Friday, November 03, 2006

Real Madrid defeated Steaua Bucharest 1-0

Real Madrid accomplished one of the most important objectives: qualify for the next stage of the Champions League. But somehow, the slight victory over Steaua Bucharest doesn't make the fans smile.

Maybe it's fair to say that there was a touch of farce about the evening as van Nistelrooy fired a penalty kick miles over the bar then tried to blame the pitch, and Helguera somehow contrived to send the ball over the bar from no more than two yards out after a superb ball in from the right by-line supplied by Guti. There was also a really weird dive by Robinho that should make him feel a bit ashamed when he sees the TV replay despite his protests.

And then there was the goal. From nowhere, and with the home side looking unlikely to achieve a breakthrough, the ball fell to Steaua player, Banel Nicolita, in space just outside the penalty area. Without looking up, and with the goalkeeper moving to his left away from goal, Nicolita slotted the ball into the bottom right corner as the keeper lost his footing and fell to his knees.

The encounter saw the return of british midfielder David Beckham, who had a decent second half after coming on as substitute, showing no signs of the injury problems that kept him out of the squad for last weekend's trip to Tarragona, while there was also a return to action for Ronaldo, who looked a bit not in shape.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Real Madrid goes for the victory in Europe

Good times in the Champions League. Real Madrid have a greta chance to qualify for the last 16 of the Champions League when they face Steaua Bucharest on Wednesday despite a shaky start to their European campaign under new coach Fabio Capello.

Indeed, Madrid suffered a 2-0 defeat at Olympique Lyon in their opening match in Group E but won emphatically against Dynamo Kiev and Steaua.

Another victory against the Romanians will put them through to the knockout stage as long as Dynamo, who have yet to earn a point, do not beat runaway leaders Lyon.

Capello's team may not have been playing the sort of fluent, flowing football their fans demand but they have developed a more gritty, pragmatic style under the Italian coach and are getting the results.

They netted nine goals against Dynamo and Steaua, beat Barca 2-0 in the league two weeks ago and are now just two points behind their arch-rivals.

We must remember that the team have conceded four goals in eight league games and the team are growing in confidence according to Brazilian defender Roberto Carlos.

“It's obvious that Capello has brought with him a different, more modern mentality,” Roberto Carlos expressed. “We are no longer the team that passes the ball slowly round the pitch. We are more direct and we know what we have to do.”