[QODLink]
Football

Deportivo make Real Madrid sweat

Real are put under pressure by bottom dwellers Deportivo after fielding a weakened side in preparation for King's Cup.
Last Modified: 23 Feb 2013 21:44
Jose Mourinho (L) rested a few legs in anticipation of team's King's Cup semi-final clash with Barcelona [EPA]

Kaka and Gonzalo Higuain scored late goals as Real Madrid came from behind to win 2-1 at basement team Deportivo La Coruna in La Liga on Saturday.

Real clearly had their minds on the King's Cup semi-final second leg at holders Barcelona on Tuesday, after the opening game finished 1-1, and fielded a weakened side at the Riazor.

It was only after Cristiano Ronaldo, Mesut Ozil and Sami Khedira went on as substitutes in the 57th minute that Jose Mourinho's side started to look dangerous and they went on to take their points tally to 52 from 25 games.

Real are 13 points behind leaders Barcelona, who were hosting Sevilla later on Saturday, and one behind second-placed Atletico Madrid who entertain Espanyol on Sunday.

The champions were without the suspended Sergio Ramos and the injured Xabi Alonso, Karim Benzema and Rafael Varane and appeared disjointed in the first half.

A hard-running Depor team, despite five consecutive defeats going into the match, were dangerous on the break and from one such move Riki beat Diego Lopez at his near post with a powerful low drive in the 34th minute.

Real were reeling as Marcelo headed a Pizzi effort off the line, Riki swept a shot past the post and Lopez denied Bruno Gama with a flying save.

After coach Mourinho made his triple substitution, the visitors upped their game and Brazil's Kaka swept in the equaliser with a curling shot from outside the area in the 73rd minute.

Kaka also featured in the second goal, playing Ronaldo into the area and he squared for Argentine striker Higuain to roll the ball home in the 88th minute.

Real finished with 10 men after Angel Di Maria collected two yellow cards in the same incident as he held up a Depor free kick at the end.

Valencia fightback 

Earlier, Brazilian striker Jonas scored twice as Valencia rallied from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 at Real Zaragoza and move up to fifth with 41 points.

They are one point behind fourth-placed Malaga who visit Real Betis on Sunday.

Valencia, who trail Paris St Germain 2-1 after the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie, were undone twice in the first 32 minutes at the Romareda with Portugal striker Helder Postiga causing them all kinds of problems.

Apono netted from the penalty spot after Postiga was brought down in the area in the fifth minute.

Postiga then nodded the second after Apono had fired in a free kick.

The visitors found a lifeline when Jonas turned in Aly Cissokho's low cross in the 36th minute and, as Zaragoza tired, the same player volleyed the ball in at the back post after a free kick was headed across the goal in the 69th.

Valencia then hit the crossbar and Zaragoza had reserve goalkeeper Leo Franco sent off for handling outside the area, leaving youth-team keeper Pablo Alcolea to hold the fort for a tense last 13 minutes.

Struggling Real Mallorca slumped to a 3-1 defeat at home to Getafe despite Giovani Dos Santos's outstanding 24th-minute opener as they conceded three times in the last 20 minutes to stay second from bottom.

506

Source:
Reuters
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
The new military government has issued warnings that it will soon start to clampdown on immigration offenders.
As Snowden awaits Russian visa renewal, the world mulls role of NSA and expects more revelations from document trove.
A handful of agencies that provide tours to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea say business is growing.
A political power struggle masquerading as religious strife grips Nigeria - with mixed-faith couples paying the price.
The current surge in undocumented child migrants from Central America has galvanized US anti-immigration groups.
join our mailing list