Sparta Prague 2 - Real Madrid 3
Sparta Prague: Cech;
Flachbart, Novotny, Hübschman, Labant; Sionko, Hasek (Sloncik 71'),
Jarosik, Michalik (Zalenka 52'); Kincl, Hartig (Papousek 78'). 4-4-2.
Real Madrid made it three victories out of three for Spanish sides with a 2-3 victory at Sparta Prague. Del Bosque kept the same side who defeated Sevilla at the weekend, and one assumes that this will be his first choice line up, with B team youngster Pavón firmly ensconced in the side and the 'terrible trio' of Figo, Zidane and Raúl playing behind Morientes. The Spanish international striker has finally recovered his fitness and his form, scoring twice more in this game to take his total for the last three games to five.
Sparta Prague proved in the first qualifying stage that they are not a team to be taken lightly, and they came back twice to level the scores before Madrid finally got the winner. Zidane opened the scoring with twenty minutes gone, his shot taking a deflection of Flachbart's foot and looping over the stranded keeper. Morientes gave an early warning of what was to come with a shot against the bar, but Jarosik (is that really his name?) headed wide soon afterwards. But then a mix up in the centre of Madrid's defence left Michalik free to shoot under Salgado in to the net for the equaliser.
It wasn't long though before the Spanish side were back in front, Morientes getting ahead of Hubschman to fire the ball in to the roof of the net from Salgado's cross. Once again Sparta came back, and Libor (2.5% and dropping) Sionko scored with a shot from the edge of the area, Pavón's deflection catching Casillas going the wrong way. This time the local fans only had two minutes to enjoy the goal though, with Morientes being in the right place at the right time as Cech blocked a shot from Roberto Carlos. Casillas gave his side a fright in the last minute dropping the ball at the feet of Sloncik, but the danger was cleared and Del Bosque played out time making a couple of late substitutions. It was a good start and Madrid should have no trouble going through in this group.