IT MUST have been one of the happiest days of Jose Luis Nunez's 19 years as Barcelona president. Not only did his side romp to a 3-0 win over arch rivals Real Madrid on Saturday, he also scored an easy victory over a group that had forced a motion of no confidence in a bid to unseat him.
Nunez was supported by 64 of the club members that voted, while 36 voted against him. It was the first time that a president had been subjected to a motion of censure in the 100-year history of the club.
On the field, Barcelona crushed their bitter rivals, Real, 3-0 to take a five-point lead at the top of the Spanish table over the visitors, who were reduced to 10 men for almost the entire second half.
Real had been more than holding their own in a lively first half but the dismissal of Fernando Hierro, who was playing his 300th match for Real and who was shown his second yellow card when he brought down Brazilian Giovanni in one of the first attacks after the interval, changed the pattern of the game.
Indeed, from that moment Real, who have not won in Barcelona in 14 years, were always up against it.
The Former Monaco striker Sonny Anderson stabbed home the first goal in the 70th minute after a neat cross from the left from fellow Brazilian Rivaldo.
Ten minutes later the Portuguese front man Luis Figo, slipped inside Roberto Carlos to make it 2-0 with a superb shot which gave the German goalkeeper Bodo Illgner no chance.
Rivaldo, who seemed to be at the heart of all that was good for the home side, then set up a third goal when he put Giovanni through with five minutes left .
Goals: Anderson (69) 1-0; Figo (81) 2-0; Giovanni (86) 3-0.
Barcelona (4-3-3): Hesp; Ferrer, Bogarde, Barjuan, Nadal; Celades (Garcia, 88), Giovanni, Enrique Martinez; Figo, Rivaldo, Anderson (Amor, 83).
Real Madrid (4-4-2): Illgner; Carlos, Hierro, Sanchis, Panucci; Bortolini (Sanchez, 60), Seedorf, Redondo, Karembeu; Gonzalez (Jaime, 53), Mijatovic (Morientes, 75).
Sending-off: Real: Hierro.
Match of the match: Rivaldo.
Attendance: 120,000.Reuse content