Malaga vs. Real Madrid: Winners and Losers from La Liga Game
Cristiano Ronaldo picked up two assists as Real Madrid edged Malaga 2-1 at La Rosaleda to win a 16th consecutive match for the first time in their history.
Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale were the beneficiaries of Ronaldo's playmaking, but the guests were made to hold their breath after Roque Santa Cruz pulled back a late goal by beating Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas with a header from Arthur Boka's cross.
Overall, there were several standout performances on the south coast of Spain, as well as some that were rather less impressive.
Following are the individual winners and losers from the contest.
Winner: Carlo Ancelotti, Who Has Guided Madrid to 16 Successive Wins
It's not just Cristiano Ronaldo who breaks records at Real Madrid.
On Saturday, Carlo Ancelotti became the first Real Madrid manager to guide the club to 16 straight victories.
Miguel Munoz and Jose Mourinho had each hit the 15-win mark, but that was where the record was set until Los Blancos beat Malaga 2-1 on Saturday.
As ESPN FC's Dermot Corrigan remarked via Twitter, it was likely the toughest game of the lot.
Loser: Malaga's Home Record, Which Chalked Up a First Loss of the Season
Malaga came into Saturday's contest without a defeat sustained at La Rosaleda so far this season.
Impressively, their home record included a win over Athletic Bilbao and a draw with Barcelona, and not once on their own patch had they conceded more than once in a single game.
All that came to an end when Real Madrid paid their annual visit.
Although the Andalusians were generally competitive and tested opposition goalkeeper Iker Casillas on seven occasions, it took them until second-half stoppage time to finally break through.
By then, Madrid had sealed the three points and committed Malaga's unbeaten home record to history.
Winner: Samu Castillejo, Who Constantly Made Things Happen for Malaga
That Real Madrid intimidate opponents simply by showing up goes without saying.
On Saturday, however, Malaga midfielder Samu Castillejo played without a trace of fear and caused the Primera Division leaders one or two problems with pace.
Madrid right-back Daniel Carvajal often struggled to contain the 19-year-old, who drew numerous fouls by attacking with speed.
Spanish outlet AS opined on Twitter that Castillejo was making things happen with the ball at his feet. With a little more help from the rest of his team-mates, Castillejo may have been able to salvage a point for his club.
Winner: Cristiano Ronaldo, Who Set Up Both Madrid Goals
Cristiano Ronaldo remains three goals shy of 200 in La Liga after being kept off the scoresheet at Malaga.
The Real Madrid attacker did, however, contribute a pair of assists, as Real Madrid prevailed 2-1 at La Rosaleda and posted a club record 16th win in succession.
In the 18th minute, after teasing Malaga defender Roberto Rosales, the Portugal captain burst forward and delivered the ball across the face of goal to Karim Benzema, who required just a single touch to send it into the back of the net.
Then, with seven minutes remaining, Ronaldo cutely flicked the ball with his head into the path of Gareth Bale, and the Welshman ran at the Malaga defense before finishing confidently past goalkeeper Carlos Kameni.
Loser: Inaki Bikandi Garrido, Whose Refereeing Performance Was Incredibly Poor
Inaki Bikandi Garrido will be looking to put his Saturday performance in the past as quickly as possible.
The referee was generally poor at La Rosaleda, both in his penalty decisions and liberal use of his yellow card.
Just prior to the half-hour mark, Sergio Ramos should have won a spot-kick for Real Madrid when he was clearly pulled back by Malaga defender Weligton. And shortly after the restart, Weligton committed another penalty offense when he brought down Gareth Bale just inside the 18-yard box.
Garrido, however, allowed the centre-back to get away with both offenses.
He also produced a nonsensical second yellow card to Isco in the final minutes that resulted in the Madrid playmaker's ejection.
It wouldn't be at all surprising if Los Blancos appealed the second booking.
Winner: Carlos Kameni, Who Kept Malaga in with a Shout
Carlos Kameni was nothing short of spectacular between the sticks on Saturday. If not for the goalkeeper's heroics, Malaga would surely have been on the end of a hiding.
The Cameroon international made his first highlight-reel save in the 12th minute when he denied Cristiano Ronaldo from in close. He also did exceptionally well to prevent the Madrid talisman scoring in the 76th minute when he got a hand up to stop the 29-year-old at point-blank range.
He also made Gareth Bale wait for his goal, rushing off his line late in the first half to smother Ronaldo's through-ball that would have put the Welshman in the clear.
Overall, Kameni made seven saves at La Rosaleda, many of which were sensational.