After a mid-week Copa Del Rey elimination, Real Madrid were looking to reestablish themselves as the sole leaders of La Liga and regain some momentum. Once again, Zinedine Zidane surprised many with his starting eleven. Vinicius JR would not be rewarded for his recent stellar performances, instead Gareth Bale was thrusted back into the line-up after being left out of the squad all together for the last three La Liga matchdays. El Sadar is infamously known as one of the most difficult stadiums to play in with a nightmare environment for the away team. To get any type of result is considered positive. Without their talisman, Chimy Avila, Osasuna lacked a little teeth in their attack. After an early onslaught of shots at Thibaut Courtois net and a goal from Unai Garcia, Madrid weathered the storm. Goals from Isco and Sergio Ramos completed the first half comeback and then Lucas Vazquez and Luka Jovic sentenced the match in the second half. Full match ratings below:
Thibaut Courtois—7: Within the opening four minutes of the match, Courtois had to make two crucial saves and faced four shots in total. Still needs to improve the distribution with his feet, completing only 50% of his passes accurately.
Dani Carvajal—7: Superb in the moments he chose to press, winning the ball high up the pitch and then producing top quality crosses, including an outside of the boot loft to Gareth Bale who fluffed the header.
Raphael Varane—7: The center back and his partner, Ramos, denied a intense and energetic Osasuna front line all evening.
Sergio Ramos—7.5: Scored the go-ahead goal from a poacher’s header after Casemiro played the ball back across Osasuna’s net. After Madrid weathered the initial onslaught from Osasuna, Ramos and Varane locked it down defensively once again. Produced a team high of 6 clearances.
Ferland Mendy—8: The French defender is becoming “Mr.Consistent”. When it comes to defending in 1 v 1 scenarios the former Lyon man is world class. Produced 2 tackles, 2 interceptions, and 2 clearances.
Casemiro—7: Sloppy with his distribution in the opening 45 minutes, but made amends with his header back across goal which Sergio Ramos converted to give Real Madrid the lead. Later made a crucial goal-line save in the second half to deny Osasuna equalizing.
Luka Modric—8.5: Along with Courtois and Isco, Luka was among the few positives of Real Madrid’s first half. The Croatian’s pass to Benzema prior to Lucas Vazquez scoring the third goal was a thing of beauty.
Fede Valverde—5.5: An overall quiet match from the Uruguayan, but did manage his fourth assist of the season in the 93rd minute with a dinked pass to Luka Jovic.
Isco—9: All of Madrid’s best opportunities came from the little magician’s feet. His good play was rewarded and he took his opportunity when a Gareth Bale attempted shot popped into the box with Isco volleyed the ball into the back of the net. His work rate and press-resistance were crucial to Madrid breaking through Osasuna’s press and intensity.
Gareth Bale—3: One of the poorest 45 minutes seen from a Real Madrid attacker in the first half. Bale, a player who much of his game is predicated off of speed, looked leg heavy and slow. Lost the ball on 11 occasions in the first half alone and on countless opportunities just passed it to the opposition.
Karim Benzema—5.5: Quiet in the first half, but improved in the second and produced the assist to Lucas Vazquez on Real Madrid’s third goal.
Lucas Vazquez—7.5: Secured the result for Madrid by scoring the team’s third goal, confidently slotting it past Sergio Herrera into the bottom corner.
Vinicius JR—5.5: Wiggled his way through to find an opening outside of the box to take a shot, but the opportunity was ultimately blocked and deflected off his hand. Had 11 touches total and little else to note.
Luka Jovic—7.5: Had less than four minutes to play, but that did not stop the Serbian from getting on the score sheet. Fede Valverde dinked a lateral pass to the striker who then smashed a volley in the top corner to get his 2nd goal for Real Madrid.