An Eder Militao header and a Casemiro fluke gave Real Madrid a 2-0 win over Osasuna to keep them in the thick of the title race.
Atletico Madrid’s narrow 1-0 win over Elche earlier in the day piled the pressure on Zinedine Zidane’s side to match that result. The defending champions ultimately closed the gap again to two points, but they had to work hard for the win.
The hosts started on the front foot and dominated the majority of the first half with Eden Hazard, back in the team following injury, lively. Sergio Herrera made a couple of good saves to deny Eder Militao before Chimy Avila had a headed goal ruled out for offside before the break.
Raphael Varane was withdrawn at half time with a leg problem, making him a doubt for the second leg of next week’s Champions League semi-final against Chelsea. Isco and Rodrygo were introduced as Real Madrid struggled for creativity.
However, the breakthrough finally came after 76 minutes when Militao, who had been a threat from set-pieces, got on the end of an Isco corner kick delivery to head into the back of the net.
Real Madrid doubled their advantage soon after, with Casemiro inadvertently diverting a Karim Benzema pass over the goal line with Herrera wrong-footed. The pressure in the title race now shifts to Barcelona, who face Valencia on Sunday, and Sevilla, who host Athletic Club on Monday.