Lokomotiv Moscow 2 - Real Madrid 0
Nigmatulline; Sennikov, Chugainov (Obradovic 23'), Cherevtchenko (Drozdov
78'), Ignashevik, Lekseto; Loskov, Maminov, Izmailov; Pimenov Buznikin (Obiorah
A depleted Real Madrid side lost a fairly meaningless match to Lokomotiv Moscow on a cold wet night in Russia. With one eye on next Sunday's league game against Barcelona and only the prize money to play for, Del Bosque left his big name players at home and included no less than eight B team players in the squad. Miñambres, Pavón and Raúl Bravo all lined up in the back four together with Iván Helguera, who was just back from injury, and Valdo, Aranda and Rubén came on for the last half an hour.
Madrid started well, with Munitis hitting the post in the first quarter of an hour after the keeper had saved an effort from Morientes, and Solari shooting just wide. However Buznikin gave the home side the lead before the interval, getting ahead of the defence to touch on Loskov's free kick, and Cherevtchenko added a second soon after the restart after the defence failed to clear. With six Madrid youngsters on the park Lokomotiv almost made it three, Miñambres clearing off the line from Izmailov and César saved from Pimenov in the last minute.
The Russian side's victory takes them through to a place in the UEFA cup as the third placed team. Madrid head the group and will go in to Friday's draw as one of the top seeds, and can now concentrate on the upcoming league fixtures thankful that there were no additions to their injury list. They did have a scare though on the way home, their plane having to return to Moscow airport after a large bird (probably a goose) flew into one of the motors on take off. There were a nervous twenty minutes before they landed, and players such as Helguera, well known for his fear of flying, may be affected for the big match on Sunday. Final group placings: Real Madrid 13 points; Roma 9 points; Lokomotiv 7 points; Anderlecht 3 points.