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Real Madrid win away

Last updated on: September 22, 2003 14:49 IST

Deportivo Coruna maintained their perfect start to the season with a 3-0 win over Albacete on Sunday while Real Madrid kept up the pressure with a 3-1 win over Malaga.

Early second-half goals from defender Noureddine Naybet and forward Albert Luque plus a trademark header from striker Walter Pandiani in injury time maintained Deportivo's 100 per cent record.

Real Madrid had more problems beating goal-shy Malaga, but deadly finishing from Ronaldo, David Beckham and substitute Guti was enough to see them through.

Deportivo lead the table on a maximum 12 points, two ahead of Real Madrid and Valencia and four clear of a revitalised Real Sociedad, who claimed an impressive 3-0 home win over Real Zaragoza.

Barcelona, who were fortunate to scramble a 1-1 draw against Osasuna at the Nou Camp on Saturday, are in fifth place, level on points with Sociedad.

Malaga, who had not found the net in their first three matches of the season, began the game against champions Real in aggressive mood as they threw men forward.

But their strikers continued their wretched form as new signing Salva Ballesta twice fired wide in the first five minutes.

ON TARGET

Real, who crushed Valladolid 7-2 last week, had no such problems finding the target as they scored almost the first time they entered the Malaga area.

Zinedine Zidane got his head to an in-swinging corner from Beckham, flicking the ball on to Ronaldo, who stabbed in at the far post to put his side in front on 13 minutes.

Real eased up, however, and Malaga improved, but despite some good pressure in midfield they remained toothless in attack.

The Andalucians had nearly all the play as they hustled the champions off the ball and launched a series of rapid counter-attacks, but once more it was Real who scored from a set piece.

In a well rehearsed move, Beckham took a short free kick to Luis Figo on the edge of the area while Roberto Carlos made a made a diversionary run to the left.

Figo then teed the ball up for Beckham who sent a superb curler over the wall and into the far corner to score his second league goal of the season.

Malaga finally broke their duck four minutes later when forward Edgar scored the goal of the night with an acrobatic overhead kick from 12 metres.

SLICK PASSING

But Real then turned up the pace once more with a slick one-touch passing move involving Esteban Cambiasso, Beckham and Figo.

The Portuguese midfielder raced free on the right before slipping a neat pass across the area to the waiting Guti, who clipped it over keeper Francesc Arnau to complete a somewhat flattering win.

Albacete, who had lost all three matches since their return to the top flight, started strongly against Depor at the Riazor, but the Galicians sparked into life early in the second half.

The opener came when Moroccan international Naybet cracked in at the far post after Albacete failed to clear the ball from a Victor corner and with the visitors still reeling from the blow Depor hit them again with an identical strike.

This time Luque clipped in at the far post after the Albacete defence misjudged another Victor corner.

Depor continued to play some fluent passing football and it came as no surprise when Pandiani added a third two minutes into injury time following a cross from substitute Pedro Munitis.

Simon Baskett
Source:
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