Luxemburgo bemoans poor finishing and praises Beckham
Coach Vanderlei Luxemburgo said Real
Madrid's failure to convert dominance into goals could have cost them
dear in their 2-1 win over Olympiakos Piraeus on Wednesday.
"We had five or six good chances but we just didn't score the goals,"
"We kept putting it into the middle but we couldn't get it in the net.
If you don't do that then an isolated play or a set piece can cause you
"That is exactly what happened in the second half and that's when the
nerves set in.
"If we'd have scored before then the game would have been over, but we
were lucky enough to get the goal in the end."
Real looked to be cruising towards a comfortable win after Raul's record
50th European Cup goal. The Spain striker got on the end of a perfectly
flighted cross from Beckham to head home at the near post in the ninth
But the nine-times European champions, missing leading striker Ronaldo
through suspension, spurned a hatful of chances to extend their lead and
none of their forwards took advantage of a constant supply of scoring
passes from Beckham.
Real paid for their profligacy when Olympiakos snatched an equaliser at
the start of the second half, midfielder Pantelis Kafes scoring with a
stunning 25-metre strike.
It was not until four minutes from time that substitute Roberto Soldado
managed to grab the winner when he headed home a Beckham cross at the
NERVES SET IN
"Beckham has been playing very well for a while, this isn't the first
good match he has had for us," said Luxemburgo. "The win will give us
more confidence and I'm still hoping of finishing as group winners."
Real lost their opening game 3-0 at Olympique Lyon.
For Olympiakos a second defeat in a row dealt a heavy blow to their
hopes of qualifying for the knockout stage. Coach Trond Sollied said he
was proud of his players' efforts.
"I think no one expected us to win in the Bernabeu, but my players can
now see that it is possible to win if you have a good day. Every player
did his best in the circumstances.
"Psychologically it would have meant a lot for us (to get a draw). But
we know that when we are playing a stronger team we cannot afford to
lose concentration for one minute.
"Our tactic was very simple," Sollied said. "We wanted to be so close on
them that we should deny crosses from both sides. We succeeded with
Roberto Carlos but not with Beckham."