Monday, December 6, 2021

Real Madrid 0-0 Osasuna: No joy for Ancelotti as worrying home form continues

SoccerNews in La Liga 27 Oct 2021


Real Madrid missed the chance to move two points clear at the top of LaLiga as they were held to a 0-0 home draw by a resolute Osasuna.

Madrid turned in a fine performance to defeat Barcelona at Camp Nou last time out, but Carlo Ancelotti’s side lacked any spark on Wednesday.

It is the third successive home game that Madrid have failed to win in all competitions, and Los Blancos were fortunate Jon Moncayola did not make matters worse when he struck the post early in the second half.

With Sevilla only able to draw at Mallorca, and Atletico Madrid and Sevilla not in action until Thursday, Madrid – who went closest to scoring when Karim Benzema hit the woodwork – must consider it as an opportunity missed to open up a slight gap on their title rivals.

The little action that did occur happened mostly after the break, with Eduardo Camavinga’s effort into the side-netting the highlight of a drab first half.

Madrid out-thought Barca in Sunday’s Clasico victory, but the slack nature of their performance should have been punished in the 50th minute.

Toni Kroos’ tame cross resulted in Osasuna breaking at pace, with Chimy Avila sliding it across for Moncayola, who could only hit the upright.

Madrid were hardly sparked into life by that chance, with the pedestrian pace continuing until Benzema engineered space for a shot that clipped off the crossbar.

Unusually profligate against Barca, Benzema sent another presentable opportunity off target soon after, with Casemiro’s effort from in his own half and a wayward Marcelo chip the closest Madrid came to scoring from then on as their recent issues at Santiago Bernabeu continued.

What does it mean? Madrid top, but far from favourites

If Madrid’s win over Barca proved the gap between themselves and their Clasico rivals, Wednesday’s game offered a reminder that this version of Los Blancos is far from the quality of season’s past.

Madrid were unable to extend an 11-match home winning streak at home against Osasuna in LaLiga, a run stretching back to 2005, and while they sit top of the table on goal difference for the time being, none of their title rivals should be overly fearful.

Defence first for high flying Osasuna

Osasuna had won their last four away games in LaLiga, their best away winning streak in the competition’s history and the best current run of away victories of any team in the Spanish top-flight. 

They might have made it five had Moncayola kept his composure, but Jagoba Arrasate can still reflect on a job extremely well done, with his team in sixth place, just two points behind Madrid. 

In total, Osasuna’s players made 36 clearances, with centre-back David Garcia leading the rearguard with 15.

Benzema lacking usual brilliance

Since Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure in 2018, Benzema has been the man Madrid have relied upon to produce match-winning moments of magic.

He already has nine goals in the league this season and was presented with the competition’s Player of the Month award for September before kick-off, yet the 33-year-old lacked his cutting edge. Of his game-leading five attempts, only one troubled Osasuna goalkeeper Sergio Herrera.

What’s next?

A trip to Elche follows for Madrid on Saturday, while Osasuna, who are on the road again, take on another of LaLiga’s top teams in the form of Sevilla.


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