First Division - Day 16

Real Madrid 2 - Deportivo La Coruña 1

Real Madrid: Casillas; Michel Salgado, Pavón, Raúl Bravo, Roberto Carlos; Beckham, Iván Helguera; Figo (Miñambres 46'), Raúl, Zidane; Ronaldo (Solari 88'). 4-2-3-1.
Deportivo: Molina; Manuel Pablo (Víctor 60'), Andrade, Naybet, Capdevila; Duscher, Sergio; Scaloni, Valerón, Luque (Munitis 82'); Diego Tristán (Pandiani 63'). 4-2-3-1.

Team changes: Madrid: No change / Deportivo: Manuel Pablo, Naybet, Duscher, Scaloni for Héctor, César, Mauro Silva, Víctor.

1-0. 45. Ronaldo. Tap in on far post after Zidane ran on and crossed from left wing.
1-1. 64. Pandiani. Collected long pass from Sergio and rolled shot wide of Casillas.
2-1. 85. Raúl. Got ahead of defence to turn Roberto Carlos cross past Molina.

Leaders Real Madrid kept up their 100% home record in the league with a 2-1 win over title rivals Deportivo. The Galicians put up a good fight, and they could have gone ahead early in the first half when Valerón shot over the bar, and a few minutes later when Luque had a goal disallowed for offside by referee Rodríguez Santiago with Raúl Bravo clearly in a position which played him onside.

Otherwise though the home side were on top, with Rodríguez disallowing a goal by Helguera for a previous foul, Molina making a couple of first class saves from Ronaldo and Raúl, and Ronaldo putting another shot just over the top. And the Brazilian striker finally put Queiroz's side in front on the stroke of half time after a superb piece of play by Zidane down the left wing.

Irureta made an inspired substitution in the second half, bringing on Pandiani who connected with Sergio's through ball to equalise within seconds of coming on. But Madrid came back strongly looking for the winner, and Molina had to be at his best to save efforts from Ronaldo and from Zidane amongst others. However he could do nothing five minutes from the end when Roberto Carlos found Raúl with a long ball for him to rise up and steer the ball into the net.

Right at the end of the game there was a clash between Beckham and Scaloni as nerves frayed which earned them both a booking and ended with the Argentine midfielder unsportingly refusing to shake hands. But Madrid had got the result they wanted, and they move six points clear of their opponents, who stay in third place.