Monday, April 14, 2008

Real move closer to the title as Villareal slip up

Realmadrid inched closer towards retaining the La Liga title with a 1-0 win over Murcia at the Bernebeu. Realmadrid were relaxed after seeing Barca fall further off the pace drawing 2-2 against Recreativo. So all the needed was a win to put real daylight between them and the chasing pack. Realmadrid rested Cannavaro with Pepe coming back to the starting line up and Robinho replaced Higuain while Torres came in for the suspended Sergio Ramos.

Murcia coach Clemente had earlier said that he would be parking a bus in front of the goal and just try to prevent Real from scoring. And Realmadrid started the match with lots of possession but there was no zip in their play. They lacked ideas and could not create any concrete chances. And Real suffered a setback when Torres was sent off for a tackle from behind. The decision to send the player was a dubious one as there was not enough in it to deserve a straight red card.Schuster did not change the strategy even when they were playing with 10 men. Though they were a player more Murcia still were not willing to go forward and Real kept looking for the elusive goal. Murcia had a great chance from a counter attack where they were 3 players against 2 Real defenders but Sneijder ran back 60 yards to make a great tackle and clear the danger. First half ended with the crowd clearly not happy with the referee who was showering cards.

The second half also had similar pattern of play with Murcia sitting back and defending while Real pressed forward and there were some chances for Robinho but he missed them. And after 58 minutes Murcia made a change while Real were taking a throw and Robben made a throw into the box and the ball was not properly cleared and Sneijder latched on to it and curled into the top corner to give Real the lead. The player who was substituted was the one marking Sneijder and before his replacement could get hold of him Sneijder smashed the ball into the net. Real then brought on Salgado for Robinho to stabilize their back four and Real then held on to their lead to secure a vital win. And their night was made sweeter as Villareal lost 1-0 to Almeria.

Realmadrid now have a commanding 9 point lead over Barcelona and with only six games remaining in the league they look the odds on favourites to win the Title.

Click here for the goals

1-0 Sneijder

Redcard Torres

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