Real Madrid defeated Malaga 2-0 Saturday in its best performance of this year's Spanish-league season, getting second-half goals from Angel di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo.
With an attack centered on the trio of Di Maria, Ronaldo and Alvaro Morata, the Blancos heaped plenty of pressure on Malaga in the first half at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium but it did not translate into goals.
Effective offside trapping by Malaga was a key to keeping Real Madrid off the scoreboard early on, with the powerhouse side being caught in an incorrect position on six occasions.
Ronaldo also was unable to put home a few scoring chances he normally converts, including misconnecting on a header off a corner kick.
But Real Madrid opened the scoring one minute into the second half when Di Maria got his head on a cross and directed the ball past Malaga goalkeeper Willy Caballero.
Although Real Madrid also got a second goal when Ronaldo converted a penalty in injury time, the Argentine net minder was mainly responsible for keeping the score respectable.
With the win, Real Madrid now has 22 points in this year's La Liga season and trails first-place Barcelona and Atletico Madrid by two points. EFE