Beckham cross sets up Real Madrid equaliser

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The Independent Football

David Beckham laid on Real Madrid's first goal with a trademark pinpoint cross as the Spaniards came from behind to beat visiting Marseille 4-2 in the Champions' League Group F.

The French side struck first through Didier Drogba who nipped in between two defenders to force the ball home after a deflected shot from Mido.

Real Madrid equalised when Beckham floated a ball to Roberto Carlos, who shot into the ground with the ball flying into the top corner.

Ronaldo was on the end of a fine pass across the six-yard box by Michel Salgado, tapping in from close range, and 11 minutes into the second half, the Brazilian curled the ball home left-footed from the crowded edge of the penalty area.

Luis Figo added a fourth from the penalty spot before Marseille defender Daniel van Buyten scored a late consolation goal.

"It was a tough first 20 minutes," Beckham said. "Once we'd gone 2-1 up that was it, though. We showed a lot of character. This team can play not only great football but they can play hard football as well. That was the good thing to come out of the game tonight, apart from the three points."

The Milan coach, Carlo Ancelotti, was a relieved man after his Brazilian goalkeeper Dida made a superb injury-time save that helped the European champions to a 1-0 home win over Ajax in Group H last night.

A 67th minute strike from Filippo Inzaghi was all that separated the sides at the end of a fascinating encounter, but it was Dida's save from Rafael van der Vaart that left the Dutch side frustrated. The Brazilian spread himself to keep out Van der Vaart's fiercely hit close-range effort as Milan hung on for victory.

Lazio battled to a 2-0 win at Besiktas in a Group G encounter that was largely dominated by the Turkish Super League champions. Jaap Stam opened the scoring for the Italian side in the 37th minute, rising unchallenged to head home a Stefano Fiore corner, before another header brought Lazio's second goal, Fiore diving to nod the ball past the goalkeeper Oscar Cordoba.

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