Real Madrid 2-0 Osasuna: 5 Talking Points and Tactical Analysis | La Liga 2019/20
The game started off slowly and though the hosts controlled proceedings, clear-cut chances were at a premium.
Luka Jovic was presented with the first opportunity of the match but the Serbian astonishingly fluffed his lines.
A few minutes later though, Vinicius Junior struck from long range to hand Los Blancos the lead before half-time.
After the restart, the home side turned the screws slightly and put Osasuna under pressure.
In the 72nd minute, Rodrygo put the result beyond doubt when he conjured a sensational solo goal on his debut.
Here is a look at the five talking points from the game:
#1 Real Madrid edge ahead in a cagey first half
Zinedine Zidane opted to shuffle his pack for Osasuna’s visit on Wednesday and the Frenchman made an astounding 8 changes to the line-up that faced Sevilla at the weekend.
Thus, plenty of fans and pundits expected them to start sluggishly and produce an unglamourous performance in the first half. Moreover, with Los Blancos facing Osasuna, a side that has prioritized defence over offense this season, the game was expected to traverse a cagey path, especially in the formative stages.
Those predictions weren’t too far off the mark as both sides failed to get into a rhythm in the first period.
Though Madrid controlled possession, they rarely scythed through the visitors’ defence, meaning that most of their offensive play happened in front of the rear-guard as opposed to behind them.
In the process, Osasuna were able to compress the centre of the pitch and reduce the hosts to speculative crosses from the flanks.
One of those deliveries almost led to the opening goal when Alvaro Odriozola’s cross was nearly diverted into Osasuna’s net by one of the away side’s defenders.
Yet, that passage of play represented the only bit of goalmouth action in the opening half an hour.
Thereafter, Madrid started clicking into gear just a touch as they quickened the tempo of their approach play. Consequently, the swiftness of their passing opened up a few more avenues down the wings.
The hosts were rewarded for their endeavors when Vinicius Jr. made the net bulge from outside the box, albeit courtesy a massive deflection.
However, apart from the goal, there wasn’t really a lot to remember about both sides’ offensive movements.
And, while several anticipated the game to be a slow burner, not many would’ve envisaged such a scrappy first half, which was also devoid of clear-cut chances.