Real Madrid beat Real Zaragoza

A depleted Real Madrid squad defeated Real Zaragoza 1-nil at home on Sunday.

updated: February 25, 2007 10:53 IST
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Real Madrid played host to Real Zaragoza on Sunday looking for all three points, but without several key players. The home side certainly had a few chances, although the players were finding it difficult to be accurate with their shots. David Beckham was doing well from the set plays however. In the 8th minute he fired a free-kick on target into the area, but Sergio Ramos was not as accurate with his header and it sailed past the far post. In the 23rd minute Madrid centre-back Jonathan Woodgate suffered more bad luck when he pulled up with a hamstring injury, denying him a return to the England squad. He has only recently returned to the pitch following a 17 month lay-off through an injury on the front of his leg. Beckham tried to put his side ahead again in the 25th minute, providing a great cross from the wing. De Souza Robinho's shot was well-saved however by Zaragoza goalkeeper Sanchez Cesar. Goalless at the halftime whistle, both sides tried to put more effort in during the second half. Zaragoza finally had a decent chance nine minutes after the restart. Diego Milito came so close, yet the ball bounced against the underside of the crossbar and safely into the hands of Madrid 'keeper Iker Casillas. Then with just over 15 minutes remaining, Madrid were awarded a controversial penalty when Robinho went down in the area. However, the Brazilian fluffed the chance, with Cesar pulling off a brilliant save. Less than five minutes later Madrid were awarded their second spot-kick of the night when Robinho again was adjudged to have been brought down by Zaragoza defender Leonardo Ponzio. Robinho attempted to take the penalty himself but was dissuaded against doing so by Roberto Carlos, who stepped up instead to take the kick. Roberto Carlos made no mistake with his kick and Madrid were one-nil ahead. Zaragoza did not give up however and had a great chance in injury time - although the Jose Movilla was denied by some solid goalkeeping from Iker Casillas. Madrid hung on for the win and now lie third in the Spanish league with 21 points after 11 games, three points behind leaders Osasuna and one point behind second placed Barcelona. (AP)