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Real Zaragoza 1-1 Real Madrid
31 March 2013 @ 00:21

Real Zaragoza 1-1 Real Madrid

Zaragoza: Rodri 6′

Madrid: Ronaldo 38′

Real Madrid couldn’t capitalise on Barcelona’s dropped points as they were held to a frustrating 1-1 draw away at struggling Real Zaragoza.

In what wasn’t a particularly entertaining match at La Romareda, the hosts will no doubt be the happier of the two sides as they earned a vital point in their bid to remain in La Liga.

Zaragoza started brightly and they were in front after just six minutes. After Luka Modric lost possession in midfield, the ball fortuitously found its way into the path of Rodri who still had a lot to do, but he finished superbly to give his side a shock early lead.

The visitors found it difficult to get a foothold in the game and they were fortunate not to go further behind 20 minutes in.

A poor clearance from Ronaldo found Rodri, who caused the Madrid defence an abundance of problems in the opening exchanges, but his well-struck drive from distance flew just over the bar.

This seemed to spark life into the away side who had endured an unusually flat start, and they could have equalised shortly after.

Modric floated a dangerous free-kick delivery into the box which caused havoc in the Zaragoza defence, and following a poor punch from ‘keeper Roberto, Pepe’s header was scrambled off the line by Glenn Loovens.

The home side continued to frustrate their star-studded opponents, however Madrid did find a leveller seven minutes before the break.

Pepe’s long ball forward wasn’t dealt with by the Zaragoza backline and after unselfish play from Gonzalo Higuain, Cristiano Ronaldo stumbled past a limp challenge before firing a left-footed shot into the bottom corner.

It could have got even better for Jose Mourinho’s men not long after but Michael Essien’s point-blank header was well saved by Roberto, and at the other end Diego Lopez did well to deny a decent effort from Abraham.

In truth, both teams struggled to control the match for much of the second-half, however Madrid could have turned the game on its head three minutes in but Marcelo struck the upright after Ronaldo was denied by the Zaragoza ‘keeper.

What followed was a drab period where neither side fashioned any clear-cut opportunities, although only an excellent stop from Lopez denied Zaragoza a late goal.

Pablo Montanes played an inch-perfect ball to the back post but the Real ‘keeper was equal to a close-range Helder Postiga header.

Both Ronaldo and Marcelo went close in the dying stages, however a dogged defensive display from Manolo Jiminez’s team ensured the points were deservedly shared.

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