Almeria 1-4 Real: 20 Over 20 for La Liga Leaders

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Real Madrid beat Almeria 4-1 to complete 20 games win in all competitions on Friday ahead of their trip to Morocco for the Fifa Club World Cup.

Isco opened scoring at the Estadio de los Juegos Mediterraneos with a curled effort from the edge of the box 4 minutes after the half-hour mark, but Verza volleyed home from 25 yards to restore parity five minutes later.

Gareth Bale thumped home from Toni Kroos header to help Real regain lead and Cristiano Ronaldo added two more in the closing ten minutes of the game.

Iker Casillas saved Verza penalty to curtail what would have been Almeria’s fight-back.

Ronaldo Has Now scored a Total of 32 Goals in 23 Games This Season. Image: Getty.
Ronaldo Has Now scored a Total of 32 Goals in 23 Games This Season. Image: Getty.

The European and Spanish cup holders are now within four matches of the world record of 24 consecutive wins set by Brazilian club Coritiba in 2011.

Almeria, under B team coach Miguel Rivera after the dismissal of Francisco Javier Rodriguez and the appointment of Juan Ignacio Martinez as his successor, withstood Real’s onslaught until the closing stages of the game before witnessing abject collapse.

The Andalucian hosts have now plummeted into the drop zone on goal difference having picked up just two points from nine games.

Carlo Ancelotti’s side are now five points clear of second-placed Barcelona, who are away to Getafe on Saturday, after their last league game of 2014.

Real’s next match is against winners of tomorrow clash between CONCACAF Champions Cruz Azul and AFC Champions Western Sydney Wanderers in Tuesday’s semi-final in Morocco.

Tuesday’s win over Ludogorets Razgrad in the Uefa Champions League saw the Los Merengues break Barcelona’s Spanish record of 18 consecutive wins in 2005-06 and with the side banking on the possibility of collecting two more wins at the Club World Cup, one would rather deem it hasty to rule out a countdown to another historic landmark come 2015.

Since the defeat to Atletico Madrid on September 13, Real have been in red-hot form and they almost took the lead against Almeria after 13 minutes but for the crossbar, following a slight deflection of Toni Kroos’ 20-metre volley by Franz Velez’s head.

Isco, who replaced the injured James Rodriguez, eventually jinxed his way beyond defender Michel Macedo before curling a wonderful shot beyond goalkeeper Ruben for the opener.

Gareth Bale Celebrates his Goal Against Almeria. Image: Getty.
Gareth Bale Celebrates his Goal Against Almeria. Image: Getty.

Verza smashed a half-volley into the visitors’ net but Bale restored Real’s goal cushion three minutes later, finding space to head home from Kroos’ cross- his 22nd goal in 39 La Liga appearances.

Almeria pushed for another equaliser in the second half and were awarded a penalty just after an hour, when Marcelo impeded Edgar Mendez in the box. Casillas guessed right to keep Verza’s spot-kick out.

Ronaldo was far from his best for almost 80 minutes, but when the Portuguese superstar eventually rediscovered his rhythm he struck twice. He first poked into an empty net following a fine link-up play with Karim Benzema before blasting from 14 yards past Ruben off a Dani Carvajal assist.

Ronaldo has now scored 25 goals in 14 La Liga appearances and 32 goals in 23 matches this season.

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