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Vinícius scores twice in win at Osasuna as Madrid takes another step toward title

Brahim Diaz Vinicius Junior Real Madrid Brahim Diaz Vinicius Junior - The Canadian Press

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Days after being targeted by racist taunts before games not even involving his team, Vinícius Júnior scored twice to lead Spanish league leader Real Madrid to a dominant 4-2 win at Osasuna on Saturday.

Vinícius, who is Black, has endured racist insults during away games especially over the last two seasons. This week he was subjected to racist chants by groups of fans gathered outside the stadiums of Atletico Madrid and Barcelona before Champions League games. Atletico played Inter Milan, and Barcelona played Napoli.

Vinícius asked on social media for the acts to not go unpunished, adding “It’s a sad reality that happens even in games where I’m not present!”

Players wore T-shirts promoting a Spanish league anti-racism campaign before kickoff for the day’s games. Local media reports said some fans at El Sadar Stadium chanted “Die Vinícius” after he celebrated his second goal by holding a hand to his ear while facing the stands. The referee's report made no mention of any incidents involving fans.

Brazil forward Vinícius was unfazed on the field in Pamplona, scoring Madrid’s fourth-minute opener and adding a fourth goal to complete the rout. Dani Carvajal and Brahim Díaz also scored for the visitors, which picked apart Osasuna's high defensive line.

“I congratulated Vini Jr. because he played an extraordinary game,” Carlo Ancelotti said after the coach's 200th win with Madrid. “He is a very dangerous player and everyone knows it. Rival fans jeer him and opposing players give him kicks, although today everything was correct and by the rule book.”

Madrid moved 10 points ahead of Girona with nine games left after the Catalan side stumbled again with a 1-0 defeat at Getafe.

Vinícius has scored six goals in a four-game scoring streak across all competitions. He is playing his best just as Madrid is preparing to face Manchester City in the Champions League quarterfinals next month.

“The entire team played a great game, not just me,” said Vinícius, who had opportunities to make it a hat trick. “I don’t think as much about the goals I scored as I do about the chances I missed.”

Vinícius will miss next round’s home game against Athletic Bilbao as he serves a one-game suspension for picking up a fifth yellow card for protesting a decision by the referee.

Madrid was without Jude Bellingham, who leads the league with 16 goals, as he completed a two-game suspension.

Osasuna striker Ante Budimir had an early equalizer to briefly make it 1-1. It was the Croat's 15th league goal of the season. Substitute Iker Muñoz added the hosts' second goal in stoppage time.

“Today is a very hard day for us. We were brave, but we were also fragile. And against a team like Real Madrid you pay for it,” said Osasuna coach Jagoba Arrasate, whose team was 11th.

The first goal was partly caused by Osasuna center back Alejandro Catena, who instead of passing when he saw Vinícius closing on him, tried to hang onto the ball and ended up losing it to the Madrid forward. Vinícius then coolly slid a shot past goalkeeper Sergio Herrera.

After Budimir leveled in the seventh, Carvajal finished off a team move in the area that included Díaz and Federico Valverde.

Madrid’s last two goals both came when Díaz and Vinícius dribbled into space between the backline and Herrera. Vinícius got his second goal with a tap of his right boot to send the ball around the ’keeper from a tight angle.


Girona was unable to respond to a first-half goal by Getafe's Yellu Santiago. Artem Dovbyk, whose 14 league goals leads his team, wasted three good opportunities for Girona to pull even. The Ukraine striker has gone seven games without scoring.

Dovbyk's drought coincides with Girona’s recent troubles. After losing just once in 23 league games this season, Girona has since lost four of its last six and will drop to third place if Barcelona wins at Atletico Madrid on Sunday.


Athletic Bilbao striker Gorka Guruzeta scored his 12th and 13th league goals of the campaign to lead a 2-0 win over Alaves.

The team that only fields players from the Basque Country region and neighboring areas rose past Atletico into fourth place in their fight for a Champions League berth.

Also, Mallorca defender Marco Raíllo scored with a late header to give the hosts a 1-0 win over Granada, which remained in next-to-last place.

Athletic and Mallorca will play the Copa del Rey final in three weeks.


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