Osasuna 1-4 Real Madrid: the men of Zinedine Zidane remain the top of LaLiga after an emphatic victory while Gareth Bale starts a rare competition
- Real Madrid won 4-1 in Osasuna on Sunday to get six points away from Barcelona
- Unai Garcia gave the hosts a well-deserved 14-minute lead with a powerful header
- 19 minutes later, Isco equalized and Sergio Ramos scored for the break
- Substitute Lucas Vazquez and Luka Jovic added late efforts in an emphatic victory
- Vazquez stood up for Gareth Bale after the second League start of the Wales star in 2020
Real Madrid turned an uncomfortable road race against fighting Osasuna into a routine victory when they took another step to regain the title.
The side of Zinedine Zidane knew that this was a potential misstep and after 14 minutes they were behind. Unai Garcia dives from an angle of 12 meters a corner past Thibaut Courtois. But Madrid kept their heads and was soon flat.
Gareth Bale was in the team for his first start in the competition since January 4 and at 33 minutes he was involved with the equalizer. His shot was half blocked and when it popped up to the impressive Isco he saluted it past Sergio Herrera to make it 1-1.
Unai Garcia nods the midtable Osasuna on Sunday in a 14th minute lead over Real Madrid
Luka Modric (right) looks despondent while the hosts enjoy their early opener at El Sadar Stadium
Captain Sergio Ramos celebrates it after giving his side the advantage five minutes later
Sergio Ramos gave Real Madrid the lead and came in from close by when the deep corner of Luka Modric was bounced back by Casemiro.
The fiery fans of Osasuna were furious. Ramos had previously left with a terrible challenge on Ruben Garcia. The captain should have been carded and the card could have been red, but the error on Ruben Garcia’s left ankle remained unpunished and now he had risen to nod his team in the lead.
Ramos was not the last border challenge of the game. Nacho Vidal flew in to Fede Valverde and received a yellow card. And Inigo Perez then went into Lucas Vazquez late and, like Ramos, was not even warned.
Isco (right) sets the League leaders back on level with a half-volleyball after half an hour
The midfielder (left) restored parity after an unsuccessful attempt by playmaker Gareth Bale from Wales
Lucas brought daylight between Real Madrid and Osasuna. The substitute, who replaced Bale in 70 minutes, got the third with five minutes.
Modric played Karim Benzema through the middle, and he cleverly slowed down his pass, waiting for Lucas to run after the Osasuna defense and shoot past Herrera, who got a hand for the shot but couldn’t keep the ball out.
Luka Jovic put the icing on the cake for Madrid. The Serbian struggled for goals, but as a late substitute, he shot the ball into the net to make it 4-1 after 92 minutes of Fede Valverde’s pass
Bale (left) played 72 minutes on his first League outing for the Spanish giants since January 4
The 30-year-old helped Madrid to establish their lead before making way for Lucas Vazquez
Substitute Vazquez fires past Osasuna keeper Sergio Herrera with six minutes to go
The Spanish winger grabbed his chance by scoring the third 12 minutes of Madrid after replacing Bale
The maestro Modric had played in Valverde. He had run the game from midfield and made a difficult game easy.
Now that the Croatian finds his best form, Jovic in the goal and Bale back, everything comes together for Zidane with Manchester City on the horizon.
“This is a difficult program where all you have to do is listen to this sound,” Casemiro said after the game when the Osasuna supporters serenaded their beaten team. It would have been difficult on paper, but on the field, the professionalism and efficiency of Madrid had made anything but necessary.
Luka Jovic volys Real Madrid’s fourth after standing in the 87th minute for Karim Benzema
The striker (center) only needed five minutes to wrinkle the net for his second goal of the season