Real Madrid came from behind in El Sadar to beat Osasuna by 1-4 to stay on top of La Liga with a six-point lead for at least a few hours. The game ended with a venomous finish from Luka Jović that brought a smile to the face of the player and Real Madrid fans all across the world. Real Madrid have shaken off the defeat against Sociedad and kept their momentum very much on track in La Liga. This kind of performance was needed to lift the team and the Zidane’s men have just gone and done that. Here’s how it unfolded at El Sadar:
Osasuna started the game very strongly as they came close to scoring in the very first minute. Vidal drilled a low shot towards the bottom left corner but it flew away past the goal. A couple of minutes later, Arnaiz managed to evade the offside flag as he got behind the Real Madrid defense after a long ball got delivered over the top. The striker tried to beat the Real Madrid goalkeeper from a very acute angle but his shot flew over the goal. Osasuna had to make a very early substitution as friend Merida came in for Moncayola on the 10th minute.
Just before the first quarter of the hour, Osasuna took the lead after Unai Garcia converted with a great header from a corner. The center-half wasn’t really marked that well inside the Real Madrid penalty area and he powerfully put the ball into the back of the net.
Real Madrid needed a quick reaction after conceding and they started to form a few good attacking sequences with Isco and Mendy from the left flank. After a good sequence of play, a nice volley fell to the Spanish midfielder, which he smashed into the back of the net to equalize.
Before Osasuna could settle from the aftermath of the first goal, Madrid took the lead on the 38th minute. Sergio Ramos headed his team into the lead after Casemiro had squared his header into the captain’s path. There were no more significant chances for either team in the rest of the seven minutes of the first half. The players walked into the tunnel after the additional minute of stoppage time.
Zidane’s choice of going with the 4-4-2 diamond didn’t turn out to be exactly what the manager wanted in the earlier phase of the game. Gareth Bale was reluctant to go into a lot of one-on-one challenges and the service from his right-wing was not really great either.
Real Madrid created an early goal-scoring chance in the second half, on the 49th minute. Luka Modric raced down to the right-wing and squared the ball back to Karim Benzema. The Frenchman fired a first-time shot on goal, but his effort was nicely blocked by the Osasuna defense.
Osasuna almost equalized on the 54th minute. The shot from Arnaiz took a slight deflection to go wide of the goal for a corner. This was a real chance that Osasuna could not grab. On the hour mark, Real Madrid tried to slow the game down a bit. They were in no rush to extend their lead as they emphasized on the superiority of possession.
Gareth Bale got subbed-off on the 71st minute as Lucas Vázquez came in place of him. Captain Sergio Ramos got booked for a very late challenge on Cardona on the 80th-minute mark. Real Madrid finally extended their lead after a brilliant build-up play by Karim Benzema. Real Madrid’s talisman unselfishly passed the ball to Lucas near the right-hand side of the Osasuna penalty area who made no mistake to score. The ball did take a deflection from the goalkeeper’s hand but Real Madrid wouldn’t mind that.
Jović made a very late appearance on the 88th minute as he came on for Karim Benzema. The Serbian Striker has been going through an extended drought for goals since coming to Real Madrid, having scored only once before tonight. But all that changed on the 92nd minute of the game. Fede Valverde went on one of his customary runs and then squared the pass for Jović to score from an absolute venomous finish that almost took out the roof of the net. Madrid ended the game with a comfortable 1-4 scoreline.
Madrid’s defense was leaving a lot of space behind them once again but they slowly got a grab on Osasuna. Mendy’s defensive presence was once again key on that opponent right-wing. Bale’s involvement was not really significant in the game and Zidane should take note of this in the future. Luka Modric had an amazing game and it’s quite astonishing, the level of energy he brings into the middle, even at this age.
Key events and line-ups
Osasuna XI: Herrera; Nacho Vidal, Unai García, David García, Estupiñan; Moncayola, Brasanac, Ibañez,Torres; Ruben, Arnaiz.
Goal(s): Unai Garcia (14′)
Substitute(s): Fran Mérida for Jon Moncayola (10′), Enric Gallego for José Manuel Arnáiz (61′), Marc Cardona for Roberto Torres (77′).
Booking(s): Vidal (57′), David Garcia (69′),
Real Madrid XI: Courtois; Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Mendy; Modric, Valverde, Casemiro, Isco; Bale, Benzema.
Goal(s): Isco (33′), Ramos (38′), Lucas (84′), Jović (92′).
Substitute(s): Lucas for Bale (71′), Vinicius for Isco (82′), Jović for Benzema (92′).
Booking(s): Carvajal (73′), Ramos (79′).
Referee: Jesus Gil Manzano.