Malaga vs. Real Madrid: Final score 3-2, Los Merengues officially reeling

David Ramos

In an attempt to shake up his side, Jose Mourinho benched Iker Casillas on Saturday. It didn't work.

Real Madrid are in third place in La Liga, entirely outside of the title race, and quickly losing contact with local rivals Atletico Madrid. With his side struggling, Jose Mourinho made the shocking decision to bench his captain and out-of-form goalkeeper, Iker Casillas. Antonio Adan didn't make any glaring errors, but was certainly far from flawless in net on Saturday, as Malaga fired three past him in a 3-2 win.

A very even first half ended 0-0 without too many major events. Neither goalkeeper was forced into a difficult save, as both teams defended very well. Madrid suffered a bit of a defensive breakdown just after halftime when they let Isco turn into a dangerous spot off of a pass by Joaquin, before he fired a shot into the net at the near post to put his side ahead.

Madrid equalized on a Sergio Sanchez own goal that he knew nothing about, forced by Karim Benzema, but Malaga hit back almost instantly. Substitute striker Roque Santa Cruz stunned the Merengues, scoring twice in the next 10 minutes. His first came off a rebound, as he capitalized on a saved but not caught shot by Joaquin. The veteran winger picked up his third assist of the match in the 76th minute when he played a brilliant through ball to Santa Cruz, which was finished off to give Malaga a two-goal lead.

Benzema hauled one back for Madrid in the 82nd minute, turning in a brilliant cross by Mesut Özil, but Malaga held on for the victory without much trouble. Malaga in fourth place, just two points behind Madrid, who trail Atleti by seven points and Barcelona by a shocking 16.

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