Real Madrid vs Osasuna, Liga BBVA 2013-2014: Match Recap

Denis Doyle

Two Ronaldo rockets and a header each from Ramos and Carvajal helped Real Madrid to a comfortable 4:0 win over Osasuna in what turned out to be a fun and entertaining match.

Lineups:

Real Madrid Starting XI: Diego López, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo, Nacho, Modrić, Di María, Isco, Illarra, Ronaldo, and Morata.

Osasuna Starting XI: Andrés Fernández; Damiá, Flaño, Arribas, Joan Oriol; Cejudo, Raoul Loé, Puñal, Armenteros, De las Cuevas, and Oriol Riera.

The First Half:

Prior to kick-off, Iker Casillas and Sergio Ramos presented the Bernabéu faithful with the Copa del Rey trophy. Following this gesture, the stadium observed a minute of silence to honor the passing of Tito Villanova. Ancelotti lined up his side in a 4-3-3 formation with Cristiano Ronaldo and Di María flanking young striker Morata with Isco, Illaramendi and Luka Modric in midfield.

Madrid launched its first attack in the third minute when a fine through-ball from Di María found Alvaro Morata at the edge of the area. Morata decided to have a go but his shot was deflected, resulting in a Madrid corner. Three minutes later, Cristiano Ronaldo announced his return from injury with a trademark dipping shot from beyond the 18-yard box. CR7 controlled a long diagonal pass from Di María and fired home a spectacular goal from the left wing to put Los Blancos ahead early in the match.

In the 18th minute Real Madrid launched a counter-attack after an Osasuna corner-kick with defenders such as Ramos and Nacho bombing forward to participate in Madrid's deadly offensive play. Unfortunately for Madrid, Nacho's cross was picked off by an Osasuna defender, killing the attack's momentum. Ramos got involved in the counter-attacking game once more four minutes later, this time heading the ball over the net after a Ronaldo cross picked out the Madrid center-back.

In the 25th minute, Madrid showed some quick passing combinations as Nacho, Cristiano Ronaldo and Modric combined nicely in an enjoyable run of play. A few minutes later, Cristiano Ronaldo fired a bullet free kick to the far post, but sadly the shot missed the target and failed to test the keeper.

Madrid enjoyed the bulk of possession in the first half as Osasuna barely threatened Ancelotti's side. Despite some attempts on goal from Ronaldo, Marcelo, Morata, Modric and Nacho in the final ten minutes, the first half ended with Madrid leading by one goal. All in all, Madrid looked to be very much in the driver's seat as they headed into the locker room.

The Second Half:

Madrid began the 2nd half with no changes in the line-up. Modric tried his luck with a long shot in the 49th minute but the shot went over the crossbar. Two minutes later, Ronaldo did the spectacular once again. After cutting in from the left wing, he fired a rocket into the top corner that was simply unstoppable. Another incredible long-range golazo from the Portuguese powerhouse that helped Madrid to a 2-0 lead early in the half.

That would not be all, though. In the 60th minute, Sergio Ramos recovered the ball at the edge of his area and kick-started another deadly counter-attack that led to a powerful headed goal from Ramos himself. Di María provided a wonderful cross for Madrid's captain from the right wing after receiving a pass from Cristiano. Finally, after numerous runs down the field, Sergio Ramos got his goal.

Once Madrid got their third goal, Ancelotti decided to substitute Casemiro for Cristiano Ronaldo to preserve Madrid's winger for the upcoming Champions League match against Bayern Munich. Then, at the 66th minute mark, Xabi Alonso replaced Luka Modric to give the Croatian wizard some rest.

In the 72nd minute Isco managed to get a shot off in between two Osasuna defenders but the effort was aimed straight at the goalkeeper. One minute later, Ancelotti decided to remove Di María and replaced him with Daniel Carvajal, who occupied the role of right winger ahead of Nacho.

Osasuna's biggest threat came at the 79th minute when a corner kick found an open Damiá, who headed just wide Diego's goal. A few moments later, Morata almost found Isco with a ball across goal but Osasuna's defender did enough to block Isco's path. While he did not get a goal, Isco provided a beautiful chipped delivery for Carvajal a few minutes later, whose striker-like run allowed him to comfortably head the ball past the keeper. It was a truly beautiful combination from Madrid's youngsters that capped off a 4-0 victory for Real Madrid.

Final Notes:

Morata had a goal disallowed in the 90th minute for a minor push on his marker that, in my opinion, was a soft call. Ultimately, Real Madrid controlled the match with 63% possession and put on an offensive spectacle for its fans with two Ronaldo rockets and goals from defenders Ramos and Carvajal. The chase for La Liga, while difficult, remains alive. Hala Madrid!

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