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La Liga Recap: Round 22

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Photo credit: Ander Gillenea/AFP/Getty Images.

CA Osasuna 1-3 Real Madrid

Lineups:

CA Osasuna: Sirigu; Tano, Oier, Vujadinović, Fuentes; Álex, Čaučić, Tienza, Jaime; Rivière, León. (4-4-2)

Real Madrid: Navas; Danilo, Nacho, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo; Modrić, Casemiro, Isco; Ronaldo, Benzema. (5-3-2)

Real Madrid came back into action after their last week’s game against RC Celta de Vigo got postponed. This weekend they had to go to Pamplona to play in an always complicated visit against CA Osasuna.

Zinedine Zidane tried once again to play with five natural defenders in the starting lineup. They started the game with a 5-3-2 scheme that constantly changed into a 3-5-2 scheme on the offensive transitions. Danilo and Marcelo, Real Madrid’s full-backs, had the task to be on constant movement helping the midfielders to have a better control of the ball and the game.

That kind of strategy is very complicated because the team needs players capable of performing well both on offense and on defense. Marcelo has improved on the defensive duties throughout the years. But this is something that Danilo has struggled this season. This game was not an exception. Both Alejandro Berenguer and Goran Čaučić passed the ball constantly between each other and took advantage of Danilo’s lack of speed when defending counter-attacks.

Unfortunately, in the 12th minute, Tano, Osasuna’s full-back, got injured after colliding with Isco Alarcón in a fifty-fifty ball. He fractured his tibia and fibula.

Osasuna created a couple of chances but could not hold Real Madrid from scoring the first goal. Karim Benzema sent a beautiful through pass to Cristiano Ronaldo who made the cut between Nikola Vujadinović and Juan Rafael Fuentes and beat the goalkeeper easily with his right foot in the 24th minute.

Osasuna responded quickly nine minutes later after Ronaldo’s goal. Fuentes stole a bad pass by Danilo and sent a well-measured cross ball to Sergio León who made the cut between Sergio Ramos and Raphaël Varane and beat Keylor Navas with a chip shot.

It was a balanced game after Osasuna tied it. Both teams were back and forth at each other with good individual plays that could not end up inside the nets. It took up until the 62nd minute that Real Madrid score again. Isco recovered a lost ball by Benzema inside Osasuna’s box and scored it with his right foot.

Osasuna did not give up even after allowing that second goal. They kept attacking and pressuring Real Madrid’s midfield line. Osasuna took a great approach from long distance and made Navas’ life difficult throughout the whole game.

Real Madrid closed the game up until the 93rd minute after Marcelo assisted Lucas Vázquez – Ronaldo made a “no-touch” pass by letting the ball pass through his legs – who made a fast and long run to make the cut through the right side of Osasuna’s box and score the goal with a chip shot.

The visitors got out of Pamplona with an important victory against a rival that, even tough is in last place in the standings, is always difficult to beat. Real Madrid took the lead in the table back and still have two games left to play less than their beater rivals, Barcelona.

About Jose Sanchez

Journalism student at the University of Florida. Venezuelan and future sports journalist.

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