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Isco leads Real to Malaga win as Zidane rests Ronaldo, Bale

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Madrid: Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale were both rested and Real Madrid hardly broke sweat as they beat Malaga 2-1 on Sunday to climb to third in La Liga.

Isco scored one and set up another at La Rosaleda in a comfortable victory for a much-changed Real side, following Wednesday's last-gasp Champions League win over Juventus.

Diego Rolan grabbed a consolation for Malaga with the last kick of the game but the result was never in doubt.

As well as Bale and Ronaldo, Luka Modric and Raphael Varane were left out by Zinedine Zidane, with the all-important Champions League semi-final against Bayern Munich looming next week. But Isco did his chances of a start in Germany no harm at all by bending in a free-kick that both Ronaldo and Bale would have been proud of, and then generously teeing up

Casemiro when he might easily have finished himself. After scoring his first Real goal in nine appearances against his former club, Isco held his hands up apologetically, and he enjoyed a warm reception from the Malaga fans when substituted in the second half.

Victory means Los Blancos leapfrog Valencia, who were beaten by Barcelona on Saturday, but remain four points behind Atletico Madrid in second. Malaga, meanwhile, stay bottom and are all-but doomed, sitting 14 points behind 17th-placed Levante, who had earlier been beaten 3-0 by Atletico.

Fernando Torres stole the show at the Wanda Metropolitano, marking the announcement of his Atletico departure with his 100th La Liga goal off the bench.

Six days after confirming he will be leaving his boyhood club at the end of the season, Torres rolled back the years with a volleyed finish, reminiscent of the 34-year-old in his prime.

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