Real Madrid late show adds gloss to hard-fought Osasuna win
"Nos vamos jodidos" says goal-scorer Unai García. We'll leave you to Google translate that but it's a fair reflection of how Osasuna must be feeling after they played a very good game.
The home fans are still in the stadium, still singing and cheering their side, and that draws praise from Casemiro, who gives them a thumbs up.
Slightly unfair on the home side that score-line, but Madrid have always been qujite adept at embellishing the result in the final minutes and so it proved again today.
And that's it! Madrid go six point clear as it stands.
Post! Osasuna rattle the bar with the last kick of the game!
Madrid deal with a speculative long ball and come forward again...
Enric tries his luck from distance but it's easily held by Courtois. Three minutes added.
The game is fizzling out now... that third goal has taken the wind out of Osasuna's sails and Real know the job is done.
Osasuna paid the price for pushng men forward there as Benzema went one-on-two with support arriving just in time. The home side have been good vaule today though and were justified in committing players forward in search of an equaliser.
Benzema gets in a shooting position after twisting and turning but sends his marker's a dummy by laying off for the onrushing Vázquez, who beats Herrera with a low shot.
Vinicius jumps on an error from Pervis but instead of feeding Benzema tries to shoot through two defenders.
A high ball into the area is dealt with easily by Courtois. Time running out for Osasuna in El Sadar...
Isco makes way for Vinicius after a decent afternoon's work.
Iñigo Pérez very, very lucky not to join Ramos in the ref's naughty book for a terrible challenge on Lucas Vázquez.
Ramos in the book for dragging Cardona to the turf.
Isco wins possession in midfield yet again... he has been excellent this afternoon in that respect.
Another change for Osasuna, Roberto Torres off for another striker in the shape of Marc Cardona. Osasuna are going to go for this now...
Isco does exceptionally well to nick the ball in his own half, drive into the opposition's and then almost gets on the end of Benzema's return ball but Herrera is out like a whippet to snuff out the chance.
Torres! What a strike from the Osasuna man, who sees his fierce low shot deflected out for a corner.
Carvajal gets his name taken down for dragging Roberto Torres down in the build-up...
Another chance for Osasuna to try and get something out of a set piece as Modric concedes a foul on the left.
Lucas Vázquez on for Madrid, Bale goes off to a chorus of jeers from the stands.
What a double save from Herrera, who stops Isco's shot with his glove and then Varane's point blank effort with his leg!
David García goes in the book for wrestling Bale to the floor. Promising range this for Madrid...
Isco breaks up an Osasuna attack and looks to launch one himself, leading to a trip from Torres.
Varane and Ramos combine to sandwich Rubén García off the ball in the area.
Mendy allows himself a smile as he is penalised for flooring Nacho Vidal.
Great run from Benzema, who is operating almost as a left winger at the moment, and his cross is a decent one that Herrera needs two bites at to stop with Valverde bearing down on him.
Osasuna win a free after Ramos takes down Torres.
Enric Gallego on, Arnaíz off for the home side. A striker for a winger. Something to aim at for Osasuna's midfielders.
Benzema tries to put Bale through but David García is across to hoof it clear. Osasuna enjoying a fair bit of the pig skin at the moment.
Vidal goes into the book for a very clumsy challenge on Valverde. Studs were up and that could have been red. The Uruguayan isn't one to moan though and doesn't make a meal of it, which might have saved Vidal first dibs on the Head and Shoulders.
Pervis plays a ball into the area and two Osasuna players attacking the ball clatter into each other.
And duly gets gingerly back to his feet.
Casemiro is down in a heap after an aerial challenge with Vidal. He gets little sympathy from the stands.
Close! Rubén García is on the end of a wonderful move by the home side and fires just wide from inside the area! Corner given....
It's taken short to Vidal, whose cross finds its way back to Pérez. He lets fly and it's a decent effort but always rising and doesn't trouble Courtois.
Free kick to Osasuna out on the right... chance for an equaliser.
Benzema has come out of the blocks firing in the second half. He had a good, low shot blocked a minute ago and now gets to the byline, finds an excellent cross, but there's no white shirts attacking the delivery.
No dice... Modric rather bumped into Pervos, not the other way around.
Penalty appeal! Luka Modric goes down in the area and we wonder if VAR may roll back to that one... play continues for now.
Arnaíz takes on three Madrid defenders and gets into the area, then back-heels straight to a white shirt.
Modric pings in a cross and Benzema gets up to meet it but heads well over under pressure from the defence.
