Hazard is FINALLY back with a bang! Ex-Chelsea ace nets a stunning strike on his first start of the season as Real Madrid put four past Huesca to go top of La Liga
- Real Madrid moved to the top of LaLiga with a comfortable 4-1 win over Huesca
- Eden Hazard opened the scoring with a stunning long-range strike for the hosts
- Karim Benzema doubled the lead just before the break with a low, hard strike
- Federico Valverde made it three just after half time with a decisive effort
Eden Hazard scored a special goal to send Real Madrid on their way to a 4-1 victory against Huesca. There was a subdued celebration, perhaps because he is aware it was only his second in 24 games for the club and his first for over a year, but it was a strike and performance that suggested there is a lot more to come.
‘I’m pleased for him, said Zinedine Zidane. ‘Bit by bit he is getting back to his best. We needed him because he opened the game up with his goal. You could see the quality that he has linking up with other players. It was a few minutes the other day and now an hour.’
Hazard last scored on October 5 last year. The second was a long time coming but he made it worth the wait and his understanding with Karim Benzema, who grabbed two and Marco Asensio will send Real Madrid full of confidence into their midweek must win meeting with Inter in the Champions League.
Real Madrid moved to the top of LaLiga with an emphatic 4-1 win over lowly Huesca
Hazard opened the scoring with a fierce long-range strike that beat the Huesca keeper
Karim Benzema congratulates the former Chelsea star after he bagged his first of the season
Real Madrid (4-3-3): Courtois; Vasquez (Mendy 52), Ramos, Militao, Marcelo; Valverde (Isco 61), Casemiro (Kroos 69), Modric; Asensio (Rodrygo 61), Benzema, Hazard (Vinicius 61)
Subs not used: Altube, Jovic, Lunin, Mariano, Santos, Varane
Scorers: Hazard (40), Benzema (45), Valverde (54)
Manager: Zinedine Zidane
Huesca (4-3-3): Fernandez; Luisinho (Silva 84), Siovas, Pulido, Maffeo; Nwakali (Ramirez 57), Mosquera, Garcia (Eugeni 57); Ontiveros (Galan 46), Gomez (Ferreiro 46), Mir
Subs not used: Doumbia, Escriche, Fernandez, Insua, Juan Carlos, Seoane
Booked: Siovas, Ramirez
Scorers: Ferreiro (75)
Benzema might even have had a hat-trick when teed-up by Vinicius but he sent a bouncing shot over the top ruining what would have been a harmonious ending to turbulent week in their relationship.
Huesca came into the game without a win in seven games in La Liga but they have picked up five draws and when Rafa Mir raced away from Militao it seemed they might have come to make a game of it. They were more than holding their own when Hazard broke the deadlock five minutes before half time.
He turned away from former Arsenal midfielder Kelechi Nwakali and rifled a shot into the corner past Andres Fernandez.
Benzema made it two on the stroke of half-time when he chested down Lucas Vazquez’ cross before sending it past Fernandez into the far corner.
Hazard linked-up brilliantly with Asensio and Benzema ahead of the third which Fede Valverde scored from Benzema’s cross.
Huesca showed plenty of spirit and David Ferreiro scored at the back post peeling away from Ramos to score past Courtois. But Madrid had not finished at the other end.
With Hazard off resting for the big test against Antonio Conte’s Inter Vinicius was on with compatriot Rodrygo and they were making life hell for Huesca’s tired defenders.
Vinicius almost set-up Benzema to score with his first involvement after coming on. But from his powerful run and well-placed cross Benzema shot over. Then Rodrygo nodded down a Marcelo cross and Benzema got his second of the game from close range on 90 minutes.
Asked about his new front three Zidane added: ‘We have lots of forward players. Vinicius also plays on the left so let’s see what happens. But we are happy. Hazard played well and with no physical reaction.’
It’s true that Madrid have multiple attacking options but no one quite like Hazard. They will be hoping now that the Belgian has finally arrived at the club ready to prove his worth.’
Benzema struck just on the stroke of half time to put Zinedine Zidane’s side in command
The Frenchman celebrates after netting his third goal of the season for the LaLiga champions
Federico Valverde all-but ensured all three points with a decisive strike just after half time
David Ferreiro scored after good work from Wolves loanee Rafa Mir with 15 minutes left
The Huesca striker celebrates after offering the visitors a glimmer of hope against the leaders
Benzema added his second of the afternoon to wrap up the win for the champions on Saturday
The win puts Zinedine Zidane’s champions top of the Spanish top flight at this early stage