Barça set for first trophy after Real destruction
Monday 15 August 2005
Superbly-crafted second-half strikes from the French winger Ludovic Giuly and last season's leading scorer Samuel Eto'o, as well as a stunning free-kick by Ronaldinho, gave the Catalans a great advantage in their quest to secure the season's first trophy. "It was a very important victory for us," said the Barcelona coach Frank Rijkaard. "But it is only one game."
The Dutchman's side signalled their attacking intentions from the first whistle, with midfielder Xavi firing a long-distance effort a metre wide of the post.
Joaquin responded for Betis after 20 minutes when he danced his way past four Barca players and sent a delicate dink just past the post, with the keeper Victor Valdes beaten.
The visitors finally broke the deadlock two minutes after the break thanks to a magnificently disguised pass from Ronaldinho, who, according to his agent, will sign a lucrative new contract before the end of the month, and an ice-cool finish from Giuly through Toni Doblas's legs.
Betis were denied an equaliser when Valdes produced a superb reflex save low to his right to stop a header from Ricardo Oliveira. But Barca extended their lead soon after when Eto'o slotted home. Ronaldinho added the icing on the cake just after the hour when he struck a dipping free-kick over the wall and into the net.
The Real Madrid defender Jonathan Woodgate will have to start his comeback from a 16-month injury lay-off by playing alongside 14-year-old boys from the club's youth team set-up, says coach Wanderley Luxemburgo.
Woodgate took part in the club's pre-season training camp in Austria but Luxemburgo says the England defender is still a long way from making his full Real Madrid debut. "Woody will have to begin by playing alongside boys of 14 and 15 years old who are weaker and not as tough," the Brazilian coach said. "Then he can go on to play alongside the 16- and 17-year-olds and then with the reserves in the second division."
Pedro Pauleta netted in each half against 10-man Toulouse to ensure Paris St-Germain maintained their 100 per cent start to the new French Ligue 1 season with a 2-0 win. Auxerre continued their impressive start with a 1-0 win against Bordeaux at the Stade Abbe Deschamps. Luigi Pieroni scored the winner.
Latest in Sport
Arsenal transfer news and rumours: Gabriel Paulista sent to Paris to speed up move; Luis Suarez bid planned; Gunners eye Daniele Rugani
Gabriel Paulista: Talented Brazilian could grow into world-class defender at Arsenal
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: Pair finally meet at NBA game and shake hands, will the fight be announced during Super Bowl?
Andy Murray vs Tomas Berydch: Murray cool over reunion with coach Dani Vallverdu at the Australian Open
Manchester United transfer news and rumours: David De Gea new deal; Gareth Bale on speculation; Wilfried Zaha exit
- 1 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 2 Mystery man who gave mum heart-warming note on train 'wanted to put a smile on her face'
- 3 Michelle Obama highlights harsh restrictions faced by Saudi women after meeting King Salman without wearing a headscarf
- 4 Mafia's wall of silence broken: Victim of Cosa Nostra's extortion rackets in its Corleone heartland co-operates with authorities for the first time ever
- 5 Amal Clooney gives excellent answer to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures