ENRIQUE GOAL ENSURES FIGO'S MISERY
By Nic Evans
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Figo was whistled from the start of the game and armed police attempted to shield him from a rain of missiles if he came in range of a baying crowd.
However, it was another player competing against his old team, Luis Enrique who opened the scoring.
The versatile star, who Spain certainly missed during the summer's Euro 2000 tournament, put the home side ahead in the 27th minutes.
A Xavi free-kick from the left was flicked on by Enrique and despite the ball appearing to touch Real defender Aitor Karanka before crossing the line, the former Chelsea target accepted the congratulations of his team-mates.
The game was certainly a full-blooded affair and many challenges could have been punished more severely, but the referee seemed happy to book players for a series of fouls on a greasy pitch.
Barca had the game by the scruff of the neck and should have increased their lead on numerous occasions, notably Rivaldo's vicious shooting that had Iker Casillas nursing his hands for most of the night.
Substitute Alfonso had an open goal from one of the Brazilian's efforts but saw his side foot shot rebound off the bar.
Figo had to suffer a barrage of whistling, along with various derogatory banners and even the Barcelona players had to appeal for calm, especially when the Portuguese star was booked in the second half.
However, he almost broke the hearts of the home crowd as he played a great one-two with Pedro Munitis and stormed into the box, only for his goalbound shot bounce off Abelardo and to safety.
It was another Rivaldo shot that led to Barca's second when his stinging drive was palmed upwards by Casillas, Alfonso followed the ball in and the keeper was lost in the mix up, giving Simao the easiest chance to blast the ball home from close range.
The young Portuguese star was a thorn in the Real defence all night as he tormented and teased Roberto Carlos on the right wing that Figo himself had terrorised.
At the end of the match, Figo was embraced by all the Barca players as they showed their professional respect for a man that was composed in the heat of bitter adversity.
Deportivo La Coruna 1 Real Mallorca 1
Valencia 1 Real Zaragoza 0