Real Madrid return to winning ways despite early scare
Real Madrid put a smile back on their fans' faces on Sunday with victory over Osasuna in La Liga. Despite falling behind 14 minutes in after a poor start, Zidane's men responded brilliantly to falling behind and they were the better side for the rest of the contest.
First Isco levelled the scores after 33 minutes with a nice volley after Bale's pass from deflected and then Ramos put Real ahead five minutes later from a set piece by heading home at the near post from two yards. In the second half, Osasuna tried to fight back, but they lacked the cutting edge to do so. As gaps appeared at the back, Lucas Vazquez killed off the contest six minutes from time after being played in by Benzema and then substitute Luka Jovic got on the scoresheet in stoppage time. It was a great way to respond to their cup exit in midweek.
They did not have it all their own way at the beginning though. Nacho Vidal hit wide in the first minute and Juan Arnaiz also threatened before Osasuna nearly scored inside four minutes. Ruben Garcia got on the end of a long pass by Estupinan and he cut inside before shooting and forcing Courtois into a great save. On the rebound, Roberto Torres fired over. Osasuna lost Moncayola inside 10 minutes and in the 14th minute, they took a deserved lead when the unmarked Unai Garcia headed Ruben Garcia's corner kick into the far corner.
Real Madrid fought back brilliantly though. Benzema had an effort cleared off the line just three minutes later and then Gareth Bale hit the side netting. From then on in, Madrid were the much better team. Carvajal was denied by Estupinan on the line on the half hour and Isco made it 1-1 three minutes later after Bale's pass deflected off Estupinan straight into his path and he made no mistake.
Osasuna continued to be brave going forward, but just five minutes later, they were behind. A Modric corner was flicked by Casemiro at the back stick towards Ramos at the near post and the captain headed home from just two yards out. Real Madrid went into the break leading and Zidane's men once again did not concede a league goal between the 15th and 45th minute.
In the second half, Real Madrid began the stronger with Benzema coming the closest with a header, but then Osasuna had a brief dangerous spell. Unai Perez hit one slightly over the goal as he looked for the top corner and then Ruben Garcia hit an effort narrowly wide in the 53rd minute. However, after that, Real Madrid were once again in control and nearly made it 1-3 20 minutes from time when Herrera made a fantastic save to deny Isco. At 1-2, Osasuna were not out of it though.
Ruben Garcia, one of Osasuna's most dangerous players, saw a goalbound effort deflected by Varane for a corner, but as Osasuna started to throw more people forward, the game was put beyond their reach six minutes from time.
A pass was played for Benzema who spotted Vazquez to his right and the substitute beat Herrera despite the keeper getting a hand to it. Then, in stoppage time after just five minutes on the pitch, Luka Jovic completed the scoring. Modric sent a great pass through to Valverde who squared for the Serbian to tap in. It was 1-4 and a comprehensive win.
Inigo Perez hit the crossbar with the last play of the game after Gallego flicked on a long punt by the Osasuna GK, but the home side ended up being well beaten despite a good first half showing. They remain safe in mid-table while Real Madrid have a six point lead at the top at least until Barca play at Betis on Sunday night.