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Spanish Primera BBVA

Municipal de Riazor (ATT 27,000) 23rd February 2013 - Kick off 19:00 Ref: A Alvarez Izquierdo

Deportivo Deportivo La Coruna vs Real Madrid R Madrid

Deportivo 1

Riki (35)


R Madrid 2

Kaka (73)
G Higuain (88)
A di Maria (S/O 90)

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Real Madrid leave it late

Last Updated: 23/02/13 10:10pm

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Higuain celebrates his late winner

Higuain celebrates his late winner

Gonzalo Higuain scored an 88th-minute winner as Real Madrid came from a goal down to sneak past a 2-1 win at Deportivo La Coruna.

The hosts, bottom of the Primera Division, took the attack to a slightly weakened Madrid side, with Luis Pizzi and Riki causing problems before the latter broke the deadlock 10 minutes before the interval.

Depor had several chances to extend their lead but were made to rue some poor finishing when Kaka equalised in the 73rd minute, while Higuain sealed victory for the visitors two minutes from time.

Angel Di Maria was then given his marching orders in the 90th minute after picking up two bookings, but it mattered little to the result.

Jose Mourinho took the opportunity to rest several first-team stars ahead of Tuesday's Copa del Rey clash with Barcelona, while a Champions League last-16 second leg at Manchester United is looming large on the horizon.

The most notable absentee was Cristiano Ronaldo, who cut an imposing figure from the bench but could only watch on as his side were outplayed in the first half by the side coming into the game at the foot of the table.

Deportivo came out all guns blazing and Madrid goalkeeper Diego Lopez looked rather shaky, spilling Riki's fierce effort before defender Pepe cleared the danger.

Mourinho's men were lacking a cutting edge up front but the hosts looked vibrant and Pizzi narrowly missed the target having cut in from the right.

But Depor would break the deadlock in the 35th minute when Riki latched on to Pizzi's pass, cut in-between defensive duo Ricardo Carvalho and Pepe before beating Lopez at his near post.

Any thoughts the hosts would sit back and try to protect their lead were dismissed when Pizzi cut past Pepe before curling over Lopez only for full-back Marcelo to spare his team's blushes and head off the line.

Riki then twisted and turned past Carvalho, with his shot narrowly missing Lopez's right hand post while Madrid's goalkeeper also had to deny Portuguese winger Bruno Gama's fizzing strike before the interval.

Madrid were in all likelihood grateful for the half-time whistle to stop the Depor onslaught and they emerged energised when they came back out, with Callejon heading wide and Marcelo's goalbound strike blocked in the box.

Perhaps sensing an opening, Mourinho made a triple substitution as Ronaldo, Mesut Ozil and Sami Khedira entered the fray.

Madrid's star player made an immediate impact, slotting through for Higuain who thought he had drawn his side level when he netted, but the Argentinian had been flagged offside.

The visitors were certainly on top, however, and deservedly levelled matters when Kaka fired low into the net from just outside the area in the 73rd minute.

With the bit between their teeth, Madrid went in search of a winner and Ronaldo leapt in front of his marker but could only head narrowly wide.

But the Portugal international would play a key role to help his side snatch victory in the 88th minute, collecting the ball from Kaka and squaring for Higuain, who was left with the simplest of tap-ins.

Madrid's night was slightly soured by Di Maria's sending off in the final minute, the winger perhaps harshly given his second booking for not advancing 10 yards at a set piece.

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Spanish Primera BBVA

Spanish Primera BBVA
Pos Team P Pts
1 Barcelona 38 94
2 Real Madrid 38 92
3 Atletico Madrid 38 78
4 Valencia 38 77
5 Sevilla 38 76
6 Villarreal 38 60
7 Athletic Bilbao 38 55
8 Celta Vigo 38 51
9 Malaga 38 50
10 Espanyol 38 49
11 Rayo Vallecano 38 49
12 Real Sociedad 38 46
13 Elche 38 41
14 Levante 38 37
15 Getafe 38 37
16 Deportivo La Coruna 38 35
17 Granada 38 35
18 Eibar 38 35
19 Almeria 38 32
20 Cordoba 38 20