Real Madrid's lead at the top of La Liga was cut to eight points on Sunday when a dramatic injury time goal from Santi Cazorla earned Malaga a 1-1 draw at the Bernabeu.
The home side had been heading for their 12th successive win following a Karim Benzema header after 35 minutes until a Cazorla free-kick flew into the corner in the 92nd minute.
The result left Real eight points clear of Barcelona after the defending champions had beaten Malaga 2-0 on Saturday, a victory that did nothing to force Barca coach Pep Guardiola to alter his opinion that Madrid will still take the title.
Real coach Jose Mourinho chose not to rest players after the Champions League victory over CSKA Moscow in midweek, other than bringing Lass Diarra in for Alvaro Arbeloa at right-back while Benzema was preferred to Gonzalo Higuain in attack.
Both keepers were busy in the opening exchanges with Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo forcing Willy Caballero into saves while, at the other end, Iker Casillas got down to parry a Jose Rondon strike from the edge of the area.
The home side stepped up a gear as the first half progressed with Ronaldo making powerful runs from deep and Benzema a threat in the Malaga box.
Benzema steered an effort the wrong side of the post before he opened the scoring with a header after poor defending from Malaga.
Ronaldo crossed the ball from the right and the Frenchman was left completely unmarked to nod the ball into the net.
Malaga, who had won their last three games, came out ready to take the fight to Real after the break and brought on former Bernabeu favorite Ruud van Nistelrooy in attack.
But they failed to create a concerted threat and instead Ronaldo should have extended the lead after 59 minutes but was denied by a reflex save from Caballero.
Benzema had a wonderful opportunity to get his second but fired wide in front of goal after being found by Mesut Ozil.
It looked as though Real had the game wrapped up but Cazorla had the final say in stoppage time.
|Copyright © 2012 Naharnet.com. All Rights Reserved.||http://www.naharnet.com/stories/en/33892|