Real Madrid loses to Spain

Argentine forward Maxi Rodriguez scored the lone goal as Espanyol moved into first place in the Spanish league by beating Real Madrid 1-0.

updated: February 25, 2007 10:08 IST
  • Total Shares


Argentine forward Maxi Rodriguez scored the lone goal as Espanyol moved into first place in the Spanish league by beating a much-changed and disjointed Real Madrid 1-0. Rodriguez's fourth goal of the season ended Madrid's 100 per cent league record yesterday and added to the difficulties of coach Jose Antonio Camacho four days after the heavy loss to Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League. Madrid, already without injured Zinedine Zidane and Luis Figo, dropped David Beckham and Raul Gonzalez from the starting lineup and then had defender Walter Samuel ejected in the 75th minute. Madrid right back Michel Salgado was expelled in injury time. Brazilian ace Ronaldo missed a second-half penalty, while Espanyol striker Raul Tamudo also failed with a twice-taken spot kick in an eventful third-round match. "I like to go out from the start looking to win the game. I like to play soccer and I didn't see Real Madrid do that," Camacho said. "With willpower everything can be resolved," he added. In yesterday's other games, Italy striker Marco Di Vaio scored a pair of headers as champion Valencia beat Real Sociedad 3-1, and Serbia-Montenegro striker Savo Milosevic scored his fourth goal of the season as Osasuna edged Real Betis 3-2. Espanyol, Osasuna and Valencia, all unbeaten, have seven points, one more than Atletico Madrid, FC Barcelona and Madrid. Levante and Zaragoza have four points. Sociedad stays with two, while Betis has one. Madrid falters Madrid, which lacked six of its top players for different reasons, could never master an Espanyol side much improved from last season. Camacho's team was forced to make an unscheduled change just before kickoff when goalkeeper Iker Casillas collided with a goalpost in the warm up and was replaced by Cesar Sanchez. Ceasar came to Madrid's rescue after a half hour when Espanyol won a penalty after Samuel was adjudged to have pushed his compatriot Mauricio Pochettino. Cesar saved from Spain striker Tamudo although the referee ordered the spot kick to be retaken after encroachment by Roberto Carlos. The replacement goalkeeper then dived to stop Tamudo's shot again. Cesar's good work came to nothing 10 minutes later when he could only parry Tamudo's low header from a Dani Garcia cross and Rodriguez raced in to bury the rebound. Golden chance Madrid was given a golden chance to level the game when it was awarded a 50th-minute penalty but this time Ronaldo's low shot was parried by Cameroon goalkeeper Carlos Kameni. Beckham replaced Juanfran Torres in the 56th minute, while Fernando Morientes came on for an unconvincing Michael Owen 10 minutes later, but Madrid's woes increased when Samuel was dismissed for his second yellow card with 15 minutes remaining. Salgado followed the Argentine just before time when he was red-carded for elbowing Espanyol midfielder Ivan De La Pena. Valencia strolled to a comfortable victory over a feeble Real Sociedad and completed a successful week following Tuesday's Champions League win over Anderlecht. Consolation goal Di Vaio opened the scoring for Claudio Ranieri's side in the 37th minute with a downward header at the near post from Spain winger Vicente Rodriguez's free kick. The former Juventus striker doubled his tally in the 51st minute when he leaped unmarked to nod home after a floated cross from the left by Argentine forward Pablo Aimar. Valencia's leading scorer last season, 19-goal Miguel Angel "Mista" Ferrer, came on as a 52nd-minute substitute and scored his first of the season with a header from Curro Torres' center in the 74th. Sociedad midfielder Mikel Arteta netted a consolation goal from the penalty spot eight minutes later after handball by substitute Marco Caneira. Osasuna's Milosevic, who joined the club from Celta de Vigo in the summer, headed in the winning goal from Unai Exposito's cross with nine minutes remaining at Osasuna's El Sadar Stadium. Betis, which remains without a win this season, took the lead through central defender Juan "Melli" Andreu's header in the 34th minute, with Australia striker John Aloisi nodding Osasuna's equalizer in the 54th. Brazilian striker Edu Schmidt restored Betis' lead nine minutes later only for Melli to turn from hero to villain in the 71st minute when he inadvertently headed past goalkeeper Toni Prats. On Sunday, it's: Atletico vs Barcelona; Zaragoza vs Albacete; Racing Santander vs Villarreal; Mallorca vs Malaga; Numancia vs Getafe; Sevilla vs Levante; and Athletic Bilbao vs Deportivo La Coruna. (AP)