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Friday, September 23, 2005 

Real Madrid 3-1 Athletic

Robinho opened his account as Real Madrid CF gained a hard-earned 3-1 win against Athletic Club Bilbao on Thursday night. Jonathan Woodgate did not have much to savour on his long-awaited debut, however, as the England defender turned the ball into his own net and was later sent off.

Jittery start
Madrid, who went into the match on the back of three consecutive defeats - including a 3-0 loss against Olympique Lyonnais in their opening UEFA Champions League game - looked understandably nervous and had to wait until the second half to stage a remarkable comeback. Robinho's low rasping drive had grazed the bottom of the post on six minutes but the home side were 1-0 down by the 24th minute when Woodgate, attempting to head the ball clear, directed Joseba Etxeberria's fierce shot into his own net.

Raúl rallies Madrid
The capital team regained their composure after the break and levelled on 52 minutes when Robinho reacted quickest to David Beckham's free-kick from the left and planted a header just inside the near post. Raúl González added a second 12 minutes later, connecting with Ronaldo's centre to fire in from close range. The skipper glanced a header past Dani Aranzubia to make it 3-1 soon after but not before Woodgate had received a second booking, cutting short a debut that he would rather forget.

REAL MADRID: Iker Casillas; Míchel Salgado, Pavón, Woodgate, Roberto Carlos; Pablo García, Gravesen (Guti, 46'); Beckham, Raúl (De la Red, 88'), Robinho; Ronaldo (Raúl Bravo, 70')

ATHLETIC: Aranzubía; Expósito, Prieto (Murillo, 85'), Lacruz, Casas; Ibón, Orbáiz, Gurpegui (Iraola, 72'), Tiko, Yeste (Fernando Llorente, 70'); Etxeberría.

GOALS: 0-1, Woodgate (25', og); 1-1, Robinho (52'); 2-1, Raúl (65'); 3-1, Raúl (68')


Pos. Team Pld Pts
1. Celta 4 9
2. Getafe 4 8
3. Deportivo 4 8
4. Zaragoza 4 6
5. Real Madrid 4 6
15. Athletic 4 4

Source: uefa.com


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