First Division - Day 38

Real Madrid 1 - Real Sociedad 4

Real Madrid: César; Mejía, Iván Helguera, Pavón, Roberto Carlos; Jordi, Borja (Antonio Nuñez 52'); Figo, Raúl, Solari (Portillo 75'); Ronaldo. 4-2-3-1.
Real Sociedad: Westerveld; Potillón, López Rekarte, Schürrer, Aranzábal; Boris, Alkiza; Karpin, De Paula (Gabilondo 82'), Xavi Prieto (Larrea 71'); Kovacevic (Oskitz 75'). 4-2-3-1.

Team changes: Madrid: César, Roberto Carlos, Jordi, Ronaldo for Casillas, Michel Salgado, Beckham, Zidane / Real: Westerveld, Potillón, Boris, Alkiza, De Paula, Xavi Prieto for Alberto, Kvarme, Xabi Alonso, Aranburu, Nihat, Gabilondo.

0-1. 14. Kovacevic. Got on end of Xavi Prieto cross to head in on near post.
0-2. 28. Xavi Prieto. Latched on to loose ball and drove shot past César.
0-3. 32. De Paula. Got clear of markers to head Rekarte cross wide of César.
1-3. 39. Figo (penalty). After Ronaldo pulled back by Potillón in area.
1-4. 60. Xavi Prieto (penalty). After Figo tripped Aranzábal in penalty box.

A disastrous fifth defeat in a row for Real Madrid, who started the weekend with a chance of winning back second place but ended it in fourth position after Deportivo squeezed past them into third spot. The fight had already gone out of the Galacticos a few matches back, and Carlos Queiroz, probably in charge for the last time, was forced to put out a makeshift side thanks to one match bans for Beckham, Zidane, Guti and Salgado. Even so it was a bit of a surprise when the manager drafted in B team youngster Jordi in midfield and gave César his first league game in goal in place of Casillas.

The replacements fared no better than the others though, and with less than a quarter of an hour on the clock Kovacevic headed the Basques in front from López Rekarte's cross. Roberto Carlos clearly had his mind on Chelsea's big offer, and two more goals came from down his wing, Xavi Prieto (the best player on the pitch today) latching onto one loose ball to crash a shot past César and De Paula heading another from another Rekarte centre.

By now the fans were cheering on the visitors, and it didn't improve when Figo pulled one back from the spot after referee Pino Zamorano ruled that Potillón's pull on Ronaldo merited a penalty. Ronaldo had a goal disallowed after the restart for controlling the ball with his arm, but otherwise Real were on top and César had to make a first class save from Kovacevic. A few minutes later Pino awarded a second penalty when Figo tripped Aranzábal, and Xavi Prieto stepped up to score his second of the night. All in all another terrible evening for Madrid, and president Florentino Pérez is expected to announce tomorrow that Queiroz is going to be replaced by Camacho for next season.