Real Madrid have set a new club record for straight wins courtesy of a 2-1 suuccess at Malaga on Saturday.
Goals from Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale secured a sixteenth straight win in all competitions for the Los Blancos, taking down the joint-previous record of 15 wins during the 1960-61 campaign (all in La Liga) and three seasons ago (10 victories in La Liga and 5 in the Champions League).
The ‘Los Blancos’ have won every of their games since the 5-1 thrashing of Basel in a Champions League Match Day 1 clash at the Santiago Bernebeu on 16 September, with an average of almost four-goal per game and conceding 9 times. The run includes 10 wins in the La Liga, 5 in Europe and a Copa del Rey victory at Cornella.
Roque Santa Cruz’s injury-time strike narrowed the deficit but too little to avert consecutive defeats for the Los Boquerones.
Real finished the encounter with ten men as midfielder Isco was penalised for a second bookable offence on 86 minutes.
Carlo Ancelotti’s men now lead the La Liga standings by five points, with second-placed Barcelona away to Valencia- fourth in the table- and Atletico Madrid at home to Deportivo La Coruna; all on Sunday.
The Italian boss had stressed the importance of “keeping guard” prior to kickoff at La Rosaleda and, as such, his charges set out to dominate play right from the blast of the whistle, with Ronaldo coming closest to breaking the deadlock in the 12th minute.
The Portuguese superstar, who is in contention for a second successive Ballon d’Or, drew a superb save from goalkeeper Carlos Kameni after a well-weighted pass by Bale.
Benzema broke the deadlock few minutes later from a counter-attacking move orchestrated by James Rodriguez. Ronaldo received a pass from the Colombian, marveled his way about the defenders to set up Benzema, who side-footed home the opener. It was the Frenchman’s sixth goal against Javi Garcia’s side.
The host threatened to restore parity with two minutes left to half time, when Duda’s long-range free-kick hit the crossbar.
Real continued to mount on pressure after the interval as Bale provided two beautiful assists which could have been exchanged for goals had Ronaldo’s bicycle kick not missed target by a glimmer in the 54th minute, and had Isco not fumbled with a latter one-on-one with Kameni following a swift counter-attacking move.
Kameni was again called into action in the 76th minute, this time denying Ronaldo from inside the goal area.
The Cameroonian’s resilience failed to stand the test of time seven minutes later, as Bale latched onto Ronaldo’s headed-on pass from a Marcelo long ball, before beating two defenders to score his seventh goal of the La Liga season.
Real dominated possession thereafter, aside Santa Cruz’s consolation, and closed out 112 years history-long record.