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Beckham saves Real with free kick
23/9/2004 7:55


David Beckham scored the only goal with a 25-meter free kick to win back some support from a furious Bernabeu crowd and give Real Madrid a 1-0 victory over Osasuna in their first match in the post-Camacho era.

The first act of coach Mariano Garcia Remon, drafted in following the shock resignation of Jose Antonio Camacho on Monday,was to restore Beckham and Raul to the starting line-up.

There was little improvement but the night's one moment of brilliance, an exquisite Beckham free kick in the 61st minute, sent the side into provisional top spot in the top league.

A third 1-0 victory of the season gave Real nine points from four games and took them two points clear of a group of six teams who held the lead going into the midweek fixtures.

Among them are Espanyol, who are away at bottom club Getafe on Wednesday, champions Valencia, who travel to face Deportivo Coruna,and Barcelona, who are at home to Real Zaragoza on Thursday.

Camacho resigned after two defeats in four days, citing a lack of faith in his own ability to inspire any improvement in the side's poor performances so far this season.

Real ran out to whistles and boos from fans upset over the perceived role of the players in Camacho's departure, with much ofthe venom reserved for Roberto Carlos and Beckham. It was not until the 28th minute that Real created a chance,Luis Figo taking a nodded through ball from Morientes and slipping a shot wide. Raul hit the post with a measured shot from the edge of the area and as the ball came back Albert Celades forced a fine one-handed save from keeper Ricardo Sanzol.

Raul's sharp run down the left almost created a chance for Figowith 55 minutes gone and a few minutes later the captain's pass set Ronaldo up for a shot that flashed wide. Real were still largely uninspired, though, and it needed a set-piece goal from Beckham, whipping in his free kick from a central position midway between the halfway line and the goal, to claim the points.