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Real Madrid CF
Posted by Nicholas Rigg on 11/06/2011

So that's what it's like to kick-off at midday? Eight goals, a sending-off, the sun shining, a hat-trick for CR7, a whopping win for Los Blancos and a place retained at the top of La Liga going into another international break. Madridistas may not have been fans of the early kick-off (although there were barely any empty seats to show it) before the game, but they certainly were after.

Sunday's Primera Division clash with Osasuna certainly took its time to wake up and get going, but when it did it produced another belting display by Ronaldo and company. It was the first time Madrid had kicked off at noon - La Liga brought in the new kick-off times at the start of this season - and it certainly left the fans licking their lips for more.

Of course, whether the kick-off time had an impact on the result is anyone's guess, but whether the game kicked-off at noon, in the afternoon or at night, Mourinho's men simply had too much in their locker for poor old Osasuna as they showed once again that they're a class apart from the majority of their La Liga rivals.

Los Rojillos had already endured an away day thrashing coming into the clash with Madrid - Barcelona had dished out an 8-0 drubbing on the men from Pamplona. Still, they were positioned just outside the European places coming into the contest and you'd think they'd have learnt their lessons from the eight goals they conceded at the Camp Nou.

It seemed as though they had for the first 34 minutes against Los Blancos, though whether that was down to the hosts getting used to their new early kick-off time is up for debate. Even when Ronaldo fired Madrid in front after a rather dull first 24 minutes - although credit must be due to Osasuna for their stubborn and organised defence - Madrid were still sleeping when the visitors grabbed their controversial leveller just six minutes later.

Mourinho was still shouting from the sidelines to bring Pepe, who'd been on the sidelines receiving treatment, back on to the pitch when Osasuna were awarded a free-kick following a foul by Alvaro Arebeloa. Raul Garcia took it quickly while at least six Madrid players were arguing with the referee and Ibrahim was left one-on-one with Iker Casillas, beating him with a neat low finish to level. While I can understand the frustration at not being allowed to bring Pepe back on, Madrid must learn a lesson from Osasuna's goal. Of course, decisions are going to be contested, but does it really need six men around the referee, not even focused on the ball? This time of situation could come up against Barca, and to concede a goal like that against them would be suicide. Lesson learnt, hopefully.

It seemed to be some kind of justice then that it was Pepe who restored Madrid's lead just four minutes later. And from then on there was no looking back. Higuain added a superb third before half-time and Eneko Satrustegui's sending off for a second bookable offence handed the emphatic win to Los Blancos on a plate. Fittingly, Ronaldo, awarded his European top scorer boot before the match, scored the resulting penalty and scored his third, and 12th hat-trick, before Benzema added two more goals to wrap-up the scoring.

Incredibly, Ronaldo has stacked up another record with his hat-trick, in that he's the first player in La Liga to score four hat-tricks in the opening eleven matches of a season. I'm 90 per cent on that one, although if anyone knows otherwise please feel free to correct me!

So another win and another international break coming up. One slight concern for Madridistas will be the injury to Angel Di Maria. As I type, nobody knows the extent of the injury so hopefully it won't be too bad. I'm guessing Mourinho won't be too keen on him featuring for Argentina in their forthcoming matches, though. Di Maria was again instrumental, assisting all three first-half goals to make him by far away the biggest assist maker in La Liga so far this season. On the plus side, Nuri Sahin got his long-awaited debut from the bench, and with some vital game time under his belt, and the international break to continue his fitness improvements, he'll surely feature in the coming Champions League games with Los Blancos having already progressed.

Just to finish off, some transfer stories from the British papers this weekend involving Madrid, all of which are probably rubbish, but worth a mention just in case. Carlos Tevez, Robin Van Persie, and Glen Johnson are the names linked with the Bernabeu. Yes, Glen Johnson...

Tevez had, of course, been linked last season but with Neymar seemingly all-but tied up, I can't see the need for another attacker, not of Tevez's ilk anyway. Manchester City won't let him go for cheap, and his reported £200,000 wages are also another sticking point. Van Persie wouldn't demand that much, and his contract is up in a year-and-a-half at Arsenal, but with the Gunners losing big names such as Fabregas and Nasri this season, Arsene Wenger will be desperate to keep hold of RVP, one of the form strikers in Europe at present. He'd fit into Madrid's line-up like a glove, but I can't see it happened. As for Glen Johnson - is that even worth the debate? He simply isn't better than Arbeloa. If there is an area that does need strengthening at the moment is could be right-back, with Ramos playing so well at centre-back, but Arbeloa is playing well there and there's no need to change.

Why is there an international break now? I want the domestic football to keep coming, especially in this form. A tough test lies in wait in Valencia in two weeks' time, and Jose will be hoping his men return to the Spanish capital with a full bill of health.

Hala Madrid!

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Posted by Victor ossai on 11/06/2011

Madrid shud b caraful in their defence

Posted by Nick on 11/06/2011

Hopefully it will be a one-off this season. Although in the heat of the moment...Good to see Barca drop points, three points clear at the top now. Significant.

Posted by Johnny on 11/06/2011

Nick. Nice to hear from you at this important junction. Real are looking very very good at the moment and lets hope the break doesnt break their rythm as they and Barcelona tend to look sluggish when the players return. Sahin getting some game time is significant and lets hope Di Maria and Marcelo in particular are fit for Valencia. Barcelona are going to fight like mad from now on and I cant last remember when they had to chase hard so lets see what they are made of when pressure builds. It could go either way now..I can say though that without Messi they are a shadow of a side and if he got injured they would be in serious trouble. Roll on Classico...

Posted by Ademola Gbadebo on 11/06/2011

I strongly believe dat Madrid can win their league 4 dis season. Keep on rocky Madrid, u are 2Real.

