2/21/07

Beckham, the architect of the victory



Real Madrid (4-2-3-1): Casillas; Roberto Carlos (Raul Bravo, 59), Cannavaro, Helguera, Torres; Gago, Guti; Beckham, Higuain (Robinho, 53), Raul; Van Nistelrooy. Substitutes not used: Diego Lopez Salgado, Emerson, Reyes, Mejia.

Bayern Munich (4-4-2): Khan; Sagnol, Lucio, Van Buyten, Lahm; Schweinsteiger (Scholl, 79), Hargreaves, Van Bommel, Demichelis (Salihamidzic, 46); Podolski (Pizarro, 61), Makaay. Substitutes not used: Rensing, Gorlitz, Santa Cruz, Ottl.


There were chants of "Beckham! Beckham!" from Real Madrid crowd. "Beckham played very well, he was very important," said coach Fabio Capello.  "When he has been in the side he has always played at a high level.  He created two tonight and [scored] one the other night and I recognise that."

Beckham started on the right after toying with the idea of playing him in the centre.  On 10 minutes Real were ahead.  Beckham found Van Nistelrooy and his pass sent Raul clear. His first shot was saved by Oliver Khan but his second kick got in.

On 23 minutes Bayern were level. Willy Sagnol floated a free-kick to the back post, and jumping between two defenders, Lucio looped a header over Casillas.

After that Real Madrid scored again. Higuain won a corner and from Beckham's kick the defender Ivan Helguera headed towards goal with Raul, on the line, touching the ball home.  Eleven minutes before half-time it was three Beckham's free-kick was flicked on by Helguera and Van Nistelrooy volleyed in.

Beckham started the second half as he had finished the first, hitting a 35-yard pass to Gonzalo Higuain, whose shot was smothered by Khan.  The keeper then saved Beckham's free-kick.

Real very tired, allowed Bayern to score what could be a vital second away goal. Mark van Bommel beat Casillas in the 88th minute.

As he left the pitch Van Bommel, former Barcelona player, made obscene gestures towards the home fans. "I have got nothing against the Real fans," he said, "only against some of the players."

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