Cristiano Ronaldo was an inch away from handing Real Madrid all three points with a thumping last minute free-kick which rattled the underside of the crossbar, but Almeria held on during a frantic last ten minutes to earn a well-deserved draw against an under-par Real Madrid. Jose Mourinho will be left to rue poor displays from Di Maria and Ozil, while a lack of bite in midfield allowed Almeria to exert serious pressure on a unfamiliar looking Madrid defence.
The pressure finally told just before the break, when the outstanding Pablo Piatti burst into the box, only to be felled by Sergio Ramos. It would have been a tough call for the referee to make, but he was spared the wrath of the home crowd as Jose Ulloa swept home the loose ball from the edge of the penalty area. The second half failed to produce the expected Real Madrid fightback and as we entered the final quarter it looked for all the world that Almeria would add a second with Piatti and Cruzat causing all sorts of problems.
The failure to add the decisive second came back to haunt Almeria, when Real Madrid launched one of their clincal counter attacks through Cristiano. The ball was worked to Benzema on the edge of the box who laid the ball off for Esteban Granero who smashed the ball into the top corner. This signalled the desparate search for a winner from Madrid, who went so close to claiming all three points with Cristiano late free-kick. So the match ended 1-1 and with Barcelona about the kick off at the Camp Nou against Malaga, the leaders could see their lead at the top extend to four points.