Real Madrid closed the gap on their arch-rivals Barcelona in LaLiga with a crucial 2-0 victory over Osasuna on Saturday.
Federico Valverde and Marco Asensio provided the late goals that secured the win and helped Madrid keep pace with the league leaders.
Despite resting star striker Karim Benzema and missing midfielder Toni Kroos, Carlo Ancelotti’s men were able to grind out the result at El Sadar.
They had limited chances without Benzema, but Valverde’s composed finish in the 78th minute and Asensio’s similarly calm strike in the 92nd minute proved to be the difference.
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The win moved Los Blancos five points behind Barca, who are set to host Cadiz on Sunday. While Sergio Herrera denied a great chance for Vinicius Junior early on, and Thibaut Courtois made a key save from Moi Gomez, the game remained scoreless at halftime.
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Madrid started to ramp up the pressure in the second half, with Rodrygo and Vinicius both going close to breaking the deadlock. However, it was Valverde who finally broke the deadlock, poking the ball into the bottom-right corner of the net after a cross from Vinicius.
While Vinicius had another goal ruled out for offside, Asensio put the result beyond doubt with a clinical finish in the dying minutes of the match.
The victory is a vital one for Madrid, who still harbor hope of defending their LaLiga title.
With Benzema rested ahead of their upcoming Champions League clash against Liverpool, Ancelotti’s men will be hoping to build on this win and continue their push for domestic and European success.