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Osasuna 0-0 Real Madrid: 5 talking points as Los Blancos are held in Pamplona | La Liga 2020-21Β 

Real Madrid and Osasuna played out a goalless draw on Saturday
Real Madrid and Osasuna played out a goalless draw on Saturday
Ume Elvis
ANALYST
Modified 10 Jan 2021, 06:04 IST
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Real Madrid and Osasuna had to settle for a share of the spoils in a goalless draw at El Sadar.

The visitors underwent great stress to honour this fixture, having spent over three hours sitting at the airport prior to departure. Their flight was the only one that left the Spanish capital on Friday owing to bad weather.

Zinedine Zidane made two changes from his side that dispatched Celta Vigo last weekend. Eden Hazard started in a front three at the expense of Lucas Vazquez, who dropped back into right-back, while captain Sergio Ramos came in for Nacho Fernandez.

In what was a first half of few chances, a clearance by Raphael Varane in his own half almost caught Sergio Herrera out, while Oier Olazabal forced Thibaut Courtois into a save with a near-post header.

Real Madrid upped the ante in the second half but failed to convert their dominance into possession. They did put the ball into the back of the net twice through Karim Benzema and Ramos, only for the offside flag to be rightly raised on both occasions.

Osasuna ended the game on the front foot and fashioned two late chances but were let down by poor decision-making in the final third.

Up next for the hosts will be a rescheduled league clash with Granada on Tuesday, while Real Madrid will dispute the Spanish Super Cup semi-final with Athletic Bilbao on Thursday.

Here are five talking points from the Matchday 18 fixture at El Sadar.

#5 Indifferent form continues for Real Madrid

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Real Madrid have won just one of their last three LaLiga fixtures
Real Madrid have won just one of their last three LaLiga fixtures

Real Madrid posted a run of six consecutive wins in all competitions to get them back into the title race and secure top spot in their Champions League group in December.

The year, however, concluded on a poor note for Los Blancos, as they ended 2020 with a disappointing 1-1 draw away to Elche at the Estadio Manuel Valero.

A routine victory over Celta Vigo last weekend got them back on track but this latest setback has put a serious dent in their quest to retain the league title.

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Real Madrid still sit one point behind Atletico Madrid, while arch-rivals Barcelona are just four points behind.

Although the poor weather and travel conditions played a role in this stalemate, it does not excuse what was a disappointing performance from Zidane's men.

Real Madrid failed to truly test Herrera in the Osasuna goal, with a first-half shot from Marco Asensio the only time he was called into action.

The extreme weather conditions mean that the Spanish champions are not guaranteed of a return flight to the capital on Sunday. However, Zidane will be hoping his team can express themselves properly in their next fixture on Thursday.

#4 Advantage to Atletico Madrid

Atletico Madrid sit top with three games in hand
Atletico Madrid sit top with three games in hand

As already indicated, Atletico Madrid could not dispute their Matchday 18 fixture with Athletic Bilbao owing to bad weather. A win for Real Madrid would have seen Los Blancos usurp their city rivals to the summit of the table.

This would have compounded a disappointing week for Los Colchoneros that saw them fall to a shock 1-0 defeat away to Cornelia in the second round of the Copa del Rey.

However, Real Madrid's failure to get the job done means that Diego Simeone's men remain in the top spot despite not kicking a ball and with three games in hand.

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Published 10 Jan 2021, 06:02 IST
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