Real Madrid had to rely on two goals from defender Raphael Varane to move away from the bottom of the Huesca table with three points, and momentarily leap over Barcelona to take second place in La Liga.
Los Blancos grew up in the game after a surprisingly brilliant start from their hosts but, despite all their possession, the odds came at a premium against a very rigid and organized side from Huesca. Karim Benzema’s effort just past the half hour was the only highlight, as his strike forced Alvaro Fernandez to make a very good save.
Huesca replicated his meteoric start in the first half and instantly scored Madrid’s goal in the second. Between Mikel Rico and Rafa Mir’s efforts to reach the bar, Los Aragoneses deservedly found a breakthrough in the 48th minute when a cross from Shinji Okazaki was finished phenomenally by Javi Galan.
Los Blancos responded well, however, and found an equalizer six minutes later. Benzema’s wonderful free kick hit the crossbar and was ultimately left to Varane, who nodded to bring the score to 1-1.
The visitors continued to push as Benzema saw several brilliantly saved efforts, but, in the end, it was a free kick from Kroos brought back by Casemiro that saw Varane cram into his second with six minutes to go. .
Let’s move on to your Real Madrid player notes.
Thibaut Courtois (GK) – 8/10 – The Belgian looked confident and calm with the ball, while claiming plenty of crosses. I couldn’t do anything for the goal and made an incredible save to keep the scores 1-1.
Alvaro Odriozola (RB) – 3/10 – A sad start to the match for the Spaniard, who looked petrified every time the ball came back to him. Eventually he regained his feet but was so often taken out of position and had no impact on the future.
Raphaël Varane (CB) – 9/10 – Brilliantly covered his center-back partner with his pace, making five clears. But the Frenchman will remember the match for his brace which won the game at Real.
Nacho (CB) – 6/10 – Had big boots to fill Sergio Ramos’ absence, but did well. He was passed several times by Mir but, overall, defended himself very strongly.
Ferland Mendy (LB) – 7/10 – The Frenchman was fantastic going forward, completing four dribbles and achieving 91% passing accuracy. Didn’t have too many defensive responsibilities as Huesca targeted the other flank.
Casemiro (DM) – 9/10 – Another exit accomplished as a screen to the four backs. The Brazilian has won possession nine times, while providing the lead that led to his team’s winner.
Toni Kroos (CM) – 7/10 – A very good performance from the German as he supported attacking phases with ridiculous passing ability, achieving 96% passing accuracy.
Luka Modric (CM) – 7/10 – It’s hard to believe this man is 35 years old. One of the sharpest and fastest players on the pitch and just slid through Huesca’s lines like poetry in motion.
Marco Asensio (RW) – 6/10 – Quite calm everywhere, but a satisfying game for the winger. Won several fouls with bright movement and control in promising areas including the free kick which led to the equalizer.
Karim Benzema (ST) – 7/10 – He always seemed likely to create something as he chose a space between the lines and had multiple efforts on goal. It was his brilliant free kick that led to the equalizer, but somehow the Frenchman couldn’t find a goal himself.
Vinicius Junior (LW) – 7/10 – Very bright and dangerous as almost all of Real’s attacks have gone his way. The 20-year-old made a key pass and drew four fouls – a valuable contribution.
Marcelo (LB) – 7/10
Mariano (ST) – N / A
Marvin (RB) – N / A