Real Madrid bounced back after Rosenborg
had taken a shock lead to comprehensively beat the Norwegian side 4-1 in
their Champions League group F match.
Second half goals from Jonathan Woodgate, his first for Real, club
captain Raul Gonzalez, Ivan Helguera and David Beckham answered the
Rosenborg opener from Roar Strand.
The win means that Real move up to second in the group, behind Lyon who
beat Olympiakos 2-1 to maintain their perfect record on Wednesday.
"The difference was sending Guti (Jose Maria Gutierrez) on at half time.
"We pushed further forward after that," said the smiling Real coach
Guti came on for the injured Julio Baptista who was clearly struggling
with an injury picked up in the derby against Atletico on Saturday.
With Guti and Beckham dominating the midfield, it was an almost perfect
second 45 minutes from the nine-times kings of Europe, after going into
their dressing room 1-0 down at half time.
"I told them at the break they had 45 minutes to change the game or we
would be looking to qualify by winning our away games and that would be
a lot harder," said a smiling Luxemburgo, clearly content that his pep
talk had worked.
Woodgate gained some redemption after the horrendous start to his career
at the Spanish giants by heading home Real's equaliser, from a David
Beckham corner, less than three minutes after the break.
After an own goal and a sending off marked his debut last month,
followed by another own goal in a friendly match last week, Woodgate
finally showed the Real faithful why the club paid 13.4 million pounds
from Newcastle United in the summer of 2004.
The central defender, who was injured for 17 months prior to his return,
immediately went over to the bench and hugged the Real doctor Alfonso
Del Corral in delight.
The Real fans then gave Woodgate a standing ovation as he left the field,
after being substituted five minutes from time.
"Woodgate had a good night but he was only one of 11 men," commented
Luxemburgo, clearly deciding not to single out any of his players for
Real got the lead they deserved four minutes later when captain Raul
Gonzalez, playing in his 100th Champions League match, found the net
after Robinho had sped past two Rosenborg defenders.
Ivan Helguera then made up for an error that had allowed Rosenborg to
score first by heading home a Beckham free kick after 62 minutes.
The England captain followed up having a hand in two of the previous
goals, by getting on the scoresheet himself, with his first goal of the
season for Real.
He proved conclusively again that he is one of the deadliest dead ball
specialists in the game by scoring from 25 metres with one of his
trademark, seemingly laser-guided, free kicks eight minutes from time.
Rosenborg had taken the lead, completely against the run of play, after
40 minutes, almost the only break in a first half of unrelenting but
unrewarded pressure from Real.
With only their second constructive attack, Rosenborg captain Roar
Strand took advantage of the space afforded him by Helguera's failure to
stay tight to him and blasted home an Oyvind Storflor cross to leave
Real to regret their missed chances at the break.
Robinho, Beckham and Woodgate all had first half efforts go skimming
past the posts of Rosenborg goalkeeper Espen Johnsen, who also thwarted
Real in a goalmouth scramble when he managed to stop the ball on the
line, with Raul having the last touch.
"We had a good first half and a 4-1 scoreline is not really a reflection
of the game. The last two goals were tough on us. Now we have to try and
get three points at home in two weeks time," said Rosenborg coach
One positive omen for the Spaniards' is that every time Real have beaten
Rosenborg in the Champions League, in the 1998 and 2000 competitions,
they have gone on to win Europe's top club competition.