30 October 2010
Fernando Porrero / Translation by Michael J. O'Donnell
Real Madrid hadn't been forced to turn a score around yet this season. Hercules scored an early opener, but the Whites fought back to earn a great victory led by a sensational Cristiano Ronaldo.
The match had the worst possible start for Real Madrid; Trezeguet netted a spectacular header following a cross from Cortes. It took the Madridistas a while to recover from such a harsh blow. They didn't position themselves right and they had to fight off Hercules' pressure all over the pitch. Madrid gradually started to control the match and Cristiano began to put the local defence to the test with his speed. Ronaldo had his team's best chance to score in the first half with a shot from outside the box that was narrowly saved by keeper Calatayud (23'). Higuain then tried to score from the clearance in vain.
Seven minutes into the second half, Calatayud was forced to save a shot by Ronaldo from a distance. He failed to grab the ball and Di Maria used the clearance to score the equaliser. Hercules suffered from this and focused on defending. Real Madrid gradually had more chances on goal but were failing to score. Mourinho then decided to bring Benzema on for Pepe in a daring all-or-nothing move that forced Khedira to act as centre back whenever Hercules attacked.
The French striker responded to his coach's confidence; he shot on target on the 81-minute mark following a shared effort with Marcelo and the ball was cleared by the goalie only to land at Ronaldo's feet and then end at the back of the net. Mourinho reacted to the strike and made defenders Albiol and Arbeloa come on for Ozil and Higuain, looking to keep possession and score from counterattacks. That's just what happened; Benzema received the ball in attack, ran towards the goal and passed the ball to Ronaldo, who sealed the match with a third strike (his eleventh in La Liga this season).
|Di María||Goal 54'|
|Cristiano Ronaldo||Goal 83' 87'|