Enric Gallego out on the touchline warming up. Another forward, more of an out and out striker, who joined on loan from Getafe in January.
It looks like both sides are unchanged as we get underway again.
Osasuna forward Marc Cardona is out on the pitch going through his paces... a change on the cards for the home side?
Osasuna made the brighter start and were worth their lead but how much of an effect that early injury to Moncayola had on the home side's game plan is an issue that Arrasate will have to try and solve at half time. Osasuna don't really have a direct replacement for him and they had looked very comfortable with him on the pitch.
Eight shots from each side in the first half, three on target each. Bale, who has grown into the game, leads the way with three shots.
And that's the half! Real take a 2-1 lead into the break, which is a little harsh on Osasuna who have matched them across the pitch in the opening 45.
One minute added. Good defensive work from Isco to deny Pervis a chance to cross from the left.
Osasuna manage to get a decent cross in but there's nobody there to meet it.
A six-point lead now for Madrid as it stands.
Pervis pings in a low cross but it's too close to Thibaut Courtois and the Real keeper gathers.
Madrid clear though and Valverde does well to steer the ball upfield past three challanges to clear the danger.
Free kick out on the right after Carvajal floors Fran Mérida... chance for a ball into the mixer for the home side.
That was Ramos' fourth of the season in LaLiga and his 90th overall for Madrid. Not bad for a defender...
Modric sends the corner deep this time and Casemiro nods it back across goal for Ramos to whap it home from inches out.
Another as Modric dances on the far side and fires in a shot that Herrera decides not to take any chances with.
Corner to Madrid as Herrera claws a Carvajal cross out of the danger area...
At the other end Fran Mérida draws a regulation stop from Thibaut Courtois.
Benzema spots a chance to get in on the act but fires wide from the edge of the area.
That was Isco's first league goal since last March...
Bale gets the better of Pervis and hits a shot that deflects into the past of the Spain international. He takes a swipe, connects beautifully and fires a volley past Herrera to make it 1-1!
Some half-hour in stats. 60-odd percent possession for Madrid.
Osasuna come forward again in search of a second and almost carve out a decent chance, but a poor touch from Pervis sees it break down.
Madrid finally create some danger and Pervis is forced to block Carvajal's shot. The defender gets another bit of the cherry and lands a beautiful cross on Bale's head, but the Welshman can't keep his effort down and it bobs over for a goal kick. First sign of a chink in Osasuna's armour there.
Modric almost puts Bale through but the Welshman was half a yard offside. He's definitely showing signs of rust after a few games out.
Real are really struggling here... the current tactic appears to be to drifft hopeful long balls over the top in the direction of Gareth Bale.
Raphaël Varane is wearing gloves. It's 12º in Pamplona. Real stroke it around at the back as they look for an opening. Osasuna get the ball back to Herrera with little fuss. They are looking, at the risk of a jinx, pretty invulnerable.
Jeers rain down as Real continue to play with Rubén García down after getting some studs on his ankle courtesy of Sergio Ramos.
Carvajal sends in a desultory cross that goes straight through to Herrera. Madrid looking short of ideas already.
Real Madrid haven't gone behind this season since Mallorca, when they lost 1-0...
Bale! A decent strike from the Welshman, whose first-time volley hits the side netting.
Madrid look to respond immediately through Benzema but Osasuna are well set-up at the back and repel the danger.
That's particularly satisfying for García, who is making his first Liga start of the season after recovering from an ACL tear.
The Osasuna winger gets his head to the delivery and cushions a header into the corner of Courtois net, leaving the Belgian rooted to the spot.
Another corner for Osasuna as Iñigo Pérez's cross is turned out by Casemiro...
It's cleared and Arnaíz makes a right mess of an attempted floater into the area, knocking it straight out for a goal kick.
Corner for Osasuna as Torres' cross bounces out off Ferland Mendy...
Former Atlético Madrid Fran Mérida comes on to replace the youngster. Huge loss for Osasuna that.
Problems for Osasuna as Jon Moncayola goes down with what looks like a knee issue. He got his studs stuck in achallenge with Modric and he's off!
Bale is put through by a golrious inside ball from Isco but the Real Madrid forward is beaten to the ball by Osasuna keeper Sergio Herrera.
That's four shots from Osasuna in the opening few minutes.
Madrid are struggling to get out of their own half at the moment. Osasuna can't keep this tempo up for 90 minutes but they are looking very dangerous.
Osasuna are on fire! García this time skips through the defence and draws a fine save from Courtois. Robero Torres pounces on the rebound and bangs a shot just over the bar.
