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Raul strikes twice as Real Madrid beat Bayern
February 21, 2007 06:27 IST
PSV Eindhoven 1 Arsenal 0
Skipper Raul struck twice as Real Madrid got the better of old foes Bayern Munich with a 3-2 win at the Bernabeu in the first leg of their Champions League first knockout round tie on Tuesday.
Raul took his tally to 56 goals in the competition with his double and fellow-striker Ruud van Nistelrooy weighed in with another as Real went into the break with a comfortable 3-1 lead.
But former Barcelona midfielder Mark van Bommel netted with a stunning shot from the edge of the area just two minutes from time to put Bayern right back in the tie.
It was the sixth time Real had beaten Bayern in 17 meetings, but after conceding two away goals the nine-times European champions still have a lot to do to make the quarter-finals.
Real coach Fabio Capello was rumoured to have handed in his resignation on the eve of the match, which the club denied.
The under-fire coach opted for an uncharacteristically attacking formation with Van Nistelrooy, 19-year-old Argentine Gonzalo Higuain and Raul in the team.
Van Nistelrooy went close when he turned and fired over from the edge of the area in the first attack and five minutes later provided the pass that allowed Raul to give Real the lead.
The Madrid captain sped on to the sharp through ball, tumbled past Oliver Kahn and then steered in from a tight angle with his favoured left foot to put Real ahead after 10 minutes.
Bayern provided little immediate response apart from a couple of speculative shots on goal, but managed to snatch an equaliser out of the blue midway through the half.
Lucio took advantage of some sloppy marking by Real's Italy captain Fabio Cannavaro to head home past Iker Casillas in the 23rd minute after Van Bommel clipped a freekick into the area.
Real appeared unruffled by the setback, though, and restored their lead within five minutes when Raul got the faintest of touches to help a ballooning header from Ivan Helguera over the line after David Beckham swept in a corner from the right.
With Bayern on the ropes, Real struck again six minutes later after another Beckham set piece.
This time Van Nistelrooy squeezed the ball round Kahn at the far post after the former England captain whipped a freekick into the area.
Beckham almost made it 4-1 with a trademark freekick early in the second half, but Kahn produced an acrobatic save to tip his dipping shot on to the bar.
Bayern stepped up a gear soon after and dominated throughout the second half but just when it seemed the Germans might go unrewarded for their efforts Van Bommel popped up on the edge of the area to blast the ball past Casillas into the net.