First Division - Day 29

Real Madrid 1 - Málaga 0

Madrid: Casillas; Michel Salgado (Celades 75'), Iván Helguera, Samuel, Roberto Carlos; Figo, Beckham, Guti, Zidane; Ronaldo (Owen 87'), Raúl (Solari 81'). 4-4-2.
Málaga: Arnau; Alexis, César Navas, Fernando Sanz, Valcarce; Romero (Iznata 75'), Miguel Angel; Gerardo, Edgar (Amoroso 65'), Duda; Fernando Baiano (Wanchope 80'). 4-2-3-1.

Team changes: Madrid: Michel Salgado, Beckham for Raúl Bravo, Gravesen / Málaga: Alexis, César Navas, Edgar for Litos, Juanito, Juan Rodríguez.

1-0. 60. Roberto Carlos. Bent low shot from outside of area into far corner of net.

Real Madrid kept their slim hopes of catching Barcelona alive when they beat Málaga 1-0 on Sunday evening. They made hard work of it though against a side made up largely of their ex players, and hardly managed a shot at goal in a frustrating first half. Only a couple of efforts from Zidane and Figo created any work for Arnau, and after Baiano went close to giving the visitors the lead, the fans whistled off their players at the break.

Things improved after the restart, with Arnau making a first class save from Figo at point blank range and then sticking a foot out to stop Ronaldo from scoring. Fernando Sanz (son of ex president Lorenzo and brother-in-law of Salgado) could have scored though when he headed into the side netting, and Casillas had to react quickly to keep out a long Baiano free kick which went past everybody.

But with the fans starting to get nervous again, Roberto Carlos finally put their minds at rest beating the keeper with a long shot through a crowd of players on the hour mark. Baiano headed over at the other end, But Ronaldo almost made it two when Arnau tipped over his header, and substitute Celades came on to hit the post with another shot in the final minutes. In the end though Madrid had at least done enough to take the three points which keeps them eleven behind the Catalans.