In season 90-91, Real Murcia seemed well set for promotion to Primera. We had topped the league for months, but on the last day of the season, away at Deportivo La Coruña, everything was at stake. There were a lot of "dark arts" practised by Deportivo as a club and by their (still) chairman Lendoiro. The worst happened. 2 - 0 to Deportivo and we finished third, which then signified a play off with the third bottom side in Primera, in this case, Zaragoza. I can still remember clearly the home leg and how we dominated, hit the bar, but were denied by some very poor refereeing by (I can still remember his name) Diaz Vega. The second leg we fell apart, and were soundly beaten 5 - 2.
From that point on the 90's were a disaster for Real Murcia. Administrative relegation to segunda B, promotion back to Segunda, but then a series of years in segunda B and even one year in the depths of Tercera, mean that the decade was one of the darkest periods in the history of the club. The 00's were a little better, even playing 2 seasons in Primera, but both campaigns ended in relegation. Compare this to the last 20 years for Deportivo. After that game, they have not been out of Primera until this season. They won the Primera title in 99-00, have won the Copa Del Rey on two occasions (94-95 and 01-02), enjoyed 13 seasons of european football (playing in semi finals of the Cup Winners Cup in 95-96, and the Champions league in 03-04). It's almost as if the history of both clubs pivoted on that 1991 game. The two stories could not have been more distant, one teams success, the others almost complete failure. We should not forget the treatment received by club, players and fans on that day in 1991. It was anything but Deportivo.
We have had occasions to in some way repay Deportivo on the few times we have met since. In the Copa del Rey in 03 we undeservedly lost the first leg 1- 0 in Coruña, and then started the second leg by letting 2 in.....and then made a magnificent comeback, only to go out on away goals after Manuel Pablo scored the flukiest goal he'll ever score. Here you can see the videos of the first and second halves.
So.....now we have a situation. Deportivo just relegated from Primera, Real just promoted from Segunda B. They have 19 points, we have 18. Beat them, and we will be above them for the first time since 1991. Could this be the moment when the circle is complete, and the roles are changed?
This game is not to be missed. Kick off is on Monday 7th at 9 p.m.
Tickets are available from the box office at the New Condomina stadium.
For the Lateral it is €30, and behind either goal is €20.
With the run we are on, expect a good gate, and a great match. Who knows....maybe 20 years from now we can look back and say "I was there" the day it all changed.