Well, if you ask a Real Madrid fan when you last witnessed the best of the costly-signed Eden Hazard in a white shirt; surely, he won’t be able to answer. Since that eventful signing, the fans of Los Blancos have been eagerly waiting for Hazard to do justice to the number 7 short. But until now, he has proved nothing.
— Real Madrid C.F. 🇬🇧🇺🇸 (@realmadriden) October 31, 2020
The last time he was seen in action, Manchester City outclassed them in the Round of 16 of the Champions League last season. Hazard was pale and his position in the team was questioned.
Then the fitness issues; such as gaining weight, poor eating habits, and injuries undermined his progress. Anyhow, he overcame all of those and featured in the starting XI for the first time this season in a white shirt.
An early kick-off at Valdebebas saw Real Madrid take on Huesca — a side that came to Alfredo di Stefano with the aim to block the spaces and use their hit-man Rafa Mir as much as possible during transitions because, in this season, the backline of Real Madrid has been the target of many due to its shakiness.
Eden Hazard vs Huesca:
27 passes in opp.half
8 total duels
2 total aerial duels
1 take-on completed
1 shot on target
1 goal pic.twitter.com/skSHzdkxN5
— cricketsoccer (@cricketsoccer) October 31, 2020
Actually, the opening 40 minutes were slow and lacked excitement – Real Madrid were stagnant in the midfield which forced Sergio to come up and link-up with the players upfront. Huesca did well to plug the half-spaces, making it nearly impossible for Luka Modric to combine with Marcelo, Benzema, and Hazard on the left.
Real Madrid used the flanks as usual and let the wing-backs advance to produce those diagonal crosses for Ramos and even Casemiro, who positioned themselves as the hitmen.
A Sergio Ramos header that Andres Fernandez saved midway through the half serving was the first real scoring chance. At the other end, Huesca weren’t exactly on target, but they were putting Real Madrid’s defence under pressure.
Eden Hazard scores his first goal of the season for Real Madrid 🚀
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) October 31, 2020
In the 40th-minute the deadlock was broken – from an open play Hazard produced one of his thunderous strikes, which made him famous at Stamford Bridge and gave Real Madrid the lead. He found the net after 392 days much to the relief of manager Zinedine Zidane, the players, and Florentino Perez.
Real Madrid were poking and prodding in trying to open up the Huesca defence, but found the going too difficult. It was then that Hazard took matters into his own hands when he collected a pass in the Huesca half and uncorked a swerving strike that Andres had no chance of saving.
— beIN SPORTS USA (@beINSPORTSUSA) October 31, 2020
The goal ignited Real Madrid and they found another one moments before the break, as Lucas Vazquez flighted a cross to Benzema, who took the ball down with his chest and fired in past Andres to make it 2-0.
Zidane’s first change was an experimental one and it came shortly after intermission, with usual left-back Ferland Mendy on for Lucas Vazquez at right-back.
Real Madrid were in good control of the game and Fede Valverde made it 3-0.
Huesca failed to clear and Benzema flighted a pass across to Fede Valverde, who hammered a right-footed shot into the net.
— Yahoo Soccer (@FCYahoo) October 24, 2020
On the hour mark, Zidane made another three changes, with Isco on for Fede Valverde, Rodrygo Goes for Asensio, and Vinicius Junior replacing Hazard.
The interplay between Vinicius Junior and Benzema were brilliant and definitely, such an understanding on the field buried all the rumours, which circulated in the social media over the past few days.
Vinícius Júnior and Karim Benzema exchanged eight passes in the 30 minutes they were on the field together vs Huesca. pic.twitter.com/b2plWVYi9a
— cricketsoccer (@cricketsoccer) October 31, 2020
A fantastic run from Vinicius ended with a cross to the Frenchman, who bounced a shot over the crossbar.
The final change for Real Madrid saw Toni Kroos come on for Casemiro, but in the final 20 minutes, the Los Blancos played sloppy football with David Ferreiro scoring off an excellent cross from Rafa Mir.
After failing to connect the first time around, Vinicius and Benzema hooked up again in the final minutes and this time made good, as Vinicius’ knockdown header took a bounce and was headed in by Benzema to round out the 4-1 scoreline.
A slow start but the goal by Eden Hazard after 392 days set the temp for the Los Blancos. Then Karim Benzema struck twice and Fede Valverde once. 4 goals scored, but the quality in the midfield is still needed. #RMLiga pic.twitter.com/4GdGGbzNaF
— Faisal Caesar (@faisalyorker1) October 31, 2020
Full points earned, but the lack of fluidity and creativity in the midfield exist. Hazard has scored, which is a ray of hope, but one must not forget, he scored before and got lost. Hope so he continues to deliver and increases his fitness level to play the full 90 minutes.