Osasuna 1-3 Real Madrid (Alaba, Asensio & Vázquez). Here is my immediate reaction to the latest win. Still to come: press conferences, player ratings and the ManagingMadrid podcast.
The games were flying in fast now, and at the business end of the season Real Madrid needed to gain as many points as possible to keep themselves well ahead in the La Liga title race. Lucas Vázquez and Nacho Fernández acting as full-backs despite the presence of Dani Carvajal on the bench. Dani Ceballos came into the midfield and was joined by Eduardo Camavinga. Three Castilla players were summoned to the bench in Toni Fuidias, Rafa Marín and Juan Latasa. They were not joined by Gareth Bale however, who was a very late exclusion for unclear reasons. Karim Benzema captained the side this evening.
The action peaked early when Eduardo Camavinga went into the referee’s book after his attempted control was questionably judged to be dangerous play by the official. The players reacted angrily to this decision, but channelled it well and moments later took the lead after David Alaba intelligent shifted his feet and quickly finished off a cross with his right-foot. Osasuna showed they had character of their own, immediately equalising after Ante Budimir stabbed home a powerful low cross. They came close to taking a lead but Budimir couldn’t react as quickly as he did for the goal and the shot was blocked away. Madrid weren’t actually playing badly despite the score-line, however chances were still pretty scarce. The hosts then almost took the lead, again through Budimir. This time the goal was disallowed for offside and it was a correct albeit close call. The drama didn’t end there as it was Madrid who took a lead into half-time, after Marco Asensio tapped home a rebounded shot to make it 2-1. Alaba had to retreat at half-time due to an injury, with Dani Carvajal coming on in his place.
Incredibly entertaining first half Osasuna 1-2 Real Madrid. Loads of positives for Madrid, Camavinga and Ceballos playing really well, Asensio continuing his best ever scoring season...Alaba injury looks worrying though...— Phil Kitromilides (@PhilKitro) April 20, 2022
The second half started with a bang as Real Madrid the chance to extend the lead via the penalty spot after a handball, but Karim Benzema of all people stepped up and could not beat the keeper. Dani Ceballos almost scored a wonderful goal from the resulting corner but his effort flew over the bar. Madrid were then awarded another penalty as Rodrygo Goes was chopped down inside the area, but I then had to check to see if my stream had time lapsed. It appeared that Benzema made the same blunder twice in seven minutes, as his shot again failed to find the back of the net. Ceballos then had to come off injured as Toni Kroos to his place, and helped Madrid remain dominant on the ball. Benzema tried desperately to make up for his penalty misses, but he didn’t manage to hit the target - with one shot flying over and the other getting blocked. The danger from the hosts had pretty much dried up, but Madrid were not done yet. Just as I was ready to click publish on this piece, Benzema and Vinícius Júnior decided to create some magic before gifting the ball to Lucas Vázquez on a plate to make it three. The final whistle blew seconds later to confirm the 3-1 victory. Join Kiyan for the post match podcast to go over all of the action in detail!