|Modric and Essien scored for the first time playing with Real Madrid jersey|
Real Madrid could not have started the penultimate month of the year better. The Whites thrashed Zaragoza, who arrived at the Santiago Bernabéu hoping to make it three consecutive victories. With Albiol as a starter in centre of the defence and Essien y Modric sharing central midfield, the Whites dominated from the start and with the intention of getting their sixth straight win at home, where they remain unbeaten. At least that was what they showed in the first 20 minutes, in which the home team had two chances against the team from Aragon’s zero. Both chances came in the form of Ronaldo headers, but the first went just inches wide of the goal defended by Roberto in the 14th minute and the second, in the 18th, went high.
Zaragoza took their time to create a threat on Casillas' goal, but did so with dangerous diagonal shot from Helder Postiga in the 20th minute forcing the Whites’ academy player into a great full length dive to save it. The move woke Real Madrid up, who inside just five minutes decided the game. Higuaín was the first to score in the 23rd minute. Modric was responsible for taking the corner and Albiol headed towards goal. Roberto’s stop deserved a better result for the visitors, but the Argentine was there and he intelligently picked up the keeper’s deflection to score at his pleasure from the goal line. The third match in a row in which El Pipa has found the back of the net.
The second came thanks to Di María two minutes later and it was the best reward for his persistence. His initial cross hit Abraham, but the rebound fell back at El Fideo’s feet, who shot with a volley and again for a third time to beat Roberto, who had thwarted the Argentine’s second attempt. The first half-hour of the match was not yet completed and Real Madrid had already taken a decisive lead in the match with two goals that showed the strength of the punch that they can pack. They could have even got the third in the 27th minute but Ronaldo’s shot went wide of the far post from inside the area. It was the last clear chance to either team before the break.
Zaragoza came out braver in the second half, but their attacks were either foiled by the solid home defence or by an inspired Casillas. The latter is what happened when Víctor Rodríguez released a venomous shot in the 58th minute which was met with a superb response from the Whites’ keeper. The visitors went closer five minutes later, but the shot of José Mari from the edge of the area crashed against the crossbar.
Real Madrid turned their attentions to putting the match to bed, knowing that in three days they have a demanding match in the Champions League. Things went perfectly to plan and in the final minutes they finished off their opponent. Ronaldo, found the crossbar with a long range free-kick in the 84th minute which was a great introduction for what was to come. Essien, in the 89th minute, and Modric, in added time, scored their first goals for the club and completed the rout. The sixth consecutive home win and third straight match in which the Whites have finished with a clean sheet in the competition. Excellent news ahead of the match this Tuesday against Dortmund as they mount their assault for the lead of the group in the Champions League.
Stadium: Santiago Bernabeu
Goals: 1-0 min. 23 Higuain; 2-0 min. 25 Di Maria; 3-0 min.89 Essien; 4-0 min. 92 Modric.