Madrid back within three points of Atleti

A brace from Cristiano Ronaldo and goals apiece for Sergio Ramos and Dani Carvajal gave Real Madrid a 4-0 win over Osasuna.

As expected, Alvaro Morata and Ronaldo led the line for Los Blancos as they looked to go within touching distance of their city rivals Atletico Madrid at the top of the table. Asier Illarramendi came into the midfield for Xabi Alonso, whilst Nacho, Marcelo and Raphael Varane all started in defence.

And it was the young striker who had the first opportunity of the match inside the first three minutes – being released by Luka Modric, only to fire a shot straight at Alejandro Arribas.

It didn’t take long for the home team to take the lead though, and it was that man Ronaldo who opened the scoring. Coming in on the left-hand side, the Ballon d’Or struck a swerving effort from 30 yards that beat Andres and flew into the back of the net.

Carlo Ancelotti’s men were clearly the better side and were making their quality show – keeping the ball almost at will and creating a number of half-chances.

Javi Gracia’s side however, were not downhearted by the early goal and kept knocking at the Merengues door. Defensively though, the hosts were standing firm, with Sergio Ramos and Varane heading away everything that came their way.

But it was at the other end that Ramos let the side down midway through half. After a quick counter-attack, Ronaldo crossed on a plate for the Spain international, but his header couldn’t find the target when it looked easier to score.

It was Ronaldo who was the constant goal-threat for Santiago Bernabeu outfit however, and the Portugal international almost got his second of the match late on. A free kick on the left-hand side was within sight of goal, but his shot just skimmed the far post.

After the break, despite Los Blancos having a complete monopoly on possession, it was the visitors who had the best early chance as Emiliano Armenteros acrobatically volleyed wide from inside the area after a neat move down the left.

And they were almost made to pay for that profligacy soon after as Modric struck a sweet effort from the edge of the area. The Croatia international though, hit it just wide of the right-hand upright.

But there was nothing the Rojillos could do on 52 minutes as Ronaldo scored his and Real Madrid’s second of the night. Coming in from the left again, the former Manchester United man hit one from 20 yards that rifled straight into the top right-hand corner.

It wasn’t two from long however, as on the hour mark, the hosts ensured the points with another goal. A cross from Angel Di Maria on the right found Ramos, who, unmarked, headed in past the goalkeeper.

The match took a dive in tempo from then on as both sides realised that the result was in no danger of changing. Ancelotti’s team circulated the ball without any real pressing from their opponents, and went into second gear ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League semi-final against Bayern Munich.

There was still time though for the Merengues to rack up another goal, with Carvajal finding the net this time on 84 minutes. A cross from Isco found the young full-back, who leapt unmarked inside the area, and headed over the onrushing goalkeeper.

 Real Madrid 4-0 Osasuna

Scorers: Ronaldo 7, 52 (RM), Ramos 60 (RM), Carvajal 84 (RM)

Real Madrid: Diego Lopez; Nacho, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo; Illarra, Modric (Alonso 67), Di Maria (Carvajal 74); Isco, Morata, Ronaldo (Casemiro 62)

Osasuna: Andrés, Damiá, Flaño, Arribas, Joan Oriol, Cejudo, Raoul Loé (Oier 59), Puñal, Armenteros, De las Cuevas, Oriol Riera (Acuna 64)