Footie Forever
Thursday, January 19, 2006

Madrid over Betis in the first leg

Certainly not the most attractive match anyone has every seen, but the boys in white got the exact result they were looking for against a Betis side that again had trouble putting the ball in the net - almost making me look like a soothsayer (scroll down), bless their souls. Italian attacker Cassano got his first spin of the wheels and sped out in style, scoring the lone goal of the match after a bit of cheeky (sneaky?) play down close. Actually, he looked pretty good and will make a lot of madrileños happy provided his penchant for antics does not get the better of him. The talent and on-the-pitch brains are certainly there. Robinho also had a few really nice plays in the second half and was unlucky not to score, though he really should have done better with the Beckham cross that bounced off his chest. His fellow Brazilian attacker Baptista continued his run of bad luck, but certainly looked much better this time around. His goal was undeservedly called back, and he had both nice runs and good touch at the top of the box, in addition to a very good header that skipped just wide. Perhaps that breakout game we have all been waiting (and waiting!) for is soon to come.

The worst part about the game from the Madrid perspective must surely be Diego Lopez' injury - a muscular tear, which will have him out around six weeks. Poor guy gets few enough opportunities as it is - and Iker could stand to get a rest every now and again.

Not to count the proverbial chickens, but with Madrid really gunning for this title what with the league seemingly in the firm grasp of Barcelona, you can probably bank rather heavily on Madrid's place in the semi-finals.
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Location: Japan

The Table

1 Barcelona 55
2 Valencia 49
3 Real Madrid 48
4 Osasuna 46
5 Sevilla 41
6 Celta 39
7 Villarreal 38
8 Deportivo 37
9 Atlético 35
10 Zaragoza 33
11 Getafe 30
12 Racing 27
13 Real Sociedad 25
14 Espanyol 24
15 Athletic 22
16 Alavés 22
17 Cádiz 22
18 Mallorca 22
19 Betis 22
20 Málaga 20


Etoo 18
Villa 15
Ronaldinho 12
Diego Milito 12
Ronaldo 10
Tristán 9
Riquelme 9
Güiza 8

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