Real Madrid came back from two-goals and a man down to salvage a 2-2 draw with Osasuna in Pamplona, but still dropped two vital points in the Liga title race.
Two goals from Oriol Riera had Osasuna in dreamland inside 40 minutes. And things looked even better when Sergio Ramos received what was incredibly the 18th red card of his career after picking up his second booking minutes later. But Madrid crucially responded right before half-time through a superb strike from Isco. And, just after Osasuna had also been reduced to 10 men, Pepe leveled things up 10 minutes from time for Carlo Ancelotti’s side.
In a league where leaders Barcelona have dropped just five points all season, the result, despite how it was achieved, comes as a significant blow for the visitors. It also brings an end to a run of five-straight victories for Madrid in the league and could see then five points off the pace come the end of the weekend. Osasuna need all the points they can look to move clear of the drop zone and may ultimately reflect on a point gained, although there will be disappointment that they couldn’t hold on for all three after such a fine start.
Their opening goal came 16 minutes in when Marc Bertran’s cross with the outside of his right foot failed to be dealt with by the Madrid defense, allowing Riera to head high into the net. It was from a similar position that he doubled Osasuna’s advantage. This time Madrid’s defense went missing from a corner and, after Diego Lopez had made a fine save to deny an initial header, Riera was on hand to head in the rebound.
Things went from bad to worse when Ramos was sent packing, this time perhaps harshly, after raising an arm to get his second yellow card. But Madrid responded almost immediately. Seconds before the break, Cristiano Ronaldo teased the Osasuna defense before laying the ball square to Isco who produced a fine strike into the bottom corner form 20 yards.
The home side went down to 10 men themselves when Francisco Silva was sent off for his second yellow card in the 79th minute and almost immediately Madrid pounced. Isco played creator this time with a superb cross that Pepe met with a powerful header down and into the net from close range. Madrid, though, couldn’t find what would have been a priceless winner.