First Division - Day 18

Racing Santander 3 - Barcelona 0

Racing: Ricardo; Moratón, Juanma, Neru, Ayoze; Morán, Nafti; Afek (Matabuena 72'), Benayoun (Jonathan 88'), Regueiro; Bodipo (Javi Guerrero 69'). 4-2-3-1.
Barcelona: Rüstü; Reiziger, Puyol, Márquez (Quaresma 65'), Van Bronckhorst; Xavi, Iniesta; Luis Enrique, Ronaldinho, Cocu; Sergio García (Saviola 74'). 4-2-3-1.

Team changes: Racing: Moratón, Neru for Pablo Casar, Diego Mateo / Barça: Márquez, Iniesta, Luis Enrique, Sergio García for Andersson, Gabri, Overmars, Kluivert.

1-0. 51. Juanma. Stabbed ball into net after Rüstü dropped soft Regueiro free kick.
2-0. 80. Regueiro. Hit chipped shot on turn from right of area over keeper's head.
3-0. 83. Javi Guerrero. Got ahead of Rüstü to head Benayoun's cross into net.

Barcelona missed a good opportunity to close up on the teams above them after losing 3-0 to Racing Santander. The speculation before kick off was about which of his four non-EU players Rijkaard would leave on the bench, but in the end he opted to play Rüstü, Márquez and Ronaldinho, leaving Saviola on the bench. With Kluivert injured that meant that youngster Sergio García got a first ever league start up front, and the manager also drafted in his Spanish under 20 international team mate Iniesta alongside Xavi in midfield.

The changes made no difference though as they fell once again at a ground where they have been beaten by some big scores in recent years. Sergio García did at least make his mark in the first half, bringing a good save out of Ricardo and shooting just wide on another occasion. But a mistake by keeper Rüstü let in Juanma to open the scoring early in the second half, and Regueiro added a second when he collected Javi Guerrero's pass and hit a shot on the turn over the head of the advancing Rüstü.

By now Márquez was off and Saviola was on, as well as Quaresma, but they proved ineffective as Racing struck again, Javi Guerrero once again finding Rüstü wanting as he rose to meet Benayoun's cross and head the ball in to the net. It was the Cantabrians' first home win since the 9th of November, and they move above Barcelona in the table, the Catalans ending the weekend in twelfth place and going nowhere.