With a slew of second division players on the bench to help bolster troops diminished via injury Real counted out the injured Cristiano Ronaldo, the recuperating Sergio Ramos, Marcelo, Sami Khedira, and Alvaro Arbeloa, and the sanctioned Xabi Alonso. The Merengues had to play at a higher gear than expected and with a makeshift line-up to beat their relegation threatened visitors. Fortunately for the hosts the opposition was weak.
The game started with a determined Real taking it to their visitors and a very inspired Angel di Maria. After several beautiful plays including a boomer off the crossbar, di Maria played a nice give and go on the right wing with Nacho at the 28th minute, and the last past saw him inside the box and but a move away from shooting which he did easily---goal! Real 1, Almeria 0.
The routine Karim Benzema in-the-box-misses accumulated over the first half but made no difference.
At the 30th minute Pepe streaked up from defense on a breakaway and got tackled from behind ending the team’s possession; but the ref had called advantage because the ball seemed to be ricocheting Real’s way.
At the 32nd minute Fabio Coentrao escaped down the left wing got into the box and was grabbed by the arm from behind and pulled down. A clear penalty that was not called.
At the 53rd minute Gareth Bale was the recipient of a nice give and go between di Maria and Benzema and Bale smacked the ball from close in and off the interfering hand of Esteban for Real’s second goal.
At the 55th Isco is allowed to whirl and shoot from inside the box and near the goal for an easy third Real goal.
At the 84th minute Asier Illarramendi lifted a perfect pass over the defense to the cutting Alvaro Morata and the young substitute striker chested and then flipped the ball over Esteban’s outstretched arms. Real 4, Almeria 0.
This was as one sided a game as you are apt to see. The victory catapulted the Madrid side to second, leapfrogging Barcelona FC (who had earlier lost to Granada 0-1) and landing them even on points with table leaders, Atletico Madrid, who play tomorrow.