Higuain Steals Victory for Real against Sporting Gijon
Real Madrid left it late against Sporting Gijon at the Estadio Municipal El Molinón in Gijon, but had Gonzalo Higuain to thank as he pounced on an error from the excellent Juan Pablo with ten minutes remaining.
The hosts started the match brightly and were not afraid to attack Real Madrid but this ploy was soon worked out by Madrid who began to threaten on the counter attack and it wasn’t long until they made their first real chance when Gonzalo Higuain hit the post after being put through by Angel Di Maria.
Ozil then blasted over from 8 yards when it seemed easier to score.
Sporting to their credit were not intimidated and created a magnificent chance of their own when Diego Castro crossed from the left after a brilliant run down the same flank. He found Carmelo but the striker didn’t catch the ball fully from the edge of the six yard box and a great chance was wasted.
As the half wore on chances became a rarity though Nacho Novo did try a 40 yard lob on Iker Casillas but as you would expect the Spain international was more than equal to the effort.
Then just before the break Sangoy had a cross cut out by Ricardo Carvalho and luckily for the visitors the Portuguese was in the correct position as Carmelo was waiting to put Sporting ahead, but as a result of some brilliant defensive work by Carvalho the teams went in level at the break.
However after a fairly quiet opening period, the second half started with Real throwing everything at Sporting and they created a couple of opportunities just after the restart with Higuain the recipient of them both, with Juan Pablo producing a spectacular save to deny the striker then he strayed offside as he headed home from a corner.
Real had come out a completely different side and were not giving Sporting any time on the ball , though they seemed a bit eager to get the ball into the final third and as a result gave away possession too easily on occasions.
An end to end match ensued with Higuain being denied once more by Juan Pablo after poor positioning from Gregory gave the forward space to run into. But at the other end Sangoy was inches away from putting the home side ahead as his low shot shaved the far left post as he came in from the right.
Juan Pablo was on fire as he repelled Real time and time again in the second period. Higuain, Marcelo and Karim Benzema all having efforts wonderfully saved by the goalkeeper.
But his luck soon ran out when Benzema got on the end of a Sergio Ramos cross to head into the ground but Juan Pablo who was having an excellent game, spilled the ball straight into the path of Higuain who tapped in from close range.
Just as the game was about to end Botia was sent off for a high late challenge on Cristiano Ronaldo as frustrations bubbled over.
The result puts Real Madrid back on top of La Liga, one point ahead of rivals Barcelona, while Sporting Gijon drop to seventeenth one point above the relegation zone.
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