Real Madrid 2-0 BATE (18-Sep-2008)
Real Madrid definitely has the toughest group in this years Champions League so it was important for Real Madrid to win this game and as Schuster said in the pre match conference that this was a must win game and Real Madrid did win this one.
The score may not (or may) tell you the whole story because Real Madrid played attacking football and made like 10 to 15 chances of scoring goals but only two materialized. Whether you can say it was down to poor finishing is another matter, but the important thing is that Real Madrid got the victory they needed.
Juventus and Zenit are both very very tough teams especially in group stages, so it was imperative that Real Madrid put up a good show tonight and they did.
Fernando Gago returned to the team in its 2008/09 Champions Legaue debut only to be replaced by Diarra on the 35-minute mark due to injury. The other new faces on the team tonight were Sergio Ramos (who was rested the previous match) , Heinze, Cannavaro (came back from injury) and Raúl.
As I said, Real Madrid played an offensive game from the start, with two chances on goal in the opening three minutes. Later, Robben began a brilliant counterattack with a pass to Guti, but the Guti ( I can’t say as usual) failed to win the one-on-one with Belarusian keeper Veremko (6′).
Anyway, Guti did make up for his miss as Van Der Vaart took a sneaky little corner, by that I mean, he put in a low cross outside the box which found Guti and Guti faked a shot which fell with perfect pace into the path of Sergio Ramos, who didn’t mind taking a touch instead just slotted it past the keeper’s near post, 1-0 Real Madrid.
Real Madrid wanted to get more goals to please the fans obviously but due to BATE borisov’s stubborn defence, Real Madrid were unable to do so (partly because of poor finishing as well). The crowd cheered every attack and lamented every miss. The most beautiful of all the chances camefrom Raúlwho hit a great shot from outside the box that nearly wen through the top right corner of the goal (13′).
I think Real Madrid could have easily gone 5-0 up at the break but today was just not that day. Second half started with a lot less pace and tempo, Real Madrid looked to just run the game down until Diarra gave a brilliant pass to Raúl accross the entire defence. Raul’s shot hit the keeper and hit the defence then fell on the goal line for Van Nistelrooy to push in (57′).
More missed chances were witnessed at the Bernebeu . Real Madrid just couldn’t score more goals tonight, not even when BATE were one man down (Late in the second half). Of Real Madrid’s 27 shots on goal, 10 were on target which sucks right?. Higuaín starred in the best play of the second half, but his finishing shot hit the right post (76′).
Kryvets gave BATE their only chance in the first half (27′), while Zhavnerchik took a powerful shot in the second (75′). Casillas hardly did anything during the match. He was basicallyamerespectatorthat,likethefans,