Monday, 18 December 2006

Keeping up the pressure

Ruud celebrates his winner against EspanyolReal Madrid and Sevilla turned up the pressure on an absent Barcelona, in Tokyo for the World Club Championship, by winning their respective away ties against Recreativo and Espanyol. Real had more possession than usual in the first half, but neither side had many scoring chances as the battle was played out in the midfield. It was early in the second half, that van Nistelrooy received a wondrous through ball from Guti and clinically slotted in his ninth league goal.

All was going well for the Madrid side until five minutes later, when Cannavaro was mistakenly sent off for handling the ball. Replays showed he was clearly struck by the ball in the face, but his protestations were to no avail and he received his marching orders. In theory he should receive a one-match ban for the sending off, but it is likely this will be appealed successfully. Any option of creative play from Real vanished, as Capello brought Robinho off for Mejía and later on Reyes came off for Diarra. This effectively stopped any play down the wings, but also meant that Espanyol struggled to add to their tally of 10 games without loss by crashing over and over into the wall created by the Real midfield and defence.

Match report

No comments: