Huesca 1-2 Real Madrid: 5 Talking Points as Los Blancos secure comeback victory | La Liga 2020-21
A Raphael Varane brace in the 2020-21 La Liga powered Real Madrid to a 2-1 victory away to Huesca on Saturday.The visitors welcomed manager Zinedine Zidane back to the bench after recovering from COVID-19. However, he had to make do with a severely depleted squad, owing to several injury concerns.Nevertheless, a lively first half saw both sides fashion good chances, although the two goalkeepers were up to the task for everything thrown at them.Vinicius Junior was the brightest spark for Real Madrid and most of their best periods in the first half came from the left flank. The Brazilian was, however, guilty of poor decision-making in the final third, much to the consternation of his teammates.The second half started brightly, with the hosts getting on the front foot, with Huesca striking the post twice in the space of three minutes.The first one was an ingenious flick from Mikel Rico that was lobbed onto the crossbar. Three minutes later, a beautiful team move saw Jaime Seoane put in a great cross into the Real Madrid box, only for Rafa Mir’s volley getting deflected off the post.In between the two chances, Huesca went ahead when Javi Galan sent an excellent left-footed finish beyond Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois in the 48th minute.However, having withstood that period of early pressure from the hosts, Real Madrid were awarded a free-kick in a promising position. Karim Benzema stood over the set-piece but saw his well-taken shot rattle off the crossbar.With goalkeeper Alvaro Fernandez having dived out of the picture, a goalline scramble ended with Varane bundling the ball over the line for a 58th-minute equaliser for Real Madrid.
Both sides created good chances to win the game, with Rafa Mir forcing Courtois into a fine save from a point-blank header.A Real Madrid team move found Karim Benzema unmarked in the box, but the Frenchman shot straight at Fernandez, with the goal gaping from six yards.However,.with time running out, Real Madrid got their noses in front from another set-piece. Toni Kross sent a cross to the back post, from which Casemiro headed goalwards; Fernandez made a fine save. But Raphael Varane reacted quickest to ensure that Los Blancos returned to the capital with all three points.On that note, here are five talking points from the fixture.#5 Inspired Huesca unlucky to end the game empty-handed Huesca put up a good fight against Real Madrid.Huesca came into the game as the bottom-placed side and odds-on favorites to return to the second division. The Aragon outfit have garnered only 16 points from their opening 21 games, recording their first victory in nine La Liga games last weekend.
Despite coming up against the defending champions, Huesca were unfazed and put Real Madrid on the back foot on several occasions. The opening ten minutes of the second half were extremely one-sided, with the hosts asking all questions off Real Madrid.However, they failed to take their chances, as the visiting goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois proved almost unbeatable.On the overall balance of play, Huesca will feel like they deserved something from the game. But Real Madrid ultimately punished them for failing to take their chances.#4 Real Madrid keep flailing hope alive in La Liga title race Real Madrid are seven points behind Atletico Madrid.Real Madrid came into this game ten points behind Atletico Madrid, having played a game more.With the games coming thick and fast, it is looking increasingly likely that Los Blancos would surrender their title to their city rivals.
Anything other than a victory would have all but put paid to their hopes of successfully defending their title. But Zidane’s side eventually did enough to give themselves a slim shot at glory.The victory moves Real Madrid up to 43 points, seven points behind Los Colchoneros.It still requires a spectacular and unlikely collapse from Simeone’s side for the Bernabeu outfit to overtake them. However, the Huesca win ensured that Real Madrid did their part to take advantage of any unforeseen slip-ups.
Published 07 Feb 2021, 00:25 IST