Arnaíz! The winger-cum-forward gets in behind Carvajal and flashes a shot across the face of goal. Nice move from the home side.
Osasuna have come out of the blocks really quickly here and Real are on the back foot. Bale is forced to race back to help out in defence.
Vidal! It was worth a stab. The Osasuna man connects beautifully with that one and it fizzes past Courtois' far post.
Benzema flagged offside with 10 seconds played...
We're off! Real Madrid get the ball rolling.
We imagine they'll be dropping back to make a midfield block of six when not in possession.
It seems as though Osasuna are going to go with Rubén García and Arnaíz up front in a sort of fluid attacking duo. Both are wingers, so that could be a very interesting tactic on Arrasate's part.
Here's how it looks at the top of the table going into this afternoon's game.
The teams are coming out of the tunnel and we're about to get underway in El Sadar!
Instead, the gloriously named Pervis Estupiñán will be tasked with keeping Carvajal quiet.
It's a shame we won't get to see Toni Lato today either, with the on-loan Valencia left back out with a muscle injury. That would have been a nice little duel between him and Carvajal.
Osasuna may have been through the ringer a bit on the road this season but their home form is worth a glance. They've lost only twice, to Real Sociedad (who incidentally won 4-3) and Athletic, and they've turned over the likes of Villarreal and Valencia.
Our player to watch today is local lad Jon Moncayola, who has come through the ranks at Osasuna and looks to be a very tidy prospect indeed. You can find out a little more about him and some of LaLiga's other young stars here, penned by our very own Robbie Dunne.
"We're conscious of the test we're going to face: it'll be a tough match at a difficult place to go to, against a difficult side who are doing really well," said Zinedine Zidane ahead of today's game. You can read his press conference in full here.
Also, Gareth Bale's agent, Jonathan Barnett, sat down for an exclusive interview with AS on Friday. You can read what he had to say right here.
You can have yourselves a read about Casemiro and Fede Valverde here. The Uruguayan coast just five million euros, which was a decent bit of business.
Bon Jovi played at El Sadar back in 1996 incidentally. Will Osasuna be dishing out some Bad Medicine this afternoon? They beat Madrid in 2009 and 2011 and have managed a couple of draws on home turf since then, most recently in 2013. Madrid have won each of the last four Liga meetings between the sides though.
Madrid have won just one of the four games they have played without Casemiro this season. The Brazilian really has become the most important player in this side and his partnership with Fede Valverde has been the bedrock of Real's title tilt.
No major surprises from Zidane. The inclusion of Isco makes sense as there won't be a lot of space on offer in El Sadar, and Gareth Bale's presence on the pitch will help to open things up a bit as the Welshman will look to pull the defence out of shape. A lot of the onus will fall on Luka Modric to weave his magic around the box with Zidane opting to draft Casemiro back in after the four-goal Copa defeat in midweek.
Meanwhile, forwards Adrián and Enric Gallego start on the bench...
Osasuna are likely to pack the midfield this afternoon and play with a lone striker, although from the looks of things Arnaíz will fill that role despite beng more of a wide man.
Zidane's bench this afternoon: Areola, Militão, Kroos, Marcelo, Lucas Vázquez, Jovic, Vinicius.
Real Madrid's starting XI is out already... Gareth Bale is back in the side and there's a rare start for Isco as well, who comes in for Toni Kroos.
The loss of Chimy Ávila for the remainder of the season is a huge blow to the hosts: the Argentinean forward had banged in 11 goals before suffering an ACL tear and is the side’s top scorer by a distance. However, 16 players have chipped in with goals for Osasuna this season so they are by no means reliant on one player. Enric Gallego and Arnáiz arrived in the January window and may get a chance to impress here.
That said, Madrid rarely enjoy a trip up north to play the Rojillos, who have the tendency to tear up the form book when Real roll into town. Jagoba Arrasate's side are 12th in the table and haven't been in great form of late, winning one of their last seven, but they'll fancy their chances against a side that shipped four goals for the first time ever under Zinedine Zidane in midweek and who look about as defensively solid as a blancmange on a treadmill.
Real Madrid go into the game as leaders with a three-point advantage over arch-rivals Barcelona. Zinedine Zidane's side will be keen to extend that to six ahead of Barça's trip to Betis later on Sunday, particularly given that all is not well in the state of Camp Nou.
Hello and welcome to AS English's live coverage of the LaLiga match between Osasuna and Real Madrid at the former's El Sadar stadium in Pamplona. Kick-off is at 16:00 CET.