Hazard back among the goals as Real Madrid see off Huesca
Real Madrid vs Huesca: as it happened
Report: Real Madrid 4-1 Huesca
Reuters - Eden Hazard scored his first goal for Real Madrid in over a year and Karim Benzema struck twice as the Spanish champions coasted to a 4-1 win at home to Huesca in La Liga on Saturday.
Making his first start of the campaign after persistent injury problems, Hazard broke the deadlock in the 40th minute with a thunderous strike from outside the area, scoring only his second goal for Madrid since his 2019 move from Chelsea.
Zinedine Zidane's side soon extended their lead in added time of the first half when Karim Benzema chested down a cross from Lucas Vazquez and fired inside the far post.
Federico Valverde further stretched their lead in the second half before David Ferreiro pulled a goal back for Huesca.
Benzema rounded off a classy overall display by heading home from close range in added time as the league leaders recorded their fifth win out of seven matches this season. Reporting by Richard Martin.
Madrid players celebrate Fede Valverde's goal at the Alfredo Di Stéfano this afternoon.
Pedro Mosquera post-match:
"We think we played really well until Hazard scored his goal on 40 minutes. It's always difficult when you don't take your chances against these big teams. We haven't won in 8 games but we trust the boss and we have been unlucky in previous games."
Fede Valverde post-match:
"We have showed that we are going well with today's win. We enjoy today's result and think about the next game too. We'll keep improving as a team."
Another good win for Madrid, who move top of the table ahead of Real Sociedad. Two goals either side of the break give Madrid a good win over a brave Huesca, who lacked quality in front of goal to take an early lead in the first half. Madrid's quality came through on 40 minutes with a wonderful strike from Hazard.
Full-time: Real Madrid 4-1 Huesca
4 on 2 as Rodrygo shoots with options to pass either side. Should have been 5!
Benzema heads home a lovely move from Madrid. Marcelo finds Rodrygo at the back post, who finds Benzema with a header. The Frenchman gets his second of the game and third in the league for 2020/21.
Sandro Ramirez picks up Huesca's second booking of the afternoon.
Huesca have given a good account of themselves on only their second ever trip to play Real Madrid. Los Blancos look set for another 3-1 win, after the same result in last week's Clásico.
Still 3-1 to Madrid entering the final stages of the game.
Real Madrid players celebrate Benzema's goal before half-time.
Change for Huesca:
ON Gaston Silva
We enter the final 10 minutes of the game. 3-1 to Madrid.
Yellow card for Siovas for his late challenge from behind on Benzema.
Really well-worked goal by Huesca completely against the run of play. Rafa Mir picks Ferreiro out at the back post, and the sub finishes it well from close range. Ferreiro scores his first of the season. 3-1
Madrid playing in third gear here. Huesca playing very deep, and quite possibly already thinking about their next match at 3-0 down.
Fede Valverde is Madrid's top scorer in the league this season (3).
Real Madrid 58% 42% Huesca
Rodrygo fires a shot at Andres Fernandez, who parries it away. Still 3-0 to Los Blancos.
Carlos Casemiro gets a fully deserved break, one of the players less rested by Zidane given his importance to the team.
Madrid make a final change:
Huesca defend the corner and work it out with Javi Galan.
Real Madrid corner!
Zidane is ringing in the changes. Madrid very comfortable now, with 25 minutes left to play in the Spanish capital.
Players (currently playing) with the most assists in the history of LaLiga:
Madrid so close to a fourth
Vinicius breaks down the left and crosses to Benzema, whose volley bounces over. Yes, you read it correctly. Vinicius crossed for Benzema, they are friends again!
Real Madrid substitutions:
OFF Hazard, Asensio and Valverde
ON Rodrygo, Isco and Vinicius Jr
Rodrygo, Vinicius and Isco about to come in for Madrid.
With Inter coming up in midweek for Real Madrid, Zidane will surely look to make more changes.
Double change for Huesca:
OFF Garcia & Nwakali
ON Sandro Ramirez & Valderrama
All credit to Huesca, they keep going. Subs Ferreiro and Galan looking to break the home side down.
Two goals in two league games for Valverde, after last week's goal versus Barcelona.
Benzema picks Valverde out at the back stick, the Uruguayan takes it down and smacks it low and hard into the far corner. Great strike!
Mendy has slotted in at right-back and Marcelo stays at left-back for Madrid.
Substitution Real Madrid:
OFF Lucas Vazquez
ON Ferland Mendy
Who will Zidane take off for Mendy? We can't see any injuries for Madrid, unless he is thinking about Inter during the week.
Ferland Mendy is warming up for Madrid.
A win this afternoon would send Real Madrid top of the table for now.
Another well-worked move by the away side but they fail to deliver in the final third.
We're underway for the second half!
Double change for Huesca:
OFF Gomez and Ontiveros
ON Ferreiro and Galan
Benzema gets his second goal of the week with a volley right before the break, which gives Huesca a mountain to climb in the second half. The away side started very well, before a wonderstrike from Eden Hazard put Madrid in front on 40 minutes.
Half-time: Real Madrid 2-0 Huesca
Super take down on the chest, Benzema lets it bounce before firing a left-footed volley low and hard past Fernandez from a tight angle. 2-0 to Los Blancos.
The turn, the switch onto his left foot, the strike that leaves Andres Fernandez with no chance. What a goal!
392 days later, Hazard scores. Granada in October 2019 was his last goal for Los Blancos.
