Karim Benzema’s brilliant late winner saw Real Madrid come from behind to beat Huesca 3-2 at the Santiago Bernabeu in La Liga on Sunday night.
Huesca went ahead with barely two minutes on the clock when Marcelo was caught up field. Nacho made a mistake as he went across to cover for the Brazilian and the visitors attacked down that side, with Cucho Hernandez firing past goalkeeper Luca Zidane.
The coach’s son had been brought in for his debut in a much-changed side, and it was a chance for many to prove themselves ahead of a summer of changes at the Bernabeu.
Isco was one of those players and the Spain midfielder equalised after 25 minutes, tapping in from close range after good work by Benzema and Brahim Diaz to make it two goals in two games for him since Zidane’s return as coach.
There were whistles from the home fans after Huesca were allowed another good chance at the end of the opening 45 minutes, but Real stepped things up after the break and it looked like they would go on to win comfortably when Dani Ceballos made it 2-1.
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Bale sent over a fine cross with the outside of his boot, Benzema headed back across goal and the former Betis player was there to poke home at the far post after 62 minutes.
Alvaro Odriozola then crossed for Bale after 70 minutes and the Welsh winger seemed certain to score, somehow sending a shot over the crossbar just a few yards from goal, with the Huesca ‘keeper beaten.
It was a let-off for the visitors and Real Madrid’s fans could not believe he had missed. And four minutes later, they were left to rue the mistake as Xabi Etxeita headed home at the other end to make it 2-2 and raise Huesca’s fans’ hopes of a famous victory.
“Yes we can,” their supporters sang, with some 1,500 to 2,000 fans having travelled down for this match.
Despite all of those, this was still Real Madrid’s second-lowest crowd of the season at the Bernabeu and many fans also left early.
But they might have wished they had stayed as Benzema curled home a beauty in the 89th minute to cap another fine performance for him personally and make it a second straight win for Zidane since his return as coach, although there is clearly a lot to improve on after this display.
Madrid stay third in La Liga, 12 points adrift of leaders Barcelona and two behind Atletico with nine games remaining. Huesca, despite their plucky performance, are still bottom of the table.