First Division - Day 12

Real Madrid 2 - Albacete 1

Real Madrid: Casillas; Michel Salgado, Pavón (Iván Helguera 46'), Raúl Bravo, Solari; Beckham, Borja; Figo, Raúl, Zidane (Cambiasso 88'); Portillo (Ronaldo 62'). 4-2-3-1.
Albacete: Roa; Oscar Montiel, Pablo, Unai, Cristian Díaz; Iván Díaz, Viaud, Parri (Redondo 82'), Delporte; Aranda (Mikel 68'), Pacheco (Alvaro 58'). 4-4-2.

Team changes: Madrid: Michel Salgado, Solari, Borja, Portillo for Iván Helguera, Rubén, Guti, Ronaldo / Albacete: Roa, Iván Díaz, Pacheco for Almunia, Pablo García, Mikel.

1-0. 38. Beckham. Picked up ball outside area and struck shot into far top corner.
1-1. 39. Parri. Ran on to long Aranda cross to hit first time volley past Casillas.
2-1. 81. Zidane. Steered header down past Roa from Solari's chipped cross.

Real Madrid moved back to the top of the table, above Deportivo on goal average, after a 2-1 win over Albacete. It was not an easy victory though, and the winning goal didn't come until nine minutes from the end when Zidane steered Solari's chipped cross down past the keeper. After the gruelling round of international matches, Queiroz decided to leave Helguera and Ronaldo on the bench and give a run out to Borja and Portillo. The young midfielder was clearly nervous though, and the striker, lacking match practise, failed to take advantage of a couple of chances early on.

Solari had hit the post for the "Galacticos" in the twentieth minute, but it was Beckham who gave them the lead with a magnificent shot from outside of the area into the far top corner of Roa's net. The lead only lasted one minute however before ex Real Madrid youngster Aranda broke free down the right wing and crossed in for Parri to fire a spectacular first time volley past Casillas.

Aranda fired a shot over the bar after the restart, but Madrid started to take command and Roa saved well from Solari. But the visitors held on, and Queiroz eventually had to turn to Ronaldo. And eventually he combined with Solari for him to set up Zidane for the winner. Even so Albacete could have saved a point when Iván Díaz blasted a dangerous free kick over the bar late on.