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Madrid stay in battle for LaLiga

MATCH REPORT. 01/05/2021. Alberto Navarro. Photographer: Antonio Villalba and Helios de la Rubia

The team, who have now gone 19 games unbeaten, sealed the victory in the second half with goals from Militão and Casemiro.

Real Madrid took to the pitch against Osasuna knowing full well that only a win would suffice in their fight for the LaLiga title and the Whites clinched all three points to keep their hopes alive with just four games remaining in the competition. The points were secured in the second half thanks to goals by Éder Militão and Casemiro in the space of four minutes. In the first half, the hosts carved out several chances to opening the scoring. The first fell to Eden Hazard in the fourth minute, but he fired over the bar after a fine piece of individual skill. Ten minutes later, Casemiro tried his luck from inside his own half but his lobbed effort just went over Herrera’s goal.
 
Osasuna soon responded with a cross-shot from Manu Sánchez which forced Thibaut Courtois into a save on 23’. Three minutes later, Madrid created a golden chance when Marcelo whipped the ball in from the left and Hazard connected with the cross but saw his effort tipped over the crossbar by Herrera. The visitors’ goalie was once again on hand to save his team when he palmed over a powerful header from Militão. This was the hosts’ best period of the first half and on the half-hour mark, the Brazilian centre-back was denied again by Herrera when he nodded straight into his hands after a cross from Antonio Blanco. Vinicius Jr. then produced some fine footwork before firing into the side-netting on 33’.

Nacho came on in place of Raphaël Varane at the break, before Zinedine Zidane shuffled his pack by bringing on Rodrygo and Miguel for Vini Jr. and Marcelo. Indeed, Rodrygo it was who came a whisker away from breaking the deadlock just four minutes after entering the fray when his effort from the edge of the box skimmed the visitors’ woodwork. The madridistas were now pouring forward in search of a breakthrough as they bid to claim a vital three points in the race for the LaLiga title and the goal duly came in the 76th minute. Just minutes after having replaced Eden Hazard, Isco whipped in a corner and Militão leapt highest to nod the ball home.
 
Game over
Four minutes later, the hosts doubled their advantage to put the game beyond the visitors’ reach. Benzema launched a counter-attack and dribbled his way into the area, before slipping a fine ball through to Casemiro, who put the ball past the advancing Herrera with his first touch. The Whites could have netted a third in the 87th minute following a sublime piece of play from Isco that saw him get past Aridane, only to see his effort fail to hit the target. Zidane’s charges, who have recorded clean sheets in five of their last six outings, now turn their attentions to the second leg of the Champions League semi-final clash against Chelsea.

UNBEATEN IN FIVE OF THE LAST SIX OUTINGS

Real Madrid once again turned in a defensively solid display. Zidane’s troops kept yet another clean sheet and have now recorded shutouts in five of the last six games.

NINETEEN MATCHES UNBEATEN

Real Madrid are riding a 19-game unbeaten streak. The run began back on 6 February against Huesca, with Zidane’s men having emerged victorious in 13 of the games..

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