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LALIGA

Madrid hang on to secure three points at Huesca

Gareth Bale's early first-half goal was enough to give Madrid victory over a dogged Huesca side who fought until the end.

Update:
Real Madrid's Welsh forward Gareth Bale gestures during the Spanish league football match between SD Huesca and Real Madrid CF at the El Alcoraz stadium in Huesca, on December 9, 2018. (Photo by ANDER GILLENEA / AFP)
ANDER GILLENEAAFP

Huesca 0-1 Real Madrid: match report

Gareth Bale ended a three-month goal drought in La Liga to give Real Madrid a nervy 1-0 win away to basement club Huesca on Sunday, taking his side back into the top four at the expense of Alaves.

The Wales forward, who had not found the net in the league since Sept. 1 but had scored in the Champions League, gave Real an ideal start by volleying home a cross from Alvaro Odriozola in the eighth minute.

Huesca, bottom of the table with a meagre seven points and without a win since the opening day of the season, did not lay down against the European champions though, and it took a flying save from Thibaut Courtois to prevent Ezequiel Avila levelling soon afterwards.

Bale was denied another goal in the second half by Huesca's keeper and the home side laid siege to Real's area in the final stages but fell short of an equaliser as Courtois tipped a dangerous free kick over the bar in stoppage time and Dani Carvajal made a frantic clearance.

Real's eighth win in nine games in all competitions under coach Santiago Solari saw them climb above Alaves into fourth in the standings on 26 points after 15 games, five behind leaders Barcelona.

Huesca vs Real Madrid live online: match updates and commentary

Huesca vs Real Madrid live online: preview

For the first time ever in LaLiga, Huesca will play Real Madrid. The hosts are struggling at the foot of the table but Real Madrid will be hoping to take advantage of Sevilla dropping points against Valencia on Saturday and Atlético's draw with Girona last weekend. They have a new lease on life under Santiago Solari with new faces and a new vibrancy, which will only increase if they can get three points to the basement dwellers.

Huesca are without Alex Gallar, Luisinho and Carlos Akapo, meaning left-back will be an issue for them. Since changing their manager, Huesca have been slightly more competitive but with little luck on their side. They have drawn two of their last five but are winless in eight since Francisco Rodriguez took over from Leo Franco. In the last five games, however, they have only failed to score in one of them as they push opponents 

Real Madrid are still without a couple of key pieces in their midfield puzzle. Casemiro and Kroos remain out with Ceballos and Llorente stepping in and stepping up to the roles in their stead. Left-back is slightly more precarious with Marcelo and Sergio Reguilon missing out. Odriozola will be displaced from his usual right-back position with Dani Carvajal starting on the other side. Meanwhile, Lucas Vazquez is expected to keep his position instead of Marco Asensio with Bale and Benzema partnering him in attack.

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