|First Division - Day 2|
Racing Santander 0 - Deportivo de La Coruña 3
Tais, Arzeno, Mellberg, Sietes; Manjarín (Estévez 46'), Espina,
Colsa (Vivar Dorado 67'), Amavisca; Bestchastnykh, Rushfeldt (Morán
Team changes: Racing: None / Deportivo: Helder, Scaloni, Valerón for Donato, Víctor, Djalminha.
Deportivo won only their second away league match of the year and their first in six months to move back up to the top of the table. The league champions were undefeated at home, but paradoxically had one of the worst away records in the first division. They finally laid the ghost to rest against a poor Racing side who, on this performance, are going to have a difficult season. Their last two signings, Jaime and Julio Álvarez, arrived too late to be included in the side (Jaime couldn't play anyway as part of his loan agreement with Depor), so Goiko kept the same line up that came back to win a point in San Sebastian last week. He will however lose one of his key defenders next week, as the disciplinary committee has decided to suspend Arzeno for six games after his elbow on Jankauskas last week (see match report). Racing have 10 days to appeal.
Irureta gave Valerón his first start after his good performance in the Champions League midweek, and the Spanish international midfielder paid his manager back with the first goal of the game. Valerón was one of three changes to the Deportivo side, with Helder and Scaloni coming in as Irureta rests players for next Tuesday's European game. A goal behind, Racing came out strongly in the second half, with Rushfeldt heading over with only the keeper to beat. However five minutes later referee Ramirez Domínguez (making his debut in the first division) sent off Racing's Txema for a foul on Emerson and Racing's challenge died. But just to make sure, Manuel Pablo scored his first goal in the first division with a brilliant shot which left Ceballos clutching at air. After that it was just a question of playing the game out, and Fran wrapped it up at the end after Racing's Estévez and Bestchastnykh wasted chances. César Sampaio came on for Emerson in the second half, making his debut for his new club, and he looks like a good addition to the squad. Deportivo certainly need all the players they can get, with a frenetic rhythm of games ahead of them. Right now they have made a good start, and who's to say they won't win the league championship again?