoppage time as Cazorla firstly won a free-kick just outside the Real and box and the beat his international colleague Casillas with a brilliant strike. That goal means Real only extend their lead over Barcelona at the top of the table to eight points.