Real down Osasuna with ease
Real Madrid maintained their La Liga title challenge in style tonight with a convincing 5-1 victory at Osasuna.
Karim Benzema opened the scoring in spectacular fashion in the seventh minute and Cristiano Ronaldo and Gonzalo Higuain both scored twice as Jose Mourinho's side ran out comfortable winners. Francisco Nino got on the scoresheet for the home side, but they never truly threatened to cause an upset against the league leaders.
Osasuna had lost just two home games before tonight, but were soon behind to a sublime opening goal from Real, with Ronaldo getting to the byline and cutting back a left-footed cross that Benzema brilliantly volleyed back across goal and into the far corner.
Osasuna coach Jose Luis Mendilibar then appeared to be sent to the stands with just 11 minutes gone for complaining about refereeing decisions, and things did not get any better for him as the first half progressed. Mesut Ozil forced a good save out of Andres Fernandez at his near post before Ronaldo doubled his side's lead on 37 minutes with a thumping drive from 35 yards. The shot swerved slightly in the air, but Fernandez will have been disappointed to be beaten at his near post from such distance.
The game was effectively over on 40 minutes when Higuain got in on the action, dinking the ball over the advancing Hernandez after breaking the offside trap. But Osasuna did at least get on the scoresheet just two minutes into the second half when Nino headed home at the far post from Roversio's cross.
Ronaldo scored his second of the night on 70 minutes when he won a free-kick on the edge of the area and then saw his shot deflect in off the heels of substitute Dejan Lekic. And the former Manchester United forward then set up Higuain on 77 minutes to complete the scoring with a simple close-range finish.
The home side's misery was complete in the last minute when Roland Lamah was sent off for his second bookable offence.