Gareth Bale’s first-half volley was the difference as Real Madrid survived a Huesca fightback to lift themselves to fourth place in the Liga table.
The Welshman found the back of the net within the opening ten minutes, guiding a side-footed volley past Aleksandar Jovanovic in goals for the hosts following some good play by young full-back Alvaro Odriozola down the right.
Real Madrid were expected to build on that opener, but they struggled with a strong wind in their face in the second half and were extremely fortunate not to be pegged back when Gerard Melero somehow managed to head wide from about four yards out.
Huesca forced Thibaut Courtois into a number of saves as they searched for an equaliser that would never come. On this basis, La Liga’s bottom side are much better than they have shown so far this season. Real breathed a sigh of relief at the full time whistle.
Is Thibaut Courtois finally justifying his summer transfer? For many, Keylor Navas remains the best goalkeeper at Real Madrid. They argue there was no need for £35 million to be spent on Courtois in the summer. But now that he’s at the club, the Belgian is finally starting to justify his price. Courtois pulled off a number of saves to prevent Real Madrid from suffering another humiliating result away to lowly opposition, meaning he has now kept three clean sheets in succession.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Gareth Bale (Real Madrid)
Bale has come under fire this season. He was expected to step into the void left by Cristiano Ronaldo in the summer, but that hasn’t really happened. This, however, was more like it from the Welsh winger. Real were, on the whole, poor and struggled to create much in the final third, but Bale was their most consistent threat and could have finished the match with more than just the single goal.