Business as usual for Madrid as we wait for Hazard's return

At the end of the match at El Sadar in Pamplona, which ended in a 1-4 win for Real Madrid, the home fans didn't leave early but waited patiently to cheer their side after a valiant display with songs and chants of encouragement. This gesture was not lost on Casemiro, who, whilst being interviewed on television post game, gestured to the home fans. This was a fitting epilogue to a game where Osasuna started the stronger side and took the lead, and who knows, may have gone on to win had Gil Manzano (and his colleague in the VAR booth Cordero Vega) decided to send-off Sergio Ramos for what appeared to be a red card offence. The captain escaped and Madrid finished the game with eleven men on the pitch.


Bale problems

Zidane's side managed to find the target before they found their rhythm. A fortunate rebound falling for Isco who tied the game. Sergio Ramos added his name to the score-sheet just before the break after Osasuna were caught napping on a corner kick. Madrid at that point were starting to kick into gear with Modric and Isco running the show in the centre of the park. All of Zidane's men delivered accomplished performances with the exception of Gareth Bale, who ambled around the pitch with a degree of listlessness. He appeared anxious not to chase down lose or challenge high balls and was eventually subbed by Lucas Vázquez, with the Galician winger bagging the third goal of the afternoon. Jovic, too made an appearance, replacing Karim Benzema and the Serbian international bagged the final goal of the day, finally breaking his recent barren spell in front of goal.

Gareth Bale

Referee issues

Ultimately, Madrid ran out winners in what is always a tricky away fixture and the win is well received coming after Thursday night's Copa del Rey disappointment. It is worth pointing out, however that yesterday's starting XI could be considered more competitive that that of the cup game. What the result in Pamplona does do, is apply additional pressure on Barcelona who eventually secured maximum points at the Benito Villamarín, despite not playing that well in a game marred with controversy. Match official Sánchez Martínez irritated the home fans after issuing an excessive amount of cards and for failing to spot infringements by Lenglet on the second and third Barcelona goals. Both he and Gil Manzano at El Sadar delivered disappointing displays in officiating in their respective games, undermining the previous triumphant worlds from head of the referee committee Velasco Carballo.