Mbappe scores hat-trick as PSG hit Montpellier for six

Vinicius scores twice in easy win at Osasuna as Madrid take another step toward title

BARCELONA: Days after being targeted by racist taunts before games not even involving his team, Vinicius Junior scored twice to lead Spanish league leader Real Madrid to a dominant 4-2 win at Osasuna on Saturday.

Vinicius, 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.

Vinicius 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 Vinicius” 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 Vinicius 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 Diaz also scored for the visitors, who 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.

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

“The entire team played a great game, not just me,” said Vinicius, 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