First Division - Day 29

Barcelona 2 - Deportivo La Coruña 4

Barcelona: Bonano; Gabri, Puyol, Frank De Boer, Reiziger; Overmars (Rochemback 79'), Mendieta (Riquelme 76'), Gerard (Luis Enrique 62'), Motta; Saviola, Kluivert. 4-4-2.
Deportivo: Juanmi; Manuel Pablo (Víctor 46'), Héctor, Naybet, Romero; Sergio, Mauro Silva; Scaloni, Valerón (Duscher 80'), Fran (Capdevila 69'); Makaay. 4-2-3-1.

Team changes: Barcelona: Gabri, Gerard, Motta for Sorín, Xavi, Riquelme / Deportivo: Juanmi, Héctor, Valerón for Molina, Andrade, Diego Tristán.

1-0. 02. Saviola. Ran on to Kluivert through ball and chipped Juanmi.
1-1. 16. Scaloni. Struck loose ball after Makaay free kick blocked by defensive wall.
2-1. 24. Motta. Fired shot across keeper from edge of area after ball rolled across.
2-2. 50. Makaay. Angled header down past Bonano from Romero's cross.
2-3. 64. Makaay. Ran forward on to Sergio pass and rounded keeper to score.
2-4. 75. Sergio. Took pass from Valerón and turned defence before curling shot in.

Deportivo La Coruña moved to within three points of Real Madrid after coming from behind twice to beat Barcelona 2-4. After a court ruling on Tuesday the Catalans were allowed to play in their own stadium, and they celebrated with a goal in the second minute when Saviola caught Juanmi off his line with a lob after Kluivert put him through. Scaloni levelled the scores a quarter of an hour later, reacting quicker than the defence after Makaay's free kick was blocked by the defensive wall, but a few minutes later Motta had restored the lead with a snap-shot from the edge of the area after Mauro Silva tackled Kluivert. Saviola thought he should have had a penalty when Héctor brought him down in the area, but referee Pérez Burrull said no and booked the young striker for what he considered to be a dive. And before the first half came to a close, Sergio forced a finger tip save out of Bonano with a long shot.

The second half belonged to the Gallicians though, and within twenty minutes, two goals from Roy Makaay had turned the game around. The first came from an angled header from Romero's cross, and shortly after Luis Enrique came on for Barça, the Dutch striker scored his second, beating the offside trap to run on to Sergio's defence splitting pass and round the stranded Bonano. Depor were left with ten men straight afterwards when Romero was given a second booking for a foul on Saviola, but Saviola himself was also given his marching orders later on when he too got a second yellow card for handling the ball.

A quarter of an hour from the end Sergio made it four, taking a pass from Valerón and turning the defence before scoring, and the fans started to leave the ground in droves. Three minutes from the end Luis Enrique hit the post, and Kluivert's high volley on the follow up hit Juanmi on the line. That summed up Barça's luck, and the referee's final whistle was drowned out by the whistles of the unhappy fans. After their Champions League success last Wednesday, things had returned to normal, and they ended the weekend down in twelfth place. Things are looking grim though, and the Intertoto cup beckons. Depor meanwhile were boosted by Real Madrid's defeat at Real Sociedad, and the title race is wide open once again.