First Division - Day 22

Alavés 1 - Zaragoza 0

Alavés: Herrera; Contra, Eggen, Téllez, Geli; Desio, Pablo (Azkoitia 75'); Tomic, Jordi Cruyff (Iván Alonso 75'), Astudillo; Javi Moreno (Ibon Begoña 88'). 4-2-3-1.
Zaragoza: Juanmi; Gurenko (Cuartero 82'), Aguado, Paco, Lanna; José Ignacio, Toro Acuña; Juanele, Montenegro (Yordi 62'), Vellisca; Jamelli (Ferrón 65'). 4-2-3-1.

Team changes: Alavés: Téllez, Javi Moreno for Ibon Begoña, Iván Alonso / Zaragoza: Lanna, Montenegro for Pablo, Esnaider.

1-0. 17. Jordi Cruyff. Controlled and slid past keeper after pass from Javi Moreno.

It was back to basics again for an Alavés side who had lost five of their last six games before this one. On a weekend when half the first division matches were decided by a single goal, last season's 1-0 specialists did it again against a tired looking Zaragoza. There was a slight change of script however, with Javi Moreno and Jordi Cruyff changing roles for once, Moreno the provider and Cruyff the scorer this time of the goal early in the first half. Moreno was back in the side together with Téllez after their one match ban last week, with Astudillo switching to the centre to try and cut out the ever dangerous Acuña. They were up against a Zaragoza who have only won one match away from home this season but who have been on good form recently, hitting six against Rayo Vallecano last week and qualifying for the semi-finals of the Spanish cup against Racing on Wednesday night. Their cup run had however taken it's toll, with last weekend's inspiration Juan Eduardo Esnaider out with a groin strain and Pablo once again injured.

After a minute's silence for the death of Antonio Baró, president of the professional football league, the match started in earnest. José Ignacio brought a good save out of Herrera in the first minute, and Acuña tried his luck from a long shot later on in the half. Up to half time though most of the advantage was for the home side, with Tomic and Desio both going close shortly before the break. Zaragoza's best moments came just after half time, with Herrera doing well to stop Vellisca who only had the keeper to beat. But then Alavés got back in charge, and Juanmi prevented Javi Moreno from increasing their advantage near the end. With an important UEFA cup match against Inter Milan to come on Thursday night Mané started to rest players until referee Muñiz Fernández called it a day. Alavés climb back up to the top half of the table, with Zaragoza dropping back to fourteenth some three points behind. End of story.