First Division - Day 2

Betis 1 - Real Madrid 0 (match suspended)

Betis: Prats; Varela, Juanito; Rivas, Luis Fernández; Arzu, Marcos Assunçao; Joaquín, Capi, Denilson; Alfonso. 4-2-3-1.
Real Madrid: Casillas; Salgado, Hierro, Iván Helguera, Roberto Carlos; Makelele, Cambiasso; Figo, Zidane, Raúl; Morientes. 4-2-3-1.

Team changes: Betis: No change / Madrid: Morientes for Guti.

1-0. 32. Capi. Picked up ball after Hierro failed to clear and shot low past Casillas.

Scandal in the Ruiz de Lopera stadium in Sevilla, where the match between Betis and Real Madrid had to be abandoned two minutes before half time due to a floodlight failure. A capacity crowd turned up for the first time in years after the spectacular victory over Deportivo in the opening game, but they were forced to sit in darkness for a quarter of an hour before the match could start. The game got under way for a few minutes, but referee Fernández Marín stopped it again when the lights started to flicker. A three minute break and they were off again, but possible due to the constant stoppages neither side really got going.

Eventually though Betis broke the ice, Capi latching on to a forced clearance by Hierro to drill a low shot wide of Casillas. Madrid started to come back, but then the lights went again and after another long period in the dark both sides decided to call the game off. Under Spanish league rules the game must be rescheduled to start at minute 43, when play was abandoned, with the score as it stands at 1-0 in favour of Betis.

The problem though is finding a date, and with European competitions coming up for both sides that is not so easy. The most likely date though is around 16th October, a few days before Spain play their friendly with Paraguay, if players from both sides can persuade their respective international managers to leave them free to do so.

Betis 1 - Real Madrid 1 (remaining 47 minutes)

Betis: Prats; Varela, Juanito, Arzu, Luis Fernández; Ito, Marcos Assunçao; Joaquín, Capi, Denilson; Alfonso. 4-2-3-1.
Real Madrid: Casillas; Salgado, Hierro, Iván Helguera, Roberto Carlos; Makelele, Cambiasso; Guti (Solari 87'), Zidane, Raúl (McManaman 75'); Ronaldo. 4-2-3-1.

1-1. 51. Raúl. Beat Prats after Arzu failed to clear Roberto Carlos cross in.

The rest of the match postponed from day two was played on 8th October, with Real Madrid coming back from a goal down to draw 1-1. The game was suspended three weeks ago after 43 minutes of play due to a floodlight failure after Capi had put the home side in front. Real Madrid drafted Ronaldo in for the injured Figo, with Guti playing in place of Morientes, and Betis replaced the injured Rivas with Ito. The referee changed too, Fernández Marín not being fit to continue and Iturralde González taking over.

The game restarted with a bounce-up, with the remaining two minutes of the first half to be played first, and then the second half without any break in between. And it was a frenetic start, with Assunçao going close at one end and Zidane hitting the bar at the other before the change of ends.

Raúl had passed a last minute fitness test to play, and six minutes into the second half he got on the end of a Roberto Carlos cross to level the scores. After that it was six of one and half a dozen of the other, and a point apiece was a fair result. Madrid move ahead of Málaga to third place, two points behind joint leaders Celta and Real Sociedad, and Betis displace Deportivo in sixth spot.