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AS.com | 09/12/2012
Half of all the goals Real Madrid have conceded this season have come from set pieces.
The two goals that Manucho put past Iker Casillas for Valladolid on Saturday took the total amount of goals 'Los Blancos' have let in this term from dead ball situations to 11, out of a total of 22 goals.
Six of these goals have come in the league, three in the Champions League and one each in the Copa del Rey and the Supercopa de España.
The first goal Madrid conceded this season, in their opening league game against Valencia, came from a set piece, with Casillas being too slow in coming out to punch a free-kick, with Jonas arriving first to head into the back of the net.
Then Messi scored a superb free-kick in in the second leg of the Supercopa at the Bernabéu, Juan Valera headed in a free-kick for Getafe to cancel out Gonzalo Higuaín's opening goal and Getafe went on to win the game 2-1, the result giving Barcelona a five point lead in the table after just two games.
Poor defending from set pieces was also to blame for Madrid's second defeat in the league, with Trochowski scoring the only goal in the Sánchez Pizjuán to give Sevilla a 1-0 win.
Madrid also conceded goals from set pieces against Ajax and Manchester City in the Champions League, with Moisander striking from a corner and Kolarov scoring straight from a free-kick, but Madrid won both games regardless.
It was then that Madrid - and especially Casillas - began their obsession with set pieces, with Santi Cazorla's late equaliser for Málaga and Senna's goal for Villarreal from last season, both from free-kicks, still fresh in the memory.
Messi scored another free-kick against Madrid in October, this time in the league, as did Lara for Alocoyano in the first leg of the Copa del Rey. Madrid then seemed to have improved in this area, with Kun Agüero's penalty for Manchester City the only goal they conceded from a set piece in November, but Manucho's double on Saturday awoke the ghost again.
Luckily for Madrid, they could rely on Mesut Özil's own magic from free-kicks, meaning they did not pay for their mistakes.