First Division - Day 18

Real Madrid 1 - Real Murcia 0

Real Madrid: Casillas; Michel Salgado, Pavón, Raúl Bravo, Roberto Carlos; Beckham (Guti 80'), Iván Helguera; Figo, Raúl, Zidane (Solari 46'); Ronaldo (Portillo 86'). 4-2-3-1.
Real Murcia: Bonano; Juanma, Cuadrado, Loeschbor, Clavero; Acciari, Jensen; Luis García, Richi (Gancedo 64'), Michel (Diego Quintana 64'); David Karanka. 4-2-3-1.

Team changes: Madrid: Beckham for Borja / Murcia: Bonano, Jensen for Juanmi, Julio Alvarez.

1-0. 08. Raúl. From close up after Ronaldo headed back Figo's cross.

An early goal from Raúl gave leaders Real Madrid a 1-0 win over Real Murcia, keeping up their 100% home record in the league this season. The team captain beat debutant Bonano from close up after Ronaldo headed back Figo's cross for his 164th league goal, taking him level with Hugo Sánchez as Real Madrid's third top goalscorer of all time.

Otherwise though Madrid struggled against a side languishing in next to bottom spot, and who have only ever taken one point from the Bernabeu stadium in all their history (there was even a film about a pools winner based on that result!). Joaquín Peiró's side were unlucky in the end not to get a draw at least, and had three or four penalty appeals turned down by referee Teixeira Vitienes, including a trip by Pavón on Michel on the edge of the area and a couple of hard tackles on Luis García (himself on loan from Real Madrid B).

Madrid did have a couple of chances to increase their lead in the first half, but they appeared not to have got back into the swing of things after the two week winter break and failed to beat Bonano. Zidane picked up a knock and had to go off at half time, and Beckham had to have four stitches in an ankle wound after a hard tackle from Acciari which went unpunished. And when Luis García struck the bar with a vicious free kick five minutes from the end, the whistles started to come from some sctions of the crowd.