The first half of the La Liga match between Real Madrid and Malaga was a brilliant display by Los Merengues. Cristiano Ronaldo netted a hat trick after Gonzalo Higuain scored the opener. Ronaldo's third goal was on a fantastic backheel volley. It was all kinds of good fun, except for fans of Malaga and Real Madrid's rivals. Then, things got nice and boring.
The visitors didn't really give Malaga much trouble at all in the second half, as the home side came back into the game. They significantly out-shot Madrid in the second half, but some bad luck and the brilliance of Iker Casillas kept them off the scoresheet. Santi Cazorla actually had a brilliant game for Malaga, but nothing came of it.
And thus, what could have been an incredibly stunning statement game is just another average Real Madrid win, as they walk away from Malaga with a 4-0 win and another three points. That keeps the pressure on Barcelona, who take on Sevilla on Saturday night immediately after this match.
For more on Los Merengues, check out Real Madrid blog Managing Madrid. We'll have live coverage of all of the action in Spain this week in our La Liga Week 8 StoryStream. For more on the entire world of footy, head over to SB Nation Soccer.