Roque Junior singled out for racist abuse by Madrid fans

Real Madrid 1 - Bayer Leverkusen 1
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The Independent Online

The Real Madrid striker Raul equalled Alfredo di Stefano's all-time European scoring record of 49 goals when he equalised for his side in the 70th minute of their Champions' League Group B match against to earn his side a 1-1 draw at home Bayer Leverkusen last night.

A section of Real Madrid supporters last night aimed racist abuse at Bayer Leverkusen players in their Champions' League match here.

Seven days after the Bernabeu was witness to appalling crowd behaviour during England's international friendly against Spain, when Shaun Wright-Phillips and Ashley Cole were subjected to monkey chants from the home fans, there was more cause for concern for the Spanish authorities. Uefa, European football's governing body, may see fit to intervene should the referee or their delegate report last night's events.

Several members of the Bernabeu crowd could be seen making Nazi salutes, and Leverkusen's black defender Roque Junior ­ a World Cup winner with Brazil two years ago ­ was singled out for abuse from the stands. The abuse soon ended after other sections of the crowd registered disapproval with a chorus of whistles.

In the match itself Raul, the Real Madrid captain, rescued his team by equalling Alfredo Di Stefano's record of 49 goals in the European Cup to earn his side a 1-1 draw.

Real, who now must win their final Group B match at Roma on 8 December to qualify for the knock-out phase, had a chance to snatch victory but Luis Figo's 81st minute spot-kick was brilliantly saved by Hans-Jörg Butt.

The home side were on the ropes for much of the match and were in deep trouble when Dimitar Berbatov gave the visitors the lead nine minutes before the break, firing into the roof of the net from close range. But Real claimed the draw thanks to a piece of skill from Figo and smart finishing from Raul 20 minutes from time.

The Portuguese midfielder weaved his way past three defenders, exchanged a smart one-two with Zinedine Zidane and slipped the ball to Raul, who guided it into the net.

Leverkusen had made a cautious start, looking to play on the break. But they gave Real a warning of their intent in the 34th minute when Jacek Krzynowek sliced wide with the goal at his mercy after the ball fell to his feet seven metres out.

Two minutes later, however, Leverkusen made no mistake. Jens Nowotny clipped in a cross from the right, Andriy Voronin headed on to the bar and after the ball ricocheted off the Real defender Walter Samuel, Dimitar Berbatov smashed it into the roof of the net.

Real coach Mariano Garcia Remon rang the changes after the break, taking off David Beckham and giving Fernando Morientes a rare run-out up front.

Real Madrid: Casillas; Salgado, Carlos, Samuel, Zidane, Helguera, Figo, Guti, Beckham, Raul, Ronaldo. Substitutes: Cesar, Bravo, Pavon, Celades, Solari, Morientes, Owen.

Bayer Leverkusen: Butt; Roque Junior, Juan, Nowotny, Placente, Krzynowek, Babic, Schneider, Ramelow, Berbatov, Voronin. Substitutes: Starke, Callsen-Bracker, Freier, Bierofka, Balitsch, Ozturk, Franca.

Referee: A Hamer (Luxembourg).

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