First Division - Day 34

Osasuna 3 - Real Madrid 1

Osasuna: Unzué; Cruchaga, Contreras, Josetxo; Yanguas, Puñal, Lekumberri; Alfredo (Palacios 80'), Gancedo (Sabino 92'), Fernando; Iván Rosado (Aloisi 86'). 3-3-3-1.
Real Madrid: César; Michel Salgado, Hierro, Iván Helguera, Raúl Bravo (Munitis 65'); Figo, Makelele, Zidane, Solari (Karanka 46'); Raúl, Morientes. 4-4-2.

Team changes: Osasuna: Josetxo, Gancedo for Jusué, Sabino / Madrid: Raúl Bravo, Figo for Roberto Carlos, McManaman.

1-0. 32. Fernando. After short free kick which César deflected up into net.
2-0. 39. Alfredo. Took pass from right and chipped keeper inside area.
2-1. 50. Morientes. Picked up rebound near goal and rounded keeper to score
3-1. 74. Iván Rosado. First time volley on far post from Lekumberri lofted cross.

Real Madrid crashed to a 3-1 defeat at Osasuna to hand over top spot to Valencia. With Rafa Benítez's side only drawing the day before, Madrid had a golden opportunity to distance themselves from their rivals. Osasuna though were never going to be an easy side to beat, especially knowing that virtually all of their direct rivals in the battle to avoid relegation had won earlier in the evening. As usual Del Bosque put out his best available side despite another gruelling European match midweek against Bayern Munich, with Figo now back to full fitness and youngster Raúl Bravo replacing the suspended Roberto Carlos. Bravo came close to giving away a penalty early on when Yanguas fell rather too easily under his challenge, World Cup referee López Nieto not taking the bait. A minute later Zidane gave a first warning of what he is capable of when he controlled the ball in a tight space and fired a dipping volley just over the bar.

Osasuna though play a typical Basque game forged in the bull-running streets of Pamplona, hard pressure football, never allowing the opponent to settle on the ball. With just over half an hour gone they got their reward when Puñal played a short free kick to Fernando, who bent his shot goalwards. César flew to his right to fist it away, but just as he had done against Barcelona, his contact was not enough and the ball span back into his own net. Seven minutes later Osasuna went two up with the goal of the night when Iván Rosado passed the ball in from the right to Alfredo, who ran in to the area and produced a delightful chip over the stranded keeper. Then with the first half coming to an end a bad back pass let Iván Rosado through, and Iván Helguera had no option but to trip him up as he went past him. López Nieto had no doubts and produced the red card, leaving the visitors with ten men facing an uphill battle.

Del Bosque sacrificed Solari at the break to bring on Karanka to cover for Helguera. Soon afterwards his side pulled a goal back when a deflected Figo shot fell to the unsettled Morientes for him to round Unzué and score, the referee turning down Osasuna's appeals for offside. On came Munitis for Bravo as Madrid came out looking to equalise, and Zidane brought a good save out of Unzué. But Iván Rosado finished things off two minutes later with a spectacular first time volley from Lekumberri's lofted cross to take a much needed three points and keep his side out of the relegation zone with their first win in eight games. Madrid's seven match unbeaten run comes to an end, but they are still only a point behind Valencia and one ahead of Deportivo, who they visit in the last match of the season. Everything may boil down to that game.