It was a night of UEFA Champions League records at the Santiago Bernabéu for Real Madrid CF and striker Raúl González as the holders revived their Group C hopes with a 3-1 victory over AC Milan.
Raúl tops 40
The victory left Madrid on a record 50 wins in the competition while Raúl became the first player in the competition to score 40 goals. The Spanish international went on to score goal number 41 and substitute Guti rounded off a night of celebration after Rivaldo had briefly reduced the deficit. Madrid now need only equal the result of the group's third-placed side, BV Borussia Dortmund, when they travel to FC Lokomotiv Moskva next week to progress to the last eight.
Madrid dominated the game from the start, with an extravagant series of passes. As early as the third minute Alessandro Costacurta had to react sharply to intercept a Zinedine Zidane through-ball into the path of Raúl. With Luis Figo and Roberto Carlos a constant source of danger down the flanks the Milan defence was stretched and only a number of timely tackles by Fernando Redondo halted the home side's progress.
Raúl reached his new milestone on eleven minutes. Midfield player Flavio Conceição tested goalkeeper Christian Abbiati with a stinging low shot and from the resulting corner the ball came out to Roberto Carlos whose flicked pass was deftly helped by Ronaldo into the path of Raúl who drove the ball into the net from six metres.
Two minutes later the same player almost doubled his side's advantage as he ghosted beyond the trailing Costacurta only for Abbiati to save with his feet. Ronaldo should have scored on 22 minutes but once again Abbiati got down smartly to push away the Brazilian's low drive from seven metres.
Enter Rui Costa
Milan brought on Rui Costa for the ineffectual Samuele Dalla Bona at the beginning of the second half and immediately they looked a more dangerous side. The Portuguese international almost brought the Italians back into the game on 53 minutes but his inswinging cross just eluded Martin Laursen.
Madrid double advantage
Just as Milan looked to be in the ascendancy, Madrid doubled their advantage on 57 minutes and this time Raúl was both the architect and the finisher. The 25-year-old received the ball on the edge of the area and as Laursen and Redondo closed in, he feinted to shoot with his left foot before dragging the ball on to his right and firing past the stranded Abbiati.
Rivaldo hits back
Madrid coasted from then on but to their credit Milan kept coming forward and were rewarded on 81 minutes when Rivaldo met Paolo Maldini's cross at the far post to head into the net. However the Milan goal merely galvanised Madrid and four minutes later Guti had the simple task of tapping into an empty net after Zidane had combined with Raúl to provide a low cross.