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Madrid close in on LaLiga crown

MATCH REPORT. 20/04/2022. Alberto Navarro. Photographer: Antonio Villalba

Goals from Alaba, Asensio and Lucas V. sealed the win for the Whites in Pamplona.

Real Madrid produced a battling display to take another step towards securing the LaLiga title at El Sadar. David Alaba and Marco Asensio grabbed the goals for the league leaders in the first half and Lucas V. sealed the points in second-half stoppage time as the Whites recorded their second away win in the space of three days. The madridistas must now try to recover and prepare for the first leg of the Champions League semi-finals, which will be played on Tuesday 26th at the Etihad Stadium (9 pm CET).

The game got off to a frantic start, with two goals in the opening 15 minutes of play in Pamplona. Real Madrid opened the scoring in the 12th minute through a well-worked set-piece move. Asensio played a short freekick to Dani Ceballos, who curled a pin-point pass over the defence for Karim Benzema to knock a first-time pass across goal to David Alaba. The defender’s initial shot was saved by Herrera, but the Austrian reacted sharply to stab in the loose ball to put Madrid 1-0 up. Osasuna then reacted straight away and equalised barely one minute later through Budimir.

Asenso puts the league leader back in front
Real Madrid went in search of a second goal before the break and fired consecutive strikes in at goal from distance from the boots of Asensio and Alaba. The first, on 38’, narrowly missed the target and the second, one minute later, forced Herrera into a full-stretched save. But the visitors’ persistence paid off on the stroke of halftime. Camavinga floated in a lovely ball to find Ceballos, who slid a first-time shot goalwards. The goalkeeper once again pulled off the save but Asensio turned in the rebound from close-range.

Video.1-3: Madrid close in on LaLiga crown

The second half began with a fright for our boys, when Brašanac shouldered the ball towards goal to force Courtois into a stunning save on 48’. Real Madrid’s response came three minutes later as Rodrygo skipped inside Chimy Ávila in the box and as the striker turned the ball hit the defender on the arm. The referee pointed to the spot, but Benzema failed to outwit Herrera from the resulting penalty. With 58 minutes played, the Frenchman once again stepped up from the spot after Rodrygo earned another penalty, but the Osasuna shot-stopper again guessed right to deny Benzema.
 
Following that rip-roaring 15-minute spell, the contest settled down and there was little incident until virtually the final whistle as our team managed their led and were barely made to break a sweat at the back. As the game moved into injury time, Lucas V. fired home the third of the night following a sublime piece of skill from Benzema to launch a counter-attack that Vini Jr. continued, before teeing up the Galician to score. No further goals were forthcoming as the league leaders racked up another three points to edge ever closer to the club’s 35th LaLiga crown.

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The referee

De Burgos Bengoechea (Basque Country), assisted by Díaz Pérez Del Palomar and Núñez Fernández. Muresan Muresan was the fourth referee with Estrada Fernández (Catalonian) as the video assistant referee.

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