Manuel Labor reports.....
First Division
Second Division
European Competitions
International Matches
First Division - Day Thirteen

Atlético de Madrid 1 - Deportivo de La Coruña 3

Atlético: Molina; Gaspar, Santi, Gustavo, Toni; Aguilera, Bejbl, Baraja, Solari; José Mari, Hasselbaink. 4-4-2.
Deportivo: Kouba; Manuel Pablo, Donato, Naybet, Romero; Jaime, Flavio; Víctor, Djalminha, Turu Flores; Makaay. 4-2-3-1.

Deportivo maintained their position at the top of the table with a comfortable victory against a poor Atlético team. With Madrid's key defenders Chamot and Gamarra injured, Deportivo were able to do what they liked, and by half time they were already winning by three goals. Roy Makaay, back in the side after an injury to Pauleta, took advantage to score twice in a three minute period half way through the first half, the first after a dribble through the defence and the second following a pass from Djalminha. Víctor, who caused constant problems for the home side, added the third just before half time with a shot across the goal from Flavio's pass. Atlético's only reply was a shot against the crossbar by Hasselbaink late in the first half. At half time the white handkerchiefs were out, as the home fans expressed their dissatisfaction. Things were however a bit better in the second half. and ten minutes in Baraja reduced the gap with a shot from outside of the area which deflected off a defender past Czech keeper Kouba (playing for the first time in two years in place of the suspended Songo'o). Deportivo went on the defensive, putting on Fernando in place of Makaay, leaving Turu alone up front. With this defeat, Atlético drop back down to within a point of the relegation area, and Ranieri must be hoping that Kiko returns to the side as soon as possible. The international striker is back in full training after over one year on the sidelines. Deportivo keep their top spot, ahead of fellow Gallicians Celta on goal average.

Celta 1 Real - Madrid 0

Celta: Dutruel; Velasco, Cáceres, Djorovic, Juanfran; Makelele, Celades; Karpin, Mostovoi, Gustavo López; McCarthy. 4-2-3-1.
Real Madrid: Bizzarri; Iván Campo, Karembeu, Julio César, Roberto Carlos; Geremi, Sanchis, Helguera, Seedorf; Savio, Raúl. 4-4-2.

Celta rounded off one of their best weeks ever, beating Real Madrid by a single goal after their seven nil thrashing of Benfica midweek. Víctor Fernández only made two changes from the team that played midweek, bringing back McCarthy in attack for Turdó, who was nursing an injury, and Celades in midfield in place of Giovanella. Del Bosque was without Morientes, suspended, and Michel Salgado, injured, and brought in Geremi and Iván Campo. Anelka should probably have played in attack, but the unsettled striker claimed that he was suffering from a knee injury and asked not to be included in the squad. In the end Del Bosque insisted on the player travelling to Vigo in order to integrate with the other players, although he took no part in the match. With so many injuries the squad was made up by two B team players Meca and Sestelo, with the former making his debut in place of Julio César late in the second half. The only goal of the match came in the 38th minute from Celades (his first for his new club) after a move in which Mostovoi, Karpin and Gustavo López were all involved, his shot taking a slight deflection off Iván Campo. Del Bosque changed Geremi for Eto'o at half time but they were unable to break down a well organised defence, and the Vigo side took the three points. Revivo returned to the side, replacing Gustavo López fifteen minutes from the end, and Karpin was booked near the end and misses Celta's next match at Numancia. Real Madrid move further down the table to eleventh, but with sides so close together in the table they are only three points above 18th placed Oviedo. Their victory against Kiev in the Champions League has relieved pressure momentarily, but Del Bosque needs a victory in the league to consolidate his position in charge of the team.

Next page
Cover page