Ozil to the rescue after Real Madrid hit by brace from former United flop Manucho
22:02 GMT, 8 December 2012
22:09 GMT, 8 December 2012
Mesut Ozil netted a superb double to fire Real Madrid to a 3-2 comeback win at Real Valladolid on Saturday that lifted Jose Mourinho's side within two points of second-placed Atletico Madrid in La Liga.
On a chilly night at the Jose Zorrilla stadium Madrid looked to be heading for another setback, after defeat at Real Betis two weeks ago, as they twice fell behind to first-half goals from Angola forward Manucho.
First Karim Benzema and then Ozil levelled for the visitors before the break before the Germany midfielder stroked a delicious left-foot free kick in off the crossbar for a 72nd-minute winner.
Double time: Real Madrid midfielder Mesut Ozil (left)
'This is the Ozil we all want to see,' said assistant coach Aitor Karanka.
'The capacity of the team to fight back, something they had to do twice
today, was the most memorable thing about the match,' added Karanka as
he stood in for Mourinho.
Manucho gave Valladolid a surprise seventh-minute lead when Madrid failed to clear a corner and he smashed a shot past goalkeeper and captain Iker Casillas.
Jose Callejon then picked up the ball after a slip by Marc Valiente and fed Benzema to level five minutes later before Manucho nipped ahead of Sergio Ramos and thumped home a header from another corner in the 22nd.
Madrid were level again on the stroke of halftime when Ozil exchanged passes with Benzema and squeezed a shot under Valladolid goalkeeper Dani Hernandez.
Both teams had chances in an open and entertaining game before Ozil's free kick settled the issue.
Third from bottom Granada made the livelier start on a treacherous Malaga pitch, recently relaid after the grass was infected with a virus, and home keeper Willy Caballero had to rescue his side with a couple of fine saves in the opening stages.
Top man: Ozil celebrates after scoring
Close call: Valladolid's Manucho (L) scores with a header
Former Spain winger Joaquin made it 1-0
in the 26th minute when he capitalised on a slip by defender Pape
Diakhate and sped through the middle before finishing clinically.
Malaga fullback Jesus Gamez drove a long-range effort against the
crossbar five minutes later before Saviola turned inside his marker and
clipped a low shot into the corner to make it 2-0 in the 33rd.
The home team controlled the game in the second half and Camacho scored
the third goal 15 minutes from time before substitute Santa Cruz
volleyed in an 85th-minute fourth.
The match had an interesting sub plot as Malaga coach Manuel Pellegrini
and Granada's Juan Antonio Anquela had last locked horns when
Pellegrini's Real Madrid suffered a shock exit to Anquela's third-tier
Alcorcon in the 2009 King's Cup.
'Things are getting dramatic and of course I am worried about my job,'
said Anquela. 'The only thing I can say is this team will climb out from
down there and I have faith in them until the last second.'
Eighth-placed Real Sociedad and Getafe, in sixth, exchanged late goals in a 1-1 draw at the Anoeta stadium in San Sebastian.
Angel Lafita nodded in a Jaime Gavilan cross to put the visitors in
front in the 86th minute but Sociedad's Carlos Martinez headed home from
Alberto De La Bella's centre in the first minute of added time.
Remember me Former Man United striker Manucho
On the run: Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo