This was more like Real Madrid — the one that’s topped the table and has been impenetrable defensively.
After a shaky start to the game, where Osasuna looked to exploit a high line from Real Madrid’s defense, and had a couple breaks in the half-space between Dani Carvajal and Raphael Varane, the team stabilized itself and didn’t suffer much, nor did they let Thibaut Courtois really be tested more than twice the entire game.
Amid a tough start for Zidane’s men, Osasuna opened the scoring thanks to a goal (and if we’re being honest, an incredible goal) from Unai Garcia where he beats Casemiro to the ball and redirects his header low and into the far post.
From that point on, Real zipped up their defense. They did not blitz Osasuna offensively, but like in past games, they didn’t need to go on a scoring tear. They created good chances against an organized defensive scheme, and while they struggled with their build-up facing a high press at times, they moved well enough off the ball to get into good positions.
Isco was a key cog in creating those attacking avenues. His press-resistancy allowed him to drop deep and help Zidane’s men progress the ball, and his through-balls created two opportunities in the first half: One to Bale who couldn’t get to the ball before his defender; and one to Benzema who couldn’t score from a tough angle after trying to round the keeper.
Isco scored the equalizer in the 33rd:
⚪ A sweet volley from Isco brings Real Madrid level!— Premier Sports (@PremierSportsTV) February 9, 2020
It's been an excellent first half so far at El Sadar pic.twitter.com/kOtKyvyUJb
It should be noted here that this was one of Gareth Bale’s poorest performances in a while. While he was a good target with his movement and presence in the box — that’s all he really was. His touches were poor — ditto his passing and 50 / 50 challenges. He looks terrified going into tackles, which affects his entire game.
The go-ahead goal came from Sergio Ramos five minutes after Isco scored his. Osasuna collapsed defending a corner, allowing Casemiro to win the ball at the far post, and leaving Ramos, Varane, and Bale all open across the six-yard box:
Gooooool Mi capitano Sergio Ramos— Sami (@SamiZaiiin) February 9, 2020
I swear the best CB in this game
That assist from casemiro too pic.twitter.com/b20ByHLQ7c
Lucas Vazquez scored Real Madrid’s third in the 84th, and Luka Jovic scored the fourth just before the final whistle to seal the win.
This was not particularly entertaining, and the second half felt like it was being played outside in my backyard rather than El Sadar — but hey, we don’t need anything else apart from three points to keep pushing towards the title.
We’ll break this down in much more detail on tonight’s post-game podcast.