Real Madrid 5-2 Osasuna : Five Major Talking Points

Published 09/10/2016, 1:06 PM EDT


Real Madrid broke their previous record of 15 continuous wins in the league, with a 5-2 victory over Osasuna. Cristiano Ronaldo, Danilo, Sergio Ramos, Pepe and Luka Modric were all on target for the Blancos. Madrid looked confident in the first half, but were given a scare in the second half. Here we look at the five major talking points of the match.

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CRISTIANO RONALDO BACK IN THE SIDE

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Cristiano Ronaldo marked his first appearance of the season for Real Madrid with a goal. The Portuguese superstar injured his knee in the Euro’16 final in July. Since then, he hadn’t featured in a single match for the all-whites, missing the preseason too. Zidane gave Ronaldo his first start, and he repaid his manager’s faith by opening the scoring for Madrid. It was a good performance from the forward before he was substituted by Karim Benzema on the hour mark.

JAMES NOT INCLUDED IN THE SQUAD, AGAIN

James Rodriguez might be one of the costliest players on the planet. But the fact that he hasn’t made a single start to the season for Madrid so far is enough to say that he is not the most trusted player for Zidane. Against Osasuna, the Colombian wasn’t even included on the bench by Zizou. And it is certain that there are no injury worries for the midfielder. James has fallen down the pecking order, as Mateo Kovacic has been preferred over him this season. And it is quite evident that his days at Real Madrid are close to an end.

REAL MADRID DEFENCE ISSUES

While both the Real Madrid centre-backs contributed offensively with a goal, they lacked in the area for which they were solely responsible for – the defence. Madrid conceded twice in the second half and were very close to conceding a third as Sergio Ramos conceded a penalty. Kiko Casilla saved the resulting spot kick, but things could’ve been very different otherwise.

The full-backs weren’t the first choice of course, but Danilo’s defensive attributes are way below the level required at a club of Madrid’s stature. Carvajal is surely the first choice on any day for the Blancos, but if he’s injured, Madrid are in for a tough time in that position. Pepe, who has been great in the Euros this year, was at fault for the first goal. He was caught ball watching, leaving his marker and allowing a free header. If things don’t change for Real Madrid in defence, they are in for a torrid time in the upcoming matches.

CASEMIRO AND MARCELO INJURY WOES

Casemiro has been very important for Real Madrid in their feat of winning 16 consecutive La Liga games. He has allowed both Modric and Kroos to play more freely in an attacking sense. But his injury is a sign of worry for all the Madrid supporters. There is no replacement for the Brazilian, who has been a rock in front of the Madrid defence. And with a transfer ban imposed on the Spanish giants, it is crucial for them to make sure that Casemiro stays fit during the course of the season.

Marcelo is as important to Madrid as his fellow Brazilian, if not more. He not only brings quality on the pitch, but he also brings a sense of leadership in the squad. And with Fabio Coentrao still not fully fit, the only replacement left for the left back position is Nacho, who by no means is the right one.

PREPARATION FOR THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE KICK-OFF

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Real Madrid kick-off their Champions League campaign against Sporting Lisbon this mid-week. And clearly, Zidane gave some of his important players a rest before the match. Benzema was brought on from the bench to give him some game time on the pitch, and will be expected to start against the Portuguese side. Same can be said for Marcelo and Casemiro, who are recovering from injury. Carvajal was also rested before an important match, as Danilo played second fiddle again to the Spaniard.

On the other hand, Ronaldo was substituted midway through the second half, as Zidane won’t want his main man to be injured again. Modric and Bale both were also given some rest as they were substituted by Marcos Asensio and Lucas Vazquez respectively.

 

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Paritosh Gautam

121 articles

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