Mourinho defiant as Real slip 16 points off Barca

Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho was under renewed pressure on Saturday after his team lost 3-2 at Malaga, a defeat which left the champions 16 points behind leaders Barcelona.

The disappointment was compounded by Mourinho's controversial decision to drop goalkeeper and captain Iker Casillas from the starting line-up.

It was the first time in 10 years that the Spanish World Cup winner had been axed with 25-year-old Antonio Adan called up to take the place of the benched veteran.

Isco and Roque Santa Cruz, with a double, grabbed the goals for Malaga.

Madrid did level at 1-1 with an own-goal by Samuel Sanchez and Karim Benzema made it 3-2 eight minutes from time, but the home side clung on to celebrate their first win over Real in 29 years.

Malaga's win left the Costa del Sol club in fourth, two points behind Madrid on 31 points while Atletico Madrid, who beat Celta Vigo 1-0 on Friday, are second, nine points behind Barcelona.

Barca had earlier won 3-1 at Valladolid, a timely boost for cancer-stricken coach Tito Vilanova who left hospital Saturday 48 hours after undergoing surgery to remove a tumour in his saliva gland.

Mourinho was adamant that he would not quit the Real hotseat.

"I'm not worried about my job at all and I'm not going to resign," said the Portuguese, who justified his decision to axe Casillas.

"At the moment, for me and my coaching staff, Adan is better than Iker. We have been struggling in a number of areas, one of those has been defence. The coach analyses who is in the best situation to play and chooses his team."

Isco opened the scoring for Malaga after 48 minutes with a well-placed shot from just outside the area, that Adan could do nothing about, after Joaquin Sanchez had found space on the left.

Mourinho brought on Kaka on 63 minutes and his side equalised immediately when the Brazilian's cross caused chaos in the home defence and Sanchez turned the ball into his own goal.

However Malaga's attacking play was justly rewarded with two further goals, both from the same source.

On 72 minutes, Joaquin's clever back-heel found ex-Manchester City forward Santa Cruz, who had replaced former Real star Javier Saviola, in front of goal and three minutes later the Paraguayan finished well from a clever Joaquin pass.

Benzema gave Madrid hope but Mourinho's side never looked like getting anything from the game in the closing stages.

Xavi Hernandez, Lionel Messi and Cristian Tello steered La Liga leaders Barcelona to victory at Valladolid.

Jordi Roura took charge of Barca in the absence of the 44-year-old Vilanova who will be out of the game for a number of months to undergo radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

The win allowed Barcelona to finish 2012 with with 16 wins in 17 games this season, the 2-2 home draw with Real Madrid being the only game in which Barca have dropped points.

"The result could not be more satisfying. We have ended the year very well in a sporting sense and if we add to this the good news about Tito, we can be very happy", said Roura.

"The only way we had to help him was winning the game and, once again, the team's attitude has been remarkable."

Alexis Sanchez should have opened the scoring as early as the fifth minute, but after running onto a Dani Alves pass, he shot wide with the goal at his mercy.

Valladolid goalkeeper Dani Hernandez was called into action on 11 minutes to stop a shot from Messi and Xavi went close with a curling free-kick after 26 minutes.

Messi hit a free-kick against the post on 35 minutes after centre-half Henrique Sereno had blocked Thiago Alcantara on the edge of the area.

Barca took the lead with three minutes of the half remaining when a quick attack saw Messi find full-back Jordi Alba in an advanced position on the left and his cross left Xavi with the easiest of finishes.

Messi doubled the lead with a stunning goal on the hour mark.

The Argentine put the ball through a defender's legs during a driving run before hitting a crisp left-footed shot into the corner to finish 2012 on a staggering 91 goals.

The capacity 26,500 crowd sportingly applauded Andres Iniesta onto the pitch as a late substitute before Javi Guerra gave the home side a late consolation from close range.

But substitute Tello made it three for Barca with his only touch of the game in injury time.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Catholics organize to promote pope's climate change message

    NEW YORK (AP) — There will be prayer vigils and pilgrimages, policy briefings and seminars, and sermons in parishes from the U.S. to the Philippines. …

  • Forgotten for decades, fallen NY soldier finally honored
    Forgotten for decades, fallen NY soldier finally honored

    ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Carroll Heath didn't have it easy growing up in the Great Depression. His father wasn't around, his mother was a patient in a mental hospital and he kept largely to himself. Soon after graduating high school, he enlisted in the Army and wound up in the Philippines, where he's believed to have died sometime in 1942. …

  • APEC ministers to endorse Boracay Action Agenda
    APEC ministers to endorse Boracay Action Agenda

    Trade ministers at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting in Boracay, Aklan agreed yesterday to endorse the proposed Boracay Action Agenda to the member countries’ leaders, presenting opportunities for global trade for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). In a press conference following the conclusion of the APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade Meeting, Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo, who also served as chairman, said ministers agreed to recommend the adoption of the …

  • Talks with China over sea row urged
    Talks with China over sea row urged

    The Philippines should engage China in bilateral talks in its efforts to maintain peace and order at the disputed West Philippine Sea, Sen. Francis Escudero said yesterday. Escudero supports the government’s move to bring the issue before international arbitration but also stressed the need for the Philippines to pursue talks with China. Escudero made the statement after UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Friday called for a peaceful solution to territorial disputes in the South China Sea. …

  • House panel tackles bill on regular disaster drills
    House panel tackles bill on regular disaster drills

    The House committee on national defense is deliberating on a measure mandating the regular conduct of disaster risk reduction drills in educational institutions nationwide. Authored by Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando Andaya Jr., the bill mandates that risk reduction drills be held annually in all educational institutions throughout the country in coordination with the schools’ respective local government units. “The Philippines’ location along the Pacific Ring of Fire and close to the equator …

  • PCSO running out of funds
    PCSO running out of funds

    Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) chairman Ireneo Maliksi has admitted that the revenue-generating agency is running out of funds as it continues with its mandate to provide financial assistance to indigent Filipinos. Aside from providing financial help to individual recipients, Maliksi cited at least 13 laws that mandates the PCSO to provide mandatory contribution to different government agencies. Just last week, PCSO released P100 million to the Commission on Higher Education as …

  • Cops receive mid-year bonus
    Cops receive mid-year bonus

    Active duty uniformed and non-uniformed personnel of the Philippine National Police (PNP)have received their mid-year bonuses. The PNP has released P1.9 billion for the mid-year bonus of the 155,000 active duty uniformed and non-uniformed personnel. The Directorate for Comptrollership released P1,933,664,893.50 through the Finance Service and subsequently credited to the individual ATM payroll accounts of active duty uniformed and non-uniformed personnel. …

  • APEC trade chiefs vow to speed up work in WTO

    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Trade ministers from 21 Asia-Pacific countries on Sunday issued strong support to the World Trade Organization's efforts to boost global trade amid a flurry of regional free trade agreements. …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options