Unconvincing Real Madrid battle back to defeat basement club Huesca

PA Sport Staff

Rafael Varane’s late goal saw Real Madrid come from behind to win 2-1 at Huesca on Saturday as their unconvincing form continued.

While the points might ease some of the pressure on coach Zinedine Zidane, it was far from an accomplished performance as Madrid struggled to make the most of their dominance of the ball against LaLiga’s bottom side.

Javi Galan put Huesca ahead three minutes into the second half and the hosts had a fine chance to make it 2-0 before Raphael Varane scored twice, with both efforts coming on the rebound following set-pieces.

Madrid came into the game on the back of a 2-1 home defeat to Levante, in which Eder Militao saw red after just nine minutes.

And here they immediately found themselves under pressure as Huesca sought to unsettle the visitors from the off.

Jaime Seoane, Shinji Okazaki and Rafa Mir all had shots at goal in the opening five minutes, though none of them were able to test Thibaut Courtois in the Madrid goal.

Zidane’s side slowly began to find a foothold in the match, but struggled to find a final ball as both Vinicius Junior and then Marco Asensio failed to pick out Karim Benzema in the box.

As the rain grew in intensity, Madrid continued to pour forward but it was a familiar story as promising moves fell down due to the lack of a killer pass.

Luka Modric did produce a moment of brilliance to release Benzema 10 minutes before the break, but Alvaro Fernandez got across to push away his curling shot as he tried to find the far corner.

The second half began as had the first, with Huesca on the front foot.

Just a minute after the restart they raced forward with Pablo Maffeo’s cross from the right flicked on to the top of the crossbar and over by Mikel Rico.

But they had the lead two minutes later when Okazaki squared the ball for Galan to take a touch and then fire in a shot off the far post.

It should have been 2-0 moments later but Mir’s volley struck the crossbar again.

And they would soon rue the miss as Varane brought Madrid level in the 55th minute, nodding in on the rebound after Benzema’s free-kick hit the crossbar.

Having got back on level terms, Madrid began to dominate again as they had before the break. Asensio and Casemiro both had attempts deflected away before a good move ended in Fernandez denying Benzema.

The Frenchman then fired directly at Fernandez from point-blank range with 12 minutes left as Madrid continued to be frustrated.

But they would finally dig out a winner six minutes from time as Varane doubled up, again scoring on the rebound after Fernandez could only push Casemiro’s header into his path following a Toni Kroos free-kick.

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