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Football: MACCA PUTS ONE FOOT ZIN THE FINAL; Barca have no answer to Real fine double act.


REAL'S date with destiny is still in the diary after goals from Zinedine Zidane and Steve McManaman beat their greatest rivals in the Champions League semi-final first leg.

Madrid are close to a return to Glasgow - the scene of their greatest triumph - yet this was far from a vintage performance as they were on the back foot for much of the game, but escaped with two away goals thanks to two moments of brilliance.

Zidane, who had hardly had a meaningful kick all night, was released down the right by Raul.

Taking the ball in his stride at pace, the French master contrived to scoop the ball over Bonano, who got his hand to it but could not prevent the goal.

It was hard to bear for Barca, who had controlled the game for long stretches and, through the collective brilliance Luis Enrique, Patrick Kluivert, Javier Saviola and Marc Overmars, deserved to score.

And as they pushed forward in search of a stoppage-time equaliser, Barca were knocked on to the canvas by a McManaman sucker punch, the Englishman easing the ball over Bonano after a swift counter-attack.

McManaman said: "We didn't play fantastically well but still had lots of chances and managed to put two away.

"There was lots of space at the end and I was delighted to score what is an important goal for us."

Both sides began at a furious pace and, despite playing with three central defenders, Real created the first opportunity only for Roberto Carlos to blaze wide.

Cesar was off his line on seven minutes to brilliantly save from Kluivert after the Dutchman tricked his way through before Luis Enrique saw a header hit the crossbar after 12 minutes.

The Catalans started the second half as they ended the first and Luis Enrique sent a long-range shot inches wide.

However, after 55 minutes a Raul through-ball picked out Zidane to chip home and give Real the lead against the run of play.

Luis Enrique was unlucky not to equalise almost straight away but sent his header inches wide when he should have hit the target.

Raul rounded Bonano who did well to push the striker wide and Raul's cross was calmly headed out by Abelardo from underneath his own crossbar.

Geovanni hit the Real crossbar from distance before, with time running out, McManaman coolly converted on the counter-attack.

BARCELONA - Bonano, Reiziger, de Boer, Abelardo, Cocu, Motta, Overmars, Rochemback, Luis Enrique, Kluivert, Saviola. Subs: Reina, Christanval, Gabri, Geovanni, Coco.

REAL MADRID - Cesar, Salgado, Carlos, Hierro, Pavsn, Helguera, Solari, Makelele, Guti, Zidane, Raul. Subs: Casillas, McManaman, Savio, Geremi, Flavio, Karanka, Munitis.

Referee - A Frisk (Sweden).
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Apr 24, 2002
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