Real Madrid: 1x1 player ratings Bale rusty, Isco and Modric shine
Luka Jovic scored a cathartic belter and Lucas Vázquez was on target but Isco and Modric led the revival after Real Madrid went behind.
Thibaut Courtois: The Belgian could do nothing about the goal, Unai García’s header was excellently placed, and he kept his side in it with a decent sabe from Rubén García. He may have had the same player’s goal-bound effort covered in the second half but Casemiro deflected it wide. Commanding in the air when Osasuna went route one.
Dani Carvajal: A typical bustling performance from the right back, who had plenty of space after Bale moved into a more central role. Teed up the Welshman for a good chance and eventually won his duel with Pervis after being given the runaround by the Ecaudorian in the opening 15 minutes when Real’s back four were in disarray. Ended the game as Real’s top tackle-maker.
Raphaël Varane: Strong in the air, covered the lines and started plenty of moves from back. Varane was perhaps the only Madrid defender to come out of the opening 15 minutes in credit but should have hit the net from point blank range in the second half, although he was called offside to spare his blushes.
Sergio Ramos: Like his defensive colleagues the captain was overwhelmed as Osasuna came out firing but eventually got the measure of Arnaiz and Rubén García as the game went on. He was fortunate not to be sent off for a terrible tackle on the latter that the referee decided to ignore and scored the second just before half time.
Ferland Mendy: Marcelo’s stay on the bench could be a lengthy one this season with the Frenchman growing in every game and putting in a performance in El Sadar that showed his greatest quality: being able to cover the entire left flank on his own, a compliment once paid to Roberto Carlos. One minute he was up front, the next he was back covering Osasuna’s breaks. He lacks the flair of Marcelo going forward offers much more protection to the rest of the back four tan the Brazilian.
Casemiro: Allowed Unai García to steal in front of him for the opening goal but that was a rare error from the Brazilian, who is Real Madrid’s most important player this season. Zidane’s side have won one of the four games he has missed and if a clone was available for 100m you can bet your bottom dollar Florentino Pérez would sign him up. Provided the assist for Ramos and cleared a shot that might have snuck in the near post.
Fede Valverde: The Uruguayan was conspicuous by his absence in the first half but found his feet in the second, participating more in attack and eventually getting an assist for teeing up Jovic.
Luka Modric: A return to imperious form for the Croatian, who was at the heart of everything that went right and did not hide when Osasuna were in the ascendancy. Started the move for the final goal and was instrumental in turning the tide when others were losing their heads around him.
Isco: One of Isco’s best games in a White shirt for some time, capped by a first league goal since last March – a well-hit volley that made it 1-1. Nicked possession several times with his reading of the game, particularly when Osasuna were pressing at 1-2, completed more dribbles than any player on the pitch and went on several lung-bursting runs that deserved more support from his teammates. Food for thought for Zidane, who has largely overlooked the Spain international this season.
Gareth Bale: The Welshman was clearly rusty, as evidenced by the hash he made of a shot from Carvajal’s ball, but got into good positions and put in a shift in defence during the early Osasuna onslaught. Headed a chance narrowly over and sort-of assisted Isco’s opener with a mishit shot. It was hardly a performance that will secure his place in the XI but in his first game in a month he showed signs of moving in the right direction.
Karim Benzema: Operating almost as a left winger in support of Carvajal’s efforts on the right, Benzema put in a solid shift and made several breaks that could have resulted in more. He had a few half-chances but did his best work in bringing his teammates into play, teeing up Lucas Vázquez with a lovely cut-back after taking three defenders out of the game.
Lucas Vázquez: Bagged his first Liga goal since the opening day in another energetic performance that cemented his place as Zidane’s 12th man.
Vinicius: Had little time to make an impact but should have squared for the unmarked Benzema when he decided to shoot instead despite the presence of two defenders blocking his way.
Luka Jovic: He will have thoroughly enjoyed lashing the fourth into the roof of the net after struggling since his summer arrival. He is still nowhere near dislodging Benzema but every little helps.
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