|First Division - Day 13|
Real Madrid 2 - Sevilla 1
Casillas; Michel Salgado, Hierro, Pavón, Roberto Carlos; Iván
Helguera, Makelele; Figo (McManaman 72'), Zidane, Raúl; Morientes
(Munitis 70'). 4-2-3-1.
Team changes: Madrid: Michel Salgado, Roberto Carlos, Makelele, Zidane for Geremi, Raúl Bravo, Celades, McManaman / Sevilla: Reyes for Olivera.
Two goals from Morientes gave Real Madrid a much needed victory at home to Sevilla on one of the three games brought forward to Saturday night. Their eleventh position before this match started was the lowest they had ever been at this stage of the competition, and although nobody has been questioning the continuity of Vicente Del Bosque up to now, the manager needed a win under his belt to relieve the pressure. For once he was able to count on an almost full strength side, with Zidane and Makelele returning from international duty with France and Roberto Carlos finally pronounced fit after a longer than expected injury, and he decided not to spare anybody despite the upcoming Champions League match in Prague next Wednesday.
Madrid came out determined to lay the ghost, and with Zidane playing probably his best game since joining the club, the visitors did not get a look in during most of the first half. Referee Rodríguez Santiago disallowed a goal by Figo for offside and Raúl hit the bar in the home side's numerous attacks, and with the crowd starting to get nervous Morientes finally forced the ball past Notario after Zidane and Raúl combined to set him up. Twelve minutes later the striker scored his second from a confident solo run, and the fans were as much relieved for the return to form of their only specialist centre forward than for the cushion that gave them in the game. True they slackened off after that and let Sevilla back in the game, with Moisés pulling one back with fifteen minutes to go, but as Placido Domingo's voice boomed out of the speakers singing the new centenary song, the feeling of joy was back in the stadium. The victory took them up temporarily to fifth, ending the weekend in seventh within a point of the UEFA spots. Sevilla are two points behind in eleventh, and may feel that with a bit more effort in the last few minutes they could have walked away with a point.