First Division - Day 14

Real Madrid 4 - Recreativo Huelva 2

Real Madrid: Casillas; Michel Salgado (Miñambres 55'), Iván Helguera, Pavón, Raúl Bravo; Flavio Conceiçao, Cambiasso (Solari 46'); Figo, Raúl, Zidane; Guti. 4-2-3-1.
Recreativo: Luque; Javi García, Alex, Loren, Espinola; Camacho, Cubillo (Mario Bermejo 75'); Kaiku (Galán 71'), Viqueira, Oscar Arpón (Benítez 67'); Raúl Molina. 4-2-3-1.

Team changes: Madrid: Raúl Bravo, Cambiasso, Guti for Roberto Carlos, Makelele, Ronaldo / Recreativo: No change.

0-1. 03. Cubillo. Shot from outside of area after Casillas pushed out Molina shot.
0-2. 15. Espinola. Turned ball in past Casillas after Molina pass from right.
1-2. 28. Raúl Bravo. Lobbed ball over keeper in off bar after corner cleared.
2-2. 64. Iván Helguera. glancing header helped in by Espinola from Figo corner.
3-2. 70. Raúl. Took Figo pass and turned defender before shooting high into net.
4-2. 91. Figo (penalty). Beat makeshift keeper Espinola after Luque fouled Guti.

On paper this was the home banker of the year, the European champions Real Madrid against the bottom team in the league, newly promoted Recreativo Huelva. The Madrid players had had a gruelling few weeks though, and Del Bosque was missing the injured Hierro, Roberto Carlos, Makelele and Ronaldo. Even so, it was a great surprise when the visitors took the lead in the third minute on a quick breakaway, Casillas getting to the ball just ahead of Raúl Molina but only managing to clear it as far as Cubillo, who placed a long shot back into the net. Recre though were looking the better side, and on the quarter hour mark they made it two, full back Espinola sliding the ball in to the net from Molina's cross.

Having seen their side only draw midweek against Lokomotiv Moscow, the fans started to get on their players backs and cheered every time their opponents touched the ball. However before the half hour mark Madrid pulled one back, Raúl Bravo taking advantage of his first start of the season to beat Luque with a shot in off the crossbar from the edge of the area following a corner. Recre didn't lie down though, and either side of half time they had chances, with Raúl Molina in particular active in attack.

Del Bosque changed his plans at the break, bringing on Solari in place of Cambiasso and changing to a diamond midfield formation. Guti hit the bar and Luque made a great point blank save from Raúl, and eventually Madrid drew level, Iván Helguera heading on Figo's corner and Espinola only helping it in to the net. Then Raúl struck as only he can, collecting Figo's pass and making himself room to fire a shot past Luque. Raúl got himself booked for diving in the area, but two minutes before the end the referee awarded a penalty when Luque brought down Guti, sending off the keeper with a straight red card. With all three changes made Espinola had to take over in goal, but he could do nothing to stop Figo's penalty kick. The fans now applauded their own side, and with defeats for the teams above them, Madrid go third.