An absolute screamer from Eden Hazard! He buries it from at least 25 yards out with his left foot. It's his first goal in just under 400 days for Real Madrid, on his first start this season.
The tight pitch at the Alfredo Di Stéfano really allows for quick moves. Ramos starts his own move and makes his way into the Huesca area. Huesca get rid. Still 0-0.
Madrid working on that high press now, Huesca doing their best to play it out from the back and move up the pitch. Really good play that results in a cross. Courtois jumps out and catches it.
Eden Hazard has been quiet on his first start of the season.
Huesca really going for it today. Madrid struggling again in the first half, not for the first time this month.
Zidane watches on at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stéfano.
Michel will be delighted with his sides opening half hour in Madrid. Zidane's side have struggled so far in this one. Huesca may come to regret their missed chances.
Sergio Gomez flies in at the back post. Huesca should be 1-0 up. Another good chance but he sends it over after failing to connect clearly.
Ontiveros goes close with a low strike. Saved by Courtois - Huesca looking very confident for a team who have not won a game yet after getting promoted back to Primera.
Ramos header denied by Andres Fernandez. Brilliant header from the captain and it's well saved and pushed away.
We approach the midway point of the first half. Very few chances for both sides so far.
Rafa Mir has it in the back of the net for Huesca. He's at least a yard offside.
Casemiro is bundled over on the edge of the box, but the ref waves it on, the right decision.
Rafa Mir almost in behind Madrid defence again, from an Ontiveros pass. Huesca with a definite plan today - get the ball up to Mir.
Hazard is looking for his first goal in 392 days for Real Madrid. Covid-19 and injury problems have led to it being a long time since his last goal.
Real Madrid's Federico Valverde in action today.
Corner Real Madrid - their second of the afternoon
Asensio sends it in, comes to nothing. Huesca play it out from the back.
Solid start in the opening 10 minutes for Huesca. Mir causing Ramos problems up front. No real chances for Madrid thus far.
Lucas Vazquez at right-back today, with Zidane's first choice right-backs all out through injury.
Rafa Mir flies down the right wing and produces a strong save from Courtois. First real chance of the game.
Huesca had only played away to Real Madrid once in their history before today's clash. It came in the 2018/19 season.
Huesca have set up with a 4-4-2 / 4-2-3-1 with Rafa Mir leading the line.
First corner of the game goes to Real Madrid
Zidane favourites Valverde and Asensio start again for Los Blancos today. Hazard makes his first start of the season after a recent injury.
We're underway at the Alfredo Di Stéfano!
Real Madrid are playing from left to right. It's a beautiful 19 degrees in the Spanish capital.
Real Madrid are undefeated in 16 of their last 17 matches (LaLiga).
Huesca have failed to win their last 11 away matches (LaLiga).
Madrid on the other hand will be confident of taking all three points today, after their impressive 3-1 away win to Barcelona in El Clásico seven days ago.
Huesca will be looking for a better result today after last week's 4-1 defeat to league leaders Real Sociedad.
We're just under 15 minutes away from kick-off in this LaLiga Santander fixture between Real Madrid and Huesca.
Huesca players return 'home'
Five members of the Huesca squad return to what was their home at some point in their careers: Borja García and Jorge Pulido were members of the Madrid youth team, Antonio Valera played for Juvenil B, Pedro Mosquera spent a decade in the Madrid team, with which he made his debut in 2010 and Jaime Seoane spent practically his entire sporting career at Real Madrid until signing for SD Huesca last season.
Real Madrid confirm their starting XI
Courtois - Lucas, Ramos, Militao, Marcelo - Casemiro, Modric, Valverde - Asensio, Benzema, Hazard.
Eden Hazard makes his first start of the season for Los Blancos.
Real Madrid squad for Huesca:
Madrid return to domestic action after their 2-2 draw against Borussia Mönchengladbach in Germany on Tuesday night.
Goalkeepers: Courtois, Lunin, Altube
Defenders: Santos, Varane, Ramos, Militao, Marcelo, Mendy
Midfielders: Casemiro, Kroos, Modric, Isco, Valverde
Forwards: Lucas Vázquez, Asensio, Rodrygo, Vinicius, Hazard, Mariano, Jovic, Benzema
Huesca in town for only the second time in their history
Huesca travel to take on Real Madrid for only the second time in the club's history. Their first trip to face Los Blancos on the road was in the 2018/19 season, when 2,000 fans made the journey south to the Spanish capital.
Players arrive ahead of afternoon kick-off
The Real Madrid players arriving to Real Madrid City this morning on a glorious morning in the Spanish capital.
Speaking ahead of today's game, head coach Zinedine Zidane said that all is well in the camp after the Karim Benzema comments this week regarding Vinicius Jr.
"A lot of things are said on the pitch and it stays there. We need our energy for other things. They've spoken. It's perfect. There's no problem, quite the opposite. They've trained well. It's been cleared up."
How and where to watch Real Madrid vs Hueca this afternoon - we have all the details below
Teams form so far this season
Madrid currently sit in third place in the LaLiga standings, with 13 points from their opening six games. Newly-promoted Huesca have had a difficult start to life in the top-flight as they currently find themselves in 18th place with just five points from seven games played this season.
Real Madrid vs Huesca live: welcome
Hello and welcome to AS English's live coverage of this LaLiga Santander fixture as Real Madrid host Huesca at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stéfano. Kick-off is at 14:00 CEST.