La Liga wrap: Ozil saves Real Madrid
By Football News
Real Madrid twice came from behind to emerge 3-2 winners over an impressive Valladolid side on Saturday, while Malaga hammered Granada 4-0.
Angolan striker Manucho bagged a brace but it was Madrid midfielder Mesut Ozil who stole the show with the match-winning goal.
Madrid have been poor on the road so far this season and it seemed as though their woes would continue as some awful marking from a corner enabled the hosts to take a seventh-minute lead.
Drawn to the ball, Sergio Ramos left Manucho free in the area and the former Manchester United striker pounced on Alvaro Rubio's pass to open the scoring.
However, five minutes later Valladolid became the culprits of some dire defending themselves as Jose Callejon latched onto a short back pass from Omar Ramos. Combined with a slip from Marc Valiente the Madrid man was able to lay the ball on for Karim Benzema, who slotted in a simple equaliser.
Jose Mourinho's side continued to press, but their good work was undone at the midway point of the first half.
Patrick Ebert's corner was met by Manucho who out-jumped Ramos at the near post to head his side back into the lead on 22 minutes.
Madrid continued in search of an equaliser and their persistence finally paid off on the stroke of half-time as Ozil found Benzema. The striker held the ball before rolling it back to the German and his effort squeezed under goalkeeper Daniel Hernandez and into the net.
Mourinho introduced some fresh legs, one of them being Croatian midfielder Luka Modric and it seemed to galvanise his side with 18 minutes remaining.
A cheap free kick was given away by Henrique Sereno and Ozil took a short run up before bending a majestic effort towards the top corner which crashed in off the bar to make it 3-2.
And that proved enough, as Madrid picked up the three points and move to within two points of second-placed city rivals Atletico, who are scheduled to play Deportivo La Coruna on Sunday.
Surprise-packets Malaga climbed up to fourth in La Liga following their 4-0 drubbing of Granada.
After a storming start to the season, Manuel Pellegrini's side had won just one of their past six league games before Saturday's match but that all changed thanks to goals from Joaquin, Javier Saviola, Ignacio Camacho and Roque Santa Cruz.
Elsewhere on Saturday, Roberto Soldado's 56th-minute goal was enough to down Osasuna 1-0 as Ernesto Valverde's reign as Valencia manager begin on a winning note, while Real Sociedad and Getafe played out a 1-1 draw.