The second consecutive victory for Real
Madrid in barely four days, this time on the always difficult pitch of
Alavés. Ronaldo was once again the hero and was decisive with two goals
which broke a match that Guti took on the job of finishing off, and in
which they got the three points which serve to put them back on course
in the League and gain confidence before the Wednesday Champions match.
With the announced absence of Robinho in the starting eleven, Luxemburgo
decided to give a chance to Guti after the spectacular forty five
minutes of the number ‘14’ White player last Thursday against Athletic.
With Ramos and Helguera the central defenders, Baptista this time
accompanied in the midfield by Pablo García, leaving Guti on the left
wing, with Ronaldo and Raúl as forwards.
The match began without clear dominance on the pitch of Mendizorroza,
with long shots from both teams from Roberto Carlos and De Lucas, but
with no real danger. The midfielders fought for control of their patch,
but the only chances came in isolated plays, such as the first from
Bodipo after leaving the White defenders behind with speed, but without
finding the goal.
Baptista warns with two attempts
For their part, Real Madrid tried to open out their play on the narrow
Mendizorroza pitch. Raúl and Ronaldo didn’t find a way through, and it
was to be Baptista from the back who created the best chances for Madrid,
first with a shot from outside the area which the local goalkeeper just
cleared, and then in the following play with a header from a corner
which brushed the crossbar.
From then on the game followed its previous course without too many
interruptions, and long shots like that from Bodipo (minute 18) and from
Nene three minutes later, in what would be the first intervention from
Casillas. Madrid tried going via the wings with Roberto Carlos and
Beckham, above all through the latter, today more than ever on the wing,
and author of a free kick which Costanzo cleared with his fists, and
another long shot just before the break, also stopped by the goalkeeper.
After the interval, Madrid showed a lot more mobility on the field, with
Guti and Beckham working more closely with Pablo García, and Baptista
closer to the forwards. The first to give a warning shot was Helguera,
once again from a corner. During the entire match the Madrid players
brought a lot of danger in dead ball situations with the well-aimed
centres of Beckham.
Ronaldo appeared and the goals come
The first clear chance of the second half came from the feet of Salgado
who left his wing for a centre and almost put in a goal with a poor
clearance from the defenders. But Ronaldo was yet to appear. In the
first half he was not very active, and only had a shot from outside the
area. But in the second half he appeared as only he knows how, that’s to
say, scoring the first goal. It was the 67th minute and the number ‘9’
of Madrid took advantage of a rebound from the local defence to put in a
hard shot from outside the area, which Costanzo could do nothing about.
With 0-1 on the scoreboard, Madrid felt more comfortable on the pitch,
and above all with more spaces. Alavés had to take risks, which Ronaldo
took advantage of again to do one of his distinctive runs and shoot to
the post before scoring the definitive 0-2 in a personal play after a
pass from Beckham.
With Robinho and Gravesen on the pitch, Madrid dedicated themselves to
controlling the match and waiting for the minutes to pass. Already in
extra time, Guti, took advantage of a rebound from a play by Robinho to
mark the final 0-3 and get the three new points in their second
consecutive victory, which put the team in the upper part of the table.