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Sad Beckham and Real Madrid plunge to new depths

David Beckham's worst week of his professional and personal life plunged to new depths on Sunday when his Real Madrid team lost 3-0 at home to Osasuna and surrendered the lead of the Spanish championship.
PTI | By AFP, Madrid
PUBLISHED ON APR 14, 2004 08:36 PM IST

David Beckham's worst week of his professional and personal life plunged to new depths on Sunday when his Real Madrid team lost 3-0 at home to Osasuna and surrendered the lead of the Spanish championship.

The England skipper, who woke up on Sunday to more lurid allegations concerning his private life splashed across the British tabloids, found no hiding place as Real Madrid suffered only their third home league defeat in four seasons to follow their Champions League exit at Monaco.

Goals from Valmiro Valdo, ironically on loan at Osasuna from Real, Pablo Garcia and Mohamed El Yaagoubi Moha were enough to strip Real of pole position after title rivals Valencia had earlier defeated Real Zaragoza 1-0 to go top by two points.

"I am sad and very disappointed," said coach Carlos Queiroz who now looks certain for the axe.

"Losing the first home game this season is a bad moment. Our morale wasn't the best after losing to Monaco and the Spanish Cup final, but the players are professional and they will recover.

"I haven't talked to the officials (about his future). My priority is with the players."

Beckham's first touch came in the first minute of the game and that was to kick the ball back into his own net in frustration after Valdo had opened the scoring making the most of a defensive mix-up.

Beckham, watched by wife Victoria and son Brooklyn in the Bernabeu stands, endured a lacklustre start before almost pulling his side level in the 19th minute.

He unleashed a lob from the halfway line which floated over the head of a backtracking Osasuna goalkeeper Ricardo Sanzol only for the ball to land on top of the goal.

The England skipper then came in for some rough treatment getting caught on the side of the head by Garcia before taking a nasty knock to the calf.

Things got worse for Real when, first, Ronaldo was forced to limp off with a thigh injury and they fell further behind when goalkeeper Iker Casillas dropped a cross at the feet of Garcia who lobbed the ball in from the edge of the box for 2-0 just before the break.

On the hour mark, it was 3-0 when a long clearance from Sanzol allowed Valdo to sprint away from Roberto Carlos and his cross was headed in by Moha.

Zinedine Zidane then had a goal disallowed before Beckham was convinced he should have been awarded a penalty after clashing with Antonio Lopez.

By the final whistle, there were huge swathes of empty seats inside the Bernabeu as fans showed their displeasure, although Mrs Beckham was still there waiting to confront her husband over allegations that he has had two affairs.

Miguel Angel Angulo scored the only goal of the game as Valencia won 1-0 at Real Zaragoza.

Angulo headed in a free-kick from Jorge Lopez in the 71st minute but the win was overshadowed by a knee injury suffered by striker Mohamed Sissoko which could rule him out of Wednesday's UEFA Cup clash against Bordeaux.

In two weeks' time, Real Madrid face bitter rivals Barcelona who kept up their push for a Champions League spot next season when they defeated Valladolid 3-1 on Saturday.

Brazilian World Cup winner Ronaldinho scored one of the goals which set Barca on their way but then put his good work to waste by getting sent off.

Ronaldinho had already been booked for refusing to retreat the full ten metres from a free-kick and then received his second yellow card in the 55th minute when he tried to kick the ball out of the hands of Valladolid goalkeeper Albano Bizzarri.

Barca were cruising at the time having gone 2-0 ahead through Javier Saviola and Ronaldinho who found the net for the 20th time this season.

After the Brazilian's dismissal, Valladolid took full advantage with Oscar pulling a goal back in the 66th minute but Andres Iniesta then scored his first goal in the top flight to make sure of the three points in the 85th minute.

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