Real Madrid 1-0 Numancia: Match Summary
A 16th-minute free-kick from David Beckham
gave Real Madrid all three points in what was an otherwise disappointing
display against newly-promoted Numancia.
The England captain celebrated his 50th appearance in a Madrid shirt by
scoring direct from a free-kick for the first time in the Santiago
Bernabeu Stadium against the visitors from Soria.
Referee Alfonso Perez Burrull gave a free-kick for a foul by Numancia
defender Jaime Molina on Zinedine Zidane and Beckham curled the ball
over the defensive wall and into the back of the net.
It was one of the few bright spots in an otherwise lacklustre
performance from a Madrid side who created few chances throughout the
game and ended up relieved to hear the final whistle against a side
worth a fraction of the price of their superstars.
The Madrid faithful whistled their disapproval as their
expensively-assembled team left the pitch in their last match before
they embark on their quest for a 10th Champions League crown.
The only other highlights the first half had to offer was a miss from
Raul, who fell over after 35 minutes when set up by Ronaldo and two
moments of magic from Zidane, who forced a flying save from Alberto
Nunez after 37 minutes before hitting the crossbar from the resulting
Numancia, meanwhile, looked content to defend in numbers and barely
threatened the Madrid goal in the first period.
The second half began with a similar story: Luis Figo produced another
save from Nunez after 53 minutes before Guti replaced the injured
Francesco Pavon. That saw the versatile Ivan Helguera drop back into
After 65 minutes, Figo produced the move of the half as he left two
defenders standing before crossing for Raul, who continued his nightmare
form by failing to connect from two yards.
Madrid briefly sparkled and a wonderful one-two between Zidane and Figo
ended with Nunez coming out to push the ball away from the feet of the
Raul was replaced by Michael Owen, who joined the Madrid giants from
Liverpool last month, midway through the second period.
The England striker could have had a dream home debut but missed a
golden opportunity two minutes from time when Nunez saved with his feet
with Owen clean through.
The game ended with Numancia pressing for an equaliser that never came
and the Madrid fans must be wondering if anything has changed from the
poor form their side showed last season.
Real Madrid 1 x 0 Numancia
Ramon Jaime Molina