Posted by Stu on 11/06/2011

Now Three points clear, top of the league and champions league with no goals let in and maximum points, things are looking great!!! Hala Madrid!!!

Bring on Neymar!!!

Posted by Nick on 11/06/2011

Thanks Johnny. Valencia will certainly be a big test. Ideally someone of lesser stature would have been good opponents for us after the international break, but if Madrid do win, and there's no reason why not, then it'll be a massive, massive win. Like you said, we've not seen Barca do much chasing in recent years and it'll be interesting to see how they, as well as Los Blancos, do in this situation.

Posted by Ranjan89 on 11/06/2011

Another excellent blog just like another excellent Madrid victory. Keep up the good work mate . Hala Madrid! :D

Posted by khalfan on 11/07/2011

Real Madrid is real coming Barca should take care if they want 2ensure their lead in la liga!&CR7 is desinatin' his international abled winger!

Posted by vincent on 11/07/2011

yesterday win was good enough for me,lets ope God will protect madrid players from getting injuries en ibelieve through there strength en team work we are going for awin in valencia.marcelo,angel,k aka should get recovered guickly be4 that match.G od love madrid en me too.

Posted by tatenda on 11/07/2011

hala madrid!good game and nice to see barca trail us.

Posted by Anand on 11/07/2011

Great win for madrid, although this 12 pm kick off is no good for me, where its 6 am EST! Sahin didn't really put on a great performance, but was think he should be up for it by classico?

Posted by Bash khana on 11/07/2011

im happy to seeing the best among the best middfelder which he is Nuri Sahin so now our team are very stronger sorry Barcellona 99dayz for a thief one day for a master hahahaha what nex? Kill

Posted by Jack Bennett on 11/07/2011

I think that Real played a very good match, but they can keep winning all of these la liga/ champions league matches when, the only true test is Barcelona. Until then, we cant rate this team

Posted by Antonio on 11/07/2011

Can't rate them because they haven't played Barcelona yet? Absolute bullshit, sure Barcelona is Real's biggest tests/competition in football, but, a match against them, doesn't sum up a rating or stature about them. It just justifies whom the supreme team is currently, not only in La Liga, but in the world. Barca and Real, are the two best clubs in football, followed by Bayern, Manchester, Milan, Liverpool, Lyon, Juventus etc.(not in any particular order). Anyway, top notch performance from Real, once again. Great job from CR7, Benzema, Higuien, Pepe and the entire team, nice to also see Sahin finally getting on the pitch. I hope for a speedy recovery to DiMaria, Kaka and Marcelo. Valencia is not going to be any problem to be honest, they are a force to be reconed with, yes, but against Real, and with current form, I really don't/can't see them coming out this match with anything but pride. Nonetheless, best luck to them both, hope to see an enthralling, but clean match. Hala Madrid!

Posted by Marc Duffy on 11/07/2011

Hi Nick. I'm the Newcastle correspondent on here. I was at the Real game yesterday and thoroughly enjoyed the 12pm start - though I didn't think I would. I was disappointed by Osasuna - absolutely no heart at all. It was so one sided it was ridiculous. Alonso was a pleasure to watch. Cheers

Posted by Joao on 11/07/2011

I don't understand the utter stupidity that caused Osasuna's goal. If anyone remembers several years ago we lost 1-0 to Getafe in a very similar fashion
We had a scored a goal, it was RIGHTLY ruled offside,Robben,Baptista,Ramos, were arguing with the ref when Getafe scored on a counter-attack. (It was irrelevant as we won the title in 2008.)I figured that Ramos,Casillas,Pepe would know better and learn from that mistakes.
In more positive terms our defence looks awesome, CR7 is in his imperious form, and we have two of the most inform strikers on the planet. A nice way to go into the international break. And Barca dropped points so we are three points ahead atop the table. Di Maria better not be injured long term, three assists in the first half was insane.

Posted by Riaz on 11/08/2011

Nice Article Nick. Yes Madrid is getting better just want to see them winning Laliga & Champions League again... Hala Madrid

Posted by ezfulus on 11/08/2011

Joao - Yeap I remember that match. IIRC the Getafe goal was scored by none other than our canterano Dani Parejo! Caused quite a stir in the Madrid media afterwards lol

Posted by umar abba ibrahim on 11/08/2011

mourinho should understand the real rating is when they clash then we shall rate madrid on their form, and is going to be very soon, yes madrid is getting better just when to see them destroying Barca, Hala madrid, up the special one, you are one among the best and the best among the rest

Posted by Madridista_Portugal on 11/09/2011

Ozil can easily replace Di Maria.. Kaka and Marcelo should be fit for the match.. If its one thing we don't lack, it's a strong bench.. Hala Madrid! Hala Mourinho!!

Posted by Ravi on 11/09/2011

Hi nic,
how does gregory van der wiel sound for a solid addition to the right back?

Posted by Brett on 11/09/2011

Well, count me among the few who is happy to see Neymar stay in Brazil. Frankly, the boy simply isn't as complete as either Pipita or Benzema by quite a margin. He's got all the sizzle, but between his inability to play through contact or maintain his composure, he's a couple of years away from being ready to supplant either.

In the meantime, we have easily the best pair of forwards this club has seen since Raul and Morientes. If only Mou would occasionally drop that double pivot and insert another forward like we saw for a bit this past weekend.

Posted by Joao on 11/10/2011

Ezeflus, thank you for that, it was parejo who scored the winner,LOL. We dodged a bullet in not signing Neymar his temperament needs improvement and
although he is talented he is not even close to the finished product and needs more time to develop in Brazil. In addition, we already have two of the world's top forwards in Benz and Higuain so we are set in that position. I also believe Morata deserves a chance, he is a good striker and played very well in the under-21 european championships.

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