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Immediate Reaction: Huesca 1-2 Real Madrid

Madrid secure three points away from home...

SD Huesca v Real Madrid - La Liga Santander Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

Huesca 1-2 Real Madrid (Varane x2). Madrid bounce back. Here is the immediate reaction of the win. Coing up: Player ratings, press conference quotes and the post-game podcast.

With injuries and departures cursing the squad throughout January, this skinny matchday squad was a harsh repercussion of some questionable decisions. Even with the extended substitutes bench, only six players (including two goalkeepers) made the cut - largely due to the lack of Castilla players available to fill the seats. Zidane was back on the bench at least, and his starting line-up was relatively strong, despite very recent news that both Eden Hazard and Sergio Ramos would be out for some time. Despite Real Madrid’s very slim title chances, it was important to get back to winning ways, so this game immediately became a win and take the points home at all costs situation. Huesca lined up with former Castilla player of the season Jaime Seaone, alongside several other familiar names.

The first half optimised the circumstances surrounding the match. Madrid did dominate possession, but it was Huesca that managed to create the clearer opportunities. They hit the bar, whilst the closest Los Blancos came was through Benzema and Vinícius Júnior half chances. Huesca were going to be a problem, and one that needed solving in the second half as they held out for 0-0 by half time. Things quickly became even more difficult when the hosts took the lead with a phenomenal strike. They cut Real Madrid open with a ball across the pitch, but the finish from the edge of the box was everything. Huesca then hit the bar after a great ball in by Seoane, but Madrid managed to respond well to the set back, as Benzema hit the bar from a free-kick before Varane managed to bundle the ball in after it came sailing back down. That turned the table back into Madrid’s favour - as the team settled and began the search for the winner. Unpredictably, that winning goal would come from the big French centre-back again, with a cleaner effort from a free-kick. Madrid managed to see the game out to record just their second win in six games.

Tonight this game will be further inspected on the podcast, with player ratings also looking into each performance individually. The three points allow Madrid fans to release a sigh of relief for now, but the squad is not going to be reinforced anytime soon, so affairs will still be tense going into the Getafe derby mid-week. What I find particularly interesting is the current crop of players stepping up to keep the team ticking, whilst others are flinching under the current turmoil. It was also great to see Castilla players involved again, making this season one of the best in recent years in terms of opportunities for the younger players at the club. What did you think about the game? And what do you expect from the team over the next few fixtures?

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