07 February 2009
Alberto Navarro / Translation by Michael J. O'Donnell
Real Madrid took their seventh straight victory against Racing Santander at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium thanks to Higuain and a very solid defence. The Argentine netted his 13th league strike and the defensive line conceded no goals. Iker Casillas played his 454th clash with the team.
The strenght of Real Madrid's defence is beginning to be overwhelming; they are the least scored upon team in the league so far in 2009, conceding only one goal in their last seven games. They worked hard to defend against Racing, who had won five games as a visiting side and have scored more goals from set pieces than any other team in the championship.
Racing put a lot of pressure on Real Madrid from the start and looked to surprise them in attack through Lacen and Colsa's work in midfield. Aware that this would happen, Juande lined up Lass, Van de Vaart and Sneijder in midfield. Rafael served the team's first chance with a free-kick that Ramos finished off, but the defender's shot wasn't on target (10').
Lass became increasingly important thanks to his wise distribution of the ball; his opponents could do nothing to stop him. His excellent job allowed the team to have three consecutive dangerous ventures in attack (12'). The Dutch forward served a cross into the box that found no one to finish it off. Keeper Toño then cleared a strong shot of his with the right foot. Finally, Sneijder pased the ball to Van der Vaart, whose lob was cleared by the keeper. Rául also had a chance in the final minutes of the first half when a header of his missed the mark by inches.
Higuain scores; Faubert makes debut
It only took Higuain three minutes into the second half to score the team's goal. He made great use of an assist served by Raul with his head and beat Toño with a crossed shot. Racing seemed to be in a state of shock and Real Madrid used this to try to score another strike. Pepe surprised the visitors with a powerful sprint. He passed the ball to Higuain, who shot on target again, but Toño cleared the ball with his right leg. Coach Muñiz was forced to replace Lacen and Tchite with Toni Moral and Luccin.
Faubert came on for Robben because Juande wanted to try to surprise Racing down the right wing. Javi Garcia and Marcelo also came on. In the end, Real Madrid won their seventh straight victory, no doubt the best present for Iker Casillas, who today caught up with his idol Paco Buyo by playing his 454th game with the first team.
|Javi García 75'|
|Van der Vaart|
|Racing de Santander|
|Toni Moral 61'|