The 2-0 win obtained in Bernabéu last week seemed very difficult to overcome by Osasuna, so Ancelotti, as he said in the press conference, took his chance to make some changes in the usual lineup and give some of his players a rest.
I would say the chosen formation was a 4-4-2, but the continuous movement of the midfielders and attackers makes it really difficult to make a decision. Alonso and Illarra were together in the middle, accompanied by Di María, Isco, Jesé and Ronaldo, making his first appearance after earning his second Ballon d'Or. As always in this competition, Casillas guarded he goal, keeping a clean sheet once more, and was defended by Arbeloa, Ramos, Pepe and Coentrao, who took Marcelo's spot.
The first few minutes were a bit difficult. El Sadar was strongly pushing Osasuna and they seemed pretty intense. Their attempts to steal the ball from us were really agressive and our players were not able to pass the first pressure line easily. However, their attackers were not really inspired, and it is important to mention also that our players showed the balance Ancelotti is always looking for. Their work to move Osasuna's ball possession to the wings to get a positional advantage there and recover the ball really surprised me.
However, none of our players seemed inspired enough to make a difference with the ball except Cristiano, whose will was outstanding as usual. He was, essentialy, our only offensive argument, and sufficed to break the game in the twenty-first minute. A really distant shot from a free-kick supposed the 0-1, but it is not fair to give Ronaldo all the credit for this action, since Andrés Fernández, Osasuna's goalkeeper, could have done much more to avoid the goal.
The match changed completely with the goal. Osasuna needed to score, at least, four goals to elliminate us, and that looked like an impossible mission. They tried to play in a more aesthetic way, encouraged by the crowds, but they did not really manage to create any good chances of scoring. Yet in the second half, a great play by Jesé, who crossed the field with the ball and assisted Di María, put the definitive 0-2 in the scoreboard.
It was time for Bale, Casemiro and Morata, who substituted Ronaldo, Alonso and Jesé, but they did not really have an influence on the game. The match was finished and both of the teams accepted the result. The fortune was especially cruel to Morata, who had to abandon the stadium too soon because of a huge bruise in his eye that made him faint and even throw up. Coentrao also left early, due to a red card he received. In my opinion, he should have been smarter and avoid that, but it seems to me that his mind is no longer in Real Madrid.
This result makes Real Madrid move on to the round of 8 in Copa del Rey, where we will face Espanyol, who elliminated Alcorcón (remember Pellegrini?). This will be next week, but we should do a good job in La Liga against Betis first!