First Division - Day 3

Racing Santander 0 - Real Madrid 2

Racing: Toño; Pinillos, César Navas, Marcano, Christian Fernández; Valera (Tchité 67'), Lacen (Luccin 57'), Colsa, Oscar Serrano (Gonçalves 77'); Jonathan Pereira, Juanjo. 4-4-2.
Madrid: Casillas; Sergio Ramos, Pepe, Cannavaro, Heinze; Guti (Van der Vaart 45'), Diarrá, De la Red; Higuaín (Saviola 84'), Van Nistelrooy, Raúl (Robben 68'). 4-3-3.

Team changes: Racing: César Navas, Jonathan Pereira, Juanjo for Garay, Tchité, Munitis / Madrid: Sergio Ramos, Cannavaro, Heinze, De la Red, Raúl for Michel Salgado, Metzelder, Marcelo, Van der Vaart, Robben.

0-1. 53. De la Red. Controlled pass from Higuaín and poked low shot wide of Toño.
0-2. 73. Van Nistelrooy. Picked up Van der Vaart pass and scored with angled shot

Yellow cards: Heinze 23', Higuaín 34', Cannavaro 41', De la Red 78', Van der Vaart 89'.

Real Madrid ended the weekend just a point behind the top four after a 0-2 win at Racing Santander. With Gago injured and a heavy programme ahead, Bernd Schuster gave De la Red a first start, and the Spanish international brought a good save out of Toño early on. At the other end Casillas had to be on his toes to block an overhead kick from Jonathan Pereira closer to half time. Just before the break though Madrid's injury problems increased when Guti had to leave the field, Van der Vaart coming on to replace him.

Diarra shot wide of target early in the second half, and a few minutes later Madrid took the lead, Higuaín galloping out of his own half and passing across for De la Red to shoot low past Toño. Casillas had to tip a dangerous cross from Serrano over the bar after that, and Racing's appeal for a penalty were turned down when Jonathan's pull back hit Pepe on the arm at point blank range.

But with a quarter of an hour to go a long ball from Van der Vaart found Van Nistelrooy on the left of the area, and he cut past Navas and struck an angled shot inside Toño's near post. The home side tried to fight back, Van der Vaart clearing a Tchité header off the line, and Colsa blocking a shot from his own man, Christian. But in the end Madrid had the three points to clock up a third win in a week, a good result even if they didn't set the world alight.