Madrid fail to ward off Malaga

Madrid fail to ward off Malaga

Santi Cazorla hammered a superb last-minute free-kick into the top corner to earn Malaga a surprise 1-1 draw at leaders Real Madrid in La Liga on Sunday.

Real moved on to 71 points with 11 matches left to play but after 11 straight victories saw their lead cut to eight points, champions Barcelona having beaten Sevilla 2-0 away on Saturday.

Karim Benzema had headed Real in front after 35 minutes but the visitors refused to crumble under some intense pressure and Spain international Cazorla grabbed a deserved equaliser in time added on.

Real came out wearing shirts in support of Barcelona's Eric Abidal, who is set to have a liver transplant, and Bolton Wanderers midfielder Fabrice Muamba, who collapsed after suffering a cardiac arrest during a game in England on Saturday.

Malaga matched the hosts in a high-tempo opening until France striker Benzema arrived unmarked at the back post to nod in Cristiano Ronaldo's cross. Earlier, striker Roberto Soldado scored a hat-trick as Valencia ran out 3-0 winners at Europa League rivals Athletic Bilbao to strengthen their hold on third place.

Ten-man Real Mallorca overcame Atletico 2-1 at home, the match turning in a crazy 10 minutes at the start of the second half. Atletico's Diego Godin put into his own net in the 47th, Michael Pereira doubled the lead two minutes later and the islanders had defender Ivan Ramis sent off for handball in the 53rd.

Mallorca's Dudu Aouate saved the ensuing penalty from Radamel Falcao, though the Colombia striker responded with an outstanding lob to pull one back for the visitors in the 66th.

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