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Real Madrid CF 1-0 Plymouth Argyle

By HomeParkHomer
July 21 2006

So one of the more bizarre chapters in Plymouth Argyle's history comes to what by all accounts was a pretty satisfactory conclusion - to lose to the nine-times European champions by an odd goal (a penalty at that) isn't half bad. Real Madrid CF 1 (Bravo 44 (pen) Plymouth Argyle 0 Teams: Madrid: Diego LUPEZ; Carlos DIOGO, Ivan HELGUERA, Jonathan WOODGATE, Raul BRAVO; GUTI, Thomas GRAVESEN, JUANFRAN, Julio BAPTISTA; Antonio CASSANO, Javier PORTILLO Booked: Bravo

Argyle: (all substitutions at half-time) Luke McCORMICK (Josh CLAPHAM); Anthony BARNESS (Paul CONNOLLY), Mathias KOU-DOUMBE (Mauro ALMEIDA), Hasney ALJOFREE (Scott LAIRD), Gary SAWYER (Tony CAPALDI); David NORRIS (Reuben REID), Luke SUMMERFIELD (Lilian NALIS), Lee HODGES (Paul WOTTON), Ryan Dickson (Bojan DJORDJIC); Chris ZEBROSKI (Nick CHADWICK), Barry HAYLES (Sylvan EBANKS-BLAKE)

So one of the more bizarre chapters in Plymouth Argyle's history comes to what by all accounts was a pretty satisfactory conclusion - to lose to the nine-times European champions by an odd goal (a penalty at that) isn't half bad. Even when you consider it wasn't Madrid's first-choice XI, it's fair to say that pretty much all of the players in white would walk into all but the best Premiership sides, and Argyle's goalscoring problems last season weren't bad enough that someone like Javier Portillo or Antonio Cassano wouldn't have solved them.

The game itself was apparently an even affair (I have to confess that due to the pressures of having a functioning life I wasn't able to go to the game!) with the goal coming from a penalty conceded after the newly-contracted David Norris handled in the box, and Luke McCormick was sent the wrong way. Ollie appeared to be happy with the new boys, and young whippersnapper Hayles particularly impressed apparently (although it's hard to imagine he'd say otherwise).

The official report (read it at www.pafc.co.uk) states that it is a 'proud day for anyone with any Green in their heart' (and also, one would assume, anyone connected with their bank balance) and it's hard to imagine a better test for the new players.

On other matters, the first manager to pit their wits against Ian Holloway in the Home Park hotseat will me Mick McCarthy, newly appointed at Wolves. While it's all too easy to recall his rather underwhelming Premiership record (roughly, P50 L50) he has a fine record at Championship level, leading Sunderland to third place in 2003/4, the season after (what was) the worst Premiership season on record before surging to the title the following season. His international record also stands up to scratch, leading the Irish to their only international tournament since the 1994 World Cup.

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