Real Madrid secured a crucial victory over Osasuna this evening, with Eder Militao, again, having thoroughly impressed.
Casemiro makes sure
Zinedine Zidane’s men were of course back in action a short time ago.
Los Blancos welcomed Osasuna to the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano, for their latest crunch outing in the hunt for the La Liga title.
Ahead of kick-off in the capital, Real sat five points off table-topping city neighbours Atletico Madrid, hopeful of taking advantage of Barcelona’s shock slip-up at home to Granada during the week.
And, when all was said and done, this is precisely what the hosts managed.
A hard-fought 90 minutes eventually saw Zidane and co. emerge on the right side of a 2-0 scoreline.
Eder Militao was first on target, nodding home Isco’s corner fifteen minutes from time, as Blancos across the globe breathed a collective sigh of relief:
GOAL FOR REAL MADRID!
The hosts finally get their breakthrough goal as Eder Militao heads it home to give them a 1-0 lead over Osasuna.#RealMadridOsasuna LIVE NOW ⬇️
📺 beIN SPORTS
💻📱CONNECT https://t.co/LRYa03w6yI pic.twitter.com/YKCkjU7d03
— beIN SPORTS USA (@beINSPORTSUSA) May 1, 2021
Then, five minutes later, Casemiro killed the game off once and for all, after the Brazilian’s heavy first touch somehow managed to wrong-foot Sergio Herrera to find the far corner of the Osasuna net.
— Real Madrid C.F. 🇬🇧🇺🇸 (@realmadriden) May 1, 2021
In turn, Real now sit just two points off the La Liga summit, as the battle for the Spanish top-flight title looks set to come down to the wire.
Los Merengues, though, must now quickly shift their attentions away from matters on the domestic front.
This of course comes with a Champions League semi-final 2nd-leg showdown with Chelsea to come on Wednesday night.
The tie sits on a knife-edge after a hotly contested opener earlier this week, which eventually saw Karim Benzema cancel out Christian Pulisic’s early opener, en route to a 1-1 draw.
THUNDEROUS FINISH! ⚡️
Benzema smashes the ball home on the turn and volley. Such a clinical strike!
Against the run of play Real Madrid are level… pic.twitter.com/byfE5d9wt6
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 27, 2021
Zinedine Zidane, in turn, will have some major selection decisions to make at Stamford Bridge.
The Frenchman opted for a 3-man backline during the week, a system which saw Real consistently exposed by Chelsea’s pacy front-3 over the course of the opening 45 minutes.
He will therefore no doubt be tempted to shift back to Los Blancos’ tried and tested back-4 system on Wednesday night.
This comes with captain and leader Sergio Ramos expected to return from a spell on the sidelines in the English capital.
Raphael Varane, under normal circumstances, would of course step in to partner Ramos.
Tonight, though, another of the central-defensive options at the disposal of Zidane handed his boss a major selection headache. The player in question? Eder Militao.
Brazilian stopper Militao has showcased the finest form of his Bernabeu stint over recent weeks, and starred once again versus Osasuna on Saturday.
Opening goal aside, the former Porto standout barely put a foot wrong at the back all night, showcasing exactly why the La Liga champions opted to splash out a rumoured €50 million on his signature in the summer of 2019.
📊| Eder Militao vs Osasuna:
• 7/8 aerial duels won
• 2/3 ground duels won
• 3 clearances
• 2 interceptions
• 75/80 passes completed (94%)
• 10/11 long balls completed
• 4 shots
• 1 goal
— Madrid Zone (@theMadridZone) May 1, 2021
It would, in truth, be nothing short of ruthless for Zidane to drop Militao on current form, with some major decisions therefore on the horizon for Los Merengues’ boss in midweek.
Thomas Tuchel watches on as Xavier Mbuyamba notches clean sheet in first 90 minutes for Chelsea U23s