First Division - Day 7

Deportivo La Coruña 2 - Barcelona 1

Deportivo: Molina; Héctor, Donato, Naybet, Romero; Duscher, Sergio; Makaay (Víctor 40'), Valerón (Emerson 81'), Fran; Diego Tristán (Pandiani 69'). 4-2-3-1.
Barcelona: Bonano; Gabri, Puyol, Frank De Boer, Reiziger Fernando 51'); Luis Enrique, Xavi, Cocu; Geovanni, Alfonso (Trashorras 69'); Kluivert. 4-3-2-1.

Team changes: Deportivo: Duscher, Sergio, Fran, Diego Tristán for Mauro Silva, Emerson, Scaloni, Amavisca / Barcelona: Gabri, Reiziger, Alfonso for Andersson, Sergi, Saviola.

0-1. 37. Kluivert. Rounded Molina and shot in from angle after Luis Enrique pass.
1-1. 50. Fran. Took pass in from Romero and beat Bonano on near post.
2-1. 68. Fran. Controlled Víctor's chipped pass from right and shot into net.

Deportivo La Coruña came back from behind for the sixth time in a row to beat a depleted Barcelona side 2-1. With only ten first team squad outfield players available the Barcelona side picked itself, with Reiziger and Alfonso both passing late fitness tests and coming in after long periods out through injury. Five of Barcelona's youngster Fernando, Oleguer, Motta, Trashorras and Nano were on the bench together with number two keeper Reina. Deportivo were missing the injured Mauro Silva, and Irureta played Makaay out on the right wing in an attacking line up.

Barcelona had the better start, with Naybet close to putting through his own net after deflecting a cross against his own post and Xavi bringing a good save out of Molina from a free kick. Depor were missing right back Manuel Pablo, and the first goal came down his wing when Luis Enrique put through Kluivert for him to around the advancing Molina and shoot into the empty net. Diego Tristán missed an easy header at the other end, and then Depor lost Makaay who limped off with a hamstring injury just before half time.

It was a different game after the break though, and Depor equalised within five minutes after Romero pulled down a long ball from midfield into Fran's path for him to drive a shot wide of Bonano. It was the first goal the Barça keeper had let past him in five games, but Fran did it again a quarter of an hour later, this time after Víctor took Valerón's through ball and laid it across from the by-line for the veteran captain to blast it home. Rexach brought on two of his youngsters Fernando Navarro and Roberto Trashorras for the tired Reiziger and Alfonso, but Depor shut up shop and to take the three points and move level with their opponents at the top of the table pending Sunday's matches.