Football: Real problems after an off day: European round-up

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The Independent Online
REAL MADRID are immersed in their annual crisis after Saturday's 2-0 defeat at Seville, in which three Madrid players and one from the home side were sent off.

All four went in the second half, after Davor Suker had given Seville a first-half lead. Ricardo Rocha went for a second yellow card, Michel and Seville's Jose Prieto were dismissed for fighting, while Robert Prosinecki (dissent) was the last to go. Marcos de la Fuente sealed the home team's win with a last- minute goal. It could be the end of the road for Benito Floro, Real Madrid's coach. 'I have given Floro everything he wanted, but the team's performances remain disastrous,' Ramon Mendoza, the club president, said.

Real are in third place, three points behind La Coruna, the leaders, who won 2-0 at Zaragoza. Second-placed Barcelona were held

3-3 at Rayo Vallecano. Toni Polster, the Austrian striker, scored a hat-trick for the home side, but Barcelona recovered from a 3-1 deficit after Hristo Stoichkov and Ronald Koeman had been sent off.

Marco van Basten of Milan has won the European Footballer of the Year award, becoming only the third player to take the title three times, after Johan Cruyff and Michel Platini.