First Division - Day 1

Mallorca 1 - Real Madrid 3

Mallorca: Leo Franco; David Cortés, Nadal, Lussenhoff, Olaizola (Toni González 52'); Colsa, Nagore (Jesús Perera 68'); Raúl Martín, Correa, Nené (Stankovic 58'); Eto'o. 4-2-3-1.
Real Madrid: Casillas; Michel Salgado, Pavón, Raúl Bravo, Roberto Carlos; Borja, Iván Helguera; Figo, Raúl (Solari 77'), Zidane; Ronaldo. 4-2-3-1.

Team changes: Mallorca: Nadal, Olaizola, Nagore, Raúl Martín for Fernando Niño, Poli, Marcos, Campano / Madrid: Borja for Beckham.

1-0. 11. Correa. Took short pass from Eto'o after mistake by Pavón to beat keeper.
1-1. 45. Raúl. Glancing header across keeper from Figo's floated cross.
1-2. 55. Ronaldo. Picked up ball in midfield and ran past five defenders to score.
1-3. 68. Figo (penalty). After Ronaldo brought down in area by Nadal.

Real Madrid ended the year in top spot after coming from behind to beat Mallorca 1-3. Once again it was a competent performance from the league champions who were almost at full strength, Carlos Queiroz only missing the injured David Beckham from his first choice line up. Borja was the player who was given the nod to replace the England captain rather than the more obvious alternatives Cambiasso or Solari (Guti being injured as well). On the other bench, Luis Aragonés gave Raúl Martín a first start in place of the injured Campano.

The visitors were the better side at the start, and seemed to be on track for a win when Zidane and Raúl both tested Leo Franco in the opening minutes. But a lapse of concentration from Pavón allowed a cross from the right through under his foot to Eto'o for him to set up Correa to score. And five minutes before the break only some solid goalkeeping by Casillas prevented ex Real Madrid striker Eto'o from making it two.

Before the half time whistle though Madrid were level, an inspired Figo finding the head of Raúl for him to flick a header on past Leo Franco. Eto'o could have restored the lead however immediately after the restart but came up against Casillas once again, and a few minutes later he crashed the ball against the foot of the post. It was a costly miss, and seconds later the visitors went ahead when Ronaldo set off on another of his dazzling runs, throwing off four or five defenders before shooting across the advancing Leo Franco.

The goal broke Mallorca's spirit, and Ronaldo added to their woes later on with another run which ended with Nadal tripping him in the area. Figo stepped up to drive home the penalty kick and make it three, and it was game over. The result takes Madrid back up ahead of Valencia, who had overtaken them after their win the day before. All will be grateful now for the two week break for the festive season.