Real Madrid

Osasuna 1-3 Real Madrid: Player ratings as Los Blancos strengthen grip on La Liga title

Max Parsons
The title is all but mathematically sealed
The title is all but mathematically sealed / Soccrates Images/GettyImages
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Real Madrid all but mathematically confirmed their La Liga crown on Wednesday night as they earned a gripping 3-1 win at Osasuna.

First-half goals from David Alaba and Marco Asensio, before Lucas Vazquez's last-minute strike, were enough to make sure a second-period brace of missed penalties by Karim Benzema didn't cost Los Blancos an action-packed victory that puts Carlo Ancelotti's side 17 points clear at the La Liga summit for at least a day or so.

A lively beginning to the game set the tone for an exciting evening, as both sides threatened in the respective final thirds before scoring inside14 minutes. It was the visiting side's quality that showed first, though, when the deadlock was broken in the 12th minute.

The goal originated from a delightfully measured cross from Dani Ceballos, before Benzema's cutback presented the onrushing Alaba with a chance he simply couldn't miss from a few yards out, playing an unintentional one-two with the hosts' goalkeeper before bundling the ball into the back of the net.

Catching their opponents napping, however, Osasuna found themselves level a couple of minutes later when Ante Budimir showed good reflexes to stick out a toe at the back post, tapping a fizzed delivery from the right-hand side into a helpless Thibaut Courtois' goal.

The home side continued to threaten on the break while Real Madrid controlled possession, and thought they'd earned a second goal just after the half-hour mark. After chesting the ball down brilliantly and scuffing a volleyed effort into the bottom corner, however, Budimir's celebrations were swiftly cut short by the linesman's flag.

Having the lion's share of the ball finally paid dividend just before the referee's whistle for the break. Asensio was on hand to tap the ball in from short range, profiting from a rebounded Ceballos effort after Eduardo Camavinga's sensational lofted ball in behind the Osasuna back line had originally picked the Spaniard out.

The thrills didn't stop after the break, either.

Minutes after Courtois was forced into a Superman-style stop at one end, Ancelotti's side were given a penalty at the other. Rodrygo's twisting and turning forced Ezequiel Avila into a handball as he slid in for a tackle, but Benzema - of all people - failed to give Real a two-goal cushion as he saw Sergio Herrera parry his spot kick out for a corner.

Remarkably, though, the Frenchman was given another opportunity from 12 yards just seven minutes later, after Rodrygo's blistering pace earned the visitors another penalty just before the clock struck the hour-mark. The story, however, was the same, as both Benzema and the goalkeeper went the same way again.

In what was a comparatively subdued end to proceedings, there was one more moment of note for the visitors. Los Blancos sealed the win in the sixth minute of stoppage time as Vinicius Junior, who had missed a gilt-edged chance minutes before, latched onto Benzema's brilliant pass and squared for a grateful Vazquez, who finished with aplomb.

Ancelotti's men now find themselves in a truly unassailable domestic position as they turn their attention onto the first leg of their Champions League semi-final bout with Manchester City next week.

Here's how Los Blancos rated on Wednesday night.


Real Madrid player ratings vs Osasuna

1. Real Madrid (4-3-3)

GK: Thibaut Courtois - 7/10 - No chance for the opposition's equaliser but denied a second one with a superb reaction save after the interval.

RB: Lucas Vazquez - 7/10 - Did a solid job on the back foot and showed fantastic tenacity to get upfield and seal the win late on.

CB: Eder Militao - 4/10 -
Looked a little shaky throughout and really could have done better for Osasuna's early equaliser. It hasn't been a great week for the Brazilian.

CB: David Alaba - 7/10 - Reacted well to nab an early opener and proceeded to carry the ball out from the back very well throughout the first half, right at the end of which he was worryingly forced off with a knock.

LB: Nacho Fernandez - 6/10 - Weak defending to allow the cross to originally come in for the hosts' goal but was visibly more at ease and resolute when shifted to a central role after the break.

CM: Federico Valverde - 5/10 -
The guy's energy is mad; as was his inexplicable complete lack of creative influence on proceedings, however.

CM: Eduardo Camavinga - 7/10 -
Unjustly booked in the fifth minute, but kept his chin up to put in a very professional display. A lovely player to watch, as evidenced by a staggeringly perfect ball to make his side's second goal possible, but not convinced he's the archetypal anchoring type - get Aurelien Tchouameni in there alongside him.

CM: Dani Ceballos - 7/10 - Impressed with some classy distribution and showed a refreshing desire to really play progressively, notably producing a lovely ball in the build-up to the opener and making some effective runs beyond his attacking colleagues.

RW: Marco Asensio - 5/10 - Utterly absent before being in the right place at the right time to grab the go-ahead goal in the first half, after which he disappeared again.

ST: Karim Benzema - 5/10 - Linked play with his typically graceful efficiency, notably showing great awareness to leave Alaba with no choice but to notch the opener and doing brilliantly to create the opportunity for the third. The missed penalties tell the story in front of goal, though - can't be getting more than a five having missed twice from the spot.

LW: Rodrygo - 8/10 - Very lively from the outset, proving his side's brightest spark throughout. Gave us electric dribbling, a jaw-dropping Bergkamp-esque bit of skill in the first half, decent efforts on goal, and won his side two spot kicks.

SUB: Dani Carvajal (46', for Alaba) - 6/10 -
Came on and did the job on his flank, barely putting a foot wrong.

SUB: Toni Kroos (70', for Ceballos) - 6/10 - Injected some calm with his metronomic style at the heart of things.

SUB: Isco (73', for Camavinga) - 5/10 -
Apart from one standout pass, a rare appearance yielded very little of note.

SUB: Vinicius Junior (90', for Rodrygo) - 7/10 -
Even six minutes is enough for him to terrify his opposition.

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