Real Madrid beats Athletic Bilbao 3-1

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src=' ' class='caption'> Jonathan Woodgate scored an own goal and was ejected in an unhappy first start for Real Madrid although his team rallied to beat Athletic Bilbao 3-1.

updated: February 25, 2007 10:49 IST
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Jonathan Woodgate scored an own goal and was ejected in an unhappy first start for Real Madrid although his team rallied to beat Athletic Bilbao 3-1 in a Spanish league match on Thursday. The central defender, who has recently recovered from a 17-month injury absence, deflected Bilbao forward Joseba Etxeberria's long shot with a diving header to open the scoring in the 25th minute of the fourth-round game at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium. Woodgate received his first yellow card for a late tackle on midfielder Carlos Gurpegi just before the interval and received his marching orders in the 66th for obstructing Etxeberria. Madrid battled back in the second half through Brazilian forward Robinho's first goal for the club and two more by captain Raul Gonzalez. Madrid's victory eased the pressure on coach Vanderlei Luxemburgo, whose team had lost two of its opening three league games and also crashed 3-0 against Lyon in the Champions League last week. Madrid rose to fifth place with six points, while Bilbao dropped to 15th with four. Defenders out of game With defenders Sergio Ramos and Ivan Helguera suspended and injured respectively, Woodgate was named for his first full match since he injured his left thigh while playing for Newcastle against Chelsea in April 2004. He joined Madrid the following August. Madrid, also lacking the injured Zinedine Zidane and suspended Julio Baptista, almost opened the scoring in the seventh minute when Robinho's low long shot bounced off goalkeeper Daniel Aranzubia's left post. But Woodgate's own goal appeared to deflate Madrid and Bilbao midfielder Roberto "Tiko" Martinez came close to adding to his team's lead on three occasions before the interval. Robinho, making his fourth appearance since his move from Santos, calmed Madrid's nerves by leveling with a 53rd-minute header from an inswinging David Beckham free kick. Raul then struck in the 65th from a Ronaldo pass across goal following a swift counterattack. Three minutes after Woodgate's dismissal, the Spain striker scored again with a near-post header from Beckham's corner. Celta Vigo on top On Wednesday, Celta Vigo moved to the top with a 2-1 win at Villarreal, while Getafe dropped to second place by drawing 1-1 with Mallorca. Defending champion FC Barcelona is back in 11th place with five points following a 2-2 draw with Valencia. Also, it was: Deportivo La Coruna 1, Real Betis 1; Real Sociedad 3, Atletico Madrid 2; Zaragoza 3, Osasuna 1; Racing Santander 1, Espanyol 0; Sevilla 0, Cadiz 0; and Malaga 0, Alaves 0. Celta has nine points, one more than Getafe and Deportivo. Seven teams have six points - Zaragoza, Madrid, Valencia, Racing Santander, Osasuna, Espanyol and Real Sociedad. (AP)