Karim Benzema and Jese Rodriguez scored in either half for Real Madrid, who defeated Osasuna 2-0 on Thursday at the Estadio Bernabeu in the first leg of their Copa del Rey Round of 16 tie.
Benzema broke the deadlock with a header in the 19th minute, while Jese sealed the points after an Osasuna error on the hour mark, as Real won for the second time in as many matches since returning from Spain's winter break.
Madrid will carry a two-goal advantage into the return leg, which is set for next Wednesday in Pamplona.
Real Madrid 2-0 Osasuna FT: Shots(OT) 21(4) - 6(1), Possession 59% - 41%, Tackles 19 - 21 http://t.co/b2PlC5zUsp— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) January 9, 2014
Luka Modric: MotM vs Osasuna, Rating 8.5, Key passes 3, Assists 1, Dribbles 2, Tackles 2 http://t.co/b2PlC5zUsp— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) January 9, 2014
Manager Carlo Ancelotti made five changes to his Real Madrid side that defeated Celta Vigo in the league on Monday. Gareth Bale, who started for the first time since Dec. 14 following a calf injury, joined Jese in the attack. They replaced Isco and Angel di Maria.
In defense, Alvaro Arbeloa replaced Dani Carvajal at full-back, while veteran goalkeeper Iker Casillas—who recently became a father for the first time—replaced Diego Lopez. In addition, Asier Illarramendi came in for Xabi Alonso in central midfield.
Osasuna held Real Madrid to a 2-2 draw when the teams played at Osasuna's El Sadar Stadium. That meant gaining a solid first-leg advantage was potentially vital for Real.
But it was the visitors who came closest to taking the lead in the early exchanges.
In the eighth minute, Alvaro Cejudo created space for himself on the right side with a neat drag-back before shooting from a tight angle, but Casillas was on hand to push the ball away at the near post. Benzema provided Madrid's response in the 12th minute, curling his shot over the bar from the left.
Real came close again in the 16th minute, when Ronaldo laid off for Jese following excellent solo work in the middle. Jese went down under pressure from Osasuna goalkeeper Asier Riesgo in the box, prompting a whistle from the referee.
Osasuna's players initially protested what they assumed was a penalty awarded to Madrid, but the referee instead booked Jese for simulation. Replays showed Riesgo had made contact with Jese, but it didn't matter. Madrid had the lead within moments anyway.
In the 19th minute, Luka Modric curled in a free kick from the left, and Benzema rose highest to head in simply at the back post for a 1-0 lead. It was Benzema's 99th goal for Real Madrid in all competitions.
Osasuna came close to scoring an equalizer in the 30th minute. Roberto Torres curled in a free kick from the left, where Oier met the ball with a header that bounced wide of the near post. At the other end moments later, Alejandro Arribas cleared alertly with Ronaldo lurking in front of an unguarded Osasuna goal.
Ronaldo had another attempt in the 35th minute, bending a free kick wide of the target. Three minutes later, Bale blasted a long-range shot well off-target.
Osasuna had another chance in the 40th minute, but Oier shot narrowly wide from Miguel de las Cuevas' low cross. It was the visitors' last chance of the first half, and Real Madrid took a 1-0 lead into half-time.
Benzema had an opportunity to add to his tally in the 54th minute after being set up by Modric's angled pass into the box, but the Frenchman blasted his shot high and wide at the near post. Ronaldo had an even better chance five minutes later after pulling down Bale's cross inside the box, but his shot was weak and straight at Riesgo.
It mattered little, though. Madrid made it 2-0 within moments
In the 60th minute, Benzema pounced on a poor pass by Oier and laid off for Ronaldo. Ronaldo then passed to Jese, who ran into space and finished with his right foot.
Arbeloa on Jesé: "He has to show patience. He's playing to an exceptional level for a lad who's 20 years old."— AS English (@English_AS) January 9, 2014
The second goal seemed to kill off the first leg, but Real were far from finished attacking. Ronaldo volleyed wide in the 61st minute and headed over the bar moments later as the hosts pressed their advantage.
On a less positive note for Real Madrid, Jese limped off in the 70th minute after sustaining an injury. He was replaced by Isco.
It should have been 3-0 in the 72nd minute when Benzema pulled back a cross for Bale in the middle, but Bale's shot was blocked accidentally by Ronaldo. Real's attacks became less frequent thereafter, although Pepe came forward to bend a powerful shot wide of the target from long range in the 85th minute.
Álvaro Arbeloa on Real Madrid’s first-leg win: “It’s a good result but Osasuna always make life difficult for you in Pamplona.”— AS English (@English_AS) January 9, 2014
|Isco (for Jese, 60')||N/A||6|
|Alvaro Morata (for Benzema, 81')||N/A||7|
|Casemiro (for Illarramendi, 88')||N/A||7|
Real Madrid play at Espanyol in the league on Sunday before visiting Osasuna next Wednesday for the return leg of their Copa del Rey tie.
Osasuna visit Real Betis on Sunday before hosting Real Madrid in the second leg next Wednesday.