The capital side did reasonably well after a very slow and a defensive start at Sardinero. While the home team had no shortage of attack themselves, the capital Side deserved the win in the end.

Real (interestingly) played Raul, who was rumored to be left on the bench, along with fellow teammate Gonzalo Higuain. Real Madrid's manager Bernd Schuster decided to rest both Rafael Van der Vaart and Arjen Robben, putting them on the bench.

First Half

The first 10 minutes were very quiet as neither side was able to make a single chance against both ready goalkeepers.

Then Higuain, dribbling from the right side cut in, gave a low pass down to Raul who waiting in the box, but Navas was ready to hack it away just before Raul could have made the final blow.

That should have signalled the start of a period of dominance for the blancos, but instead, it took them another ten minutes for another decent chance to present themselves. Guti cut a free-kick back to de la Red, who forced a fingertip save from Tono. Great play by Madrid!

On the 37th minute, (finally) the first chance for racing, as Real's defence was in top form to deny any chance before that and Iker Casillas, ready after a long wait, denied Jonathan Pereira's wonderful attempt of a goal.

Still, the half ended with difficulty for Madrid: Guti went over badly on his ankle and was stretchered off, with Rafael van der Vaart coming on as a replacement.

Overall, it had been a largely cautious first period for both sides, and one in which a goalless outcome was probably appropriate.

1222135130 Real Madrid Gonzalo Higuain 854768

A terrific performance by Gonzalo Higuain. A splendid assist by the forward led to the first goal for Real Madrid.

Second Half

The second half opened completely different as Van Der Vaart starting the second, their would be a more attacking team.

In the end this was responsible for the opening goal - but it was for Madrid. Seizing the ball from a racing set piece, Gonzalo Higuaín strode forward on the right, with Raúl and Rubén de la Red in support. The captain drew the approaching defence onto him, allowing Higuaín to slot the ball to de la Red, whose unmarked drive beat Tono for the opener. A wonderful run from Higuain and great intution by Raul led an open trail for de la Red.

Racing, right away, tried to equalize and attack from all ends of the pitch and that could be seen on the streched faces of Real's fullbacks.

In the end, Van Nistelrooy belied his quiet status to chip in with a lovely second goal. Van der Vaart's through ball found the Dutchman in the area, and he toyed with Marcano before effortlessly looping a shot around Tono from the tip of the area.

Racing substitute Tchité could have pulled one back seconds later as he headed towards the goal from a corner, but Van der Vaart scooped the ball off the goal line.

Real's defence against set pieces looked in top form after going under immense criticisim as they concede 5 goals in 2 games in the league 4 of them from set pieces.

Madrid did enough to win in quite unusual tactical fashion, and 2-0 it ended.


Real Madrid: De La Red (55"); V. Nistelrooy (74")
Racing: N/A


César Navas
Marcano, Christian
Valera (Tchité 66)
Lacen (Luccin 58)
Serrano (Gonçalvez 79)
Jonathan Pereira

Real Madrid

Sergio Ramos
De la Red, Diarrà
Higuaín (Saviola 84)
Guti (Van der Vaart 44)
Raúl (Robben 69')
Van Nistelrooy.

Yellow Cards:
Real Madrid: Cannavaro, Heinze, De La Red, Higuain, Van Der Vaart.
Racing: N/A

Red Cards:
Real Madrid: N/A
Racing: N/A

To see a video of the highlights of this game, visit this link.

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