First Division - Day 23

Osasuna 1 - Real Madrid 2

Osasuna: Sanzol; Izquierdo, Cruchaga, Josetxo, Clavero; Valdo, Puñal, Pablo García, Moha (Delporte 83'); Morales (Milosevic 78'), Webó (Aloisi 58'). 4-4-2.
Madrid: Casillas; Michel Salgado, Samuel, Iván Helguera, Roberto Carlos; Gravesen (Solari 61'), Guti (Owen 73'); Beckham, Raúl, Zidane; Ronaldo (Borja 91'). 4-2-3-1.

Team changes: Osasuna: Sanzol, Cruchaga, Clavero, Pablo García, Moha for Elía, Cuéllar, Corrales, Muñoz, Delporte / Madrid: Gravesen for Figo.

1-0. 36. Webó. Pulled down headed pass from Morales and fired shot past Casillas.
1-1. 77. Owen. Low header from close up after keeper saved from Raúl.
1-2. 80. Iván Helguera. Poked ball in after Sanzol dropped Beckham free kick.

Real Madrid came from a goal down to beat Osasuna and stay just four points behind Barcelona. It was not a convincing win though, and they were let off the hook by an opponent who had dominated a cold, wet and windy first half, and who could have taken the lead in the third minute had Casillas not tipped a Morales header over the bar. The keeper was in action a couple more times to stop efforts from Izquierdo and Valdo, and it was no surprise when Morales headed on a long pass from Morales in front of a static defence for Webó to control the ball and score. And it could have been two before half time when Morales shot wide when al alone in front goal.

Madrid's only effort in the first half had been a weak shot y Ronaldo, although Raúl did go close soon after the restart. It was only a brief respite though, and Casillas had to be at his best to palm away a clever chip from his ex colleague Valdo. Vanderlei Luxemburgo's decision to replace Gravesen with Solari left his side without a ball winner in midfield, and Valdo almost took advantage when he fired a shot which came back off the crossbar.

With his side going nowhere Luxemburgo finally decided to being on Michael Owen, and it proved to be a good decision as within four minutes the England striker got his name on the scoresheet, heading in from close range after Sanzol had saved a Roberto Carlos free kick and then blocked the follow up from Raúl. And three minutes later Beckham's long free kick slipped out of the keeper's hands, and Iván Helguera was there to poke the ball over the line for the winning goal. Curiously Helguera had also scored in the El Sadar stadium four seasons ago when Madrid last won their, and once again he proved to be their saviour. It was their seventh win in a row since the new manager took over, equalling the league record, and "Los Galacticos" are back on track.