First Division - Day 27

Racing Santander 1 - Real Madrid 1

Racing: Ricardo; Cristian Alvarez, Pablo Casar, Juanma, Ayoze; Diego Mateo (Matabuena 79'), Nafti (Afek 85'); Morán, Benayoun, Regueiro; Javi Guerrero (Bodipo 66'). 4-2-3-1.
Real Madrid: Casillas; Mejía, Iván Helguera, Raúl Bravo, Roberto Carlos; Beckham, Guti; Figo, Zidane, Solari (Juanfran 93'); Ronaldo (Antonio Nuñez 74'). 4-2-3-1.

Team changes: Racing: Ayoze, Diego Mateo, Regueiro for Neru, Matabuena, Bodipo / Madrid: Mejía, Raúl Bravo, Solari for Michel Salgado, Pavón, Raúl.

0-1. 28. Solari. Shot across Ricardo from edge of area after Zidane passed back.
1-1. 32. Benayoun. Pushed ball into open net after defence failed to clear free kick.

A depleted Real Madrid were held to a 1-1 draw by Racing Santander on Saturday evening, but still stay six points clear at the top of the table. With Salgado and Pavón suspended, Raúl injured and several players still suffering from a midweek tonsillitis virus, Queiroz made three changes, in particular bringing in youngster Mejía at right back. But his side were pegged back from the start, and Casillas had to be at his best to save from Javi Guerrero and Benayoun early on as Regueiro took advantage of Mejía's inexperience down the flank.

But Madrid were always dangerous on the breakaway, and shortly after Ronaldo had a goal disallowed for a narrow offside which the linesman signalled late, they went ahead. Figo started the move crossing in from the right, and although Ronaldo couldn't control the ball, Zidane came back from an offside position to play the ball to Solari for him to beat Ricardo with an angled shot. Only three or fourf minutes later though Racing equalised when Morán's free kick fell free in the area, and Benayoun was there to turn the ball in to the net.

Neither side made much impression after that though, and the only attempt at goal before the break was a shot from Guti which went wide. Casillas saved well from Regueiro early in the second half, and Alcaraz brought on Bodipo without too much effect. Madrid suffered a blow though with twenty minutes to go when Ronaldo fell to ground clutching his hamstring, and the medical staff later confirmed that he will be out for a couple of weeks or so, missing the Champions' League match against Bayern Munich and also the Spanish cup final in ten days' time. Nuñez came on in his place and was unlucky not to have a penalty late on, and Madrid finished the match with ten men after Mejía picked up a second yellow card in the dying minutes. But in the end the point was not a bad result, and they stay on track for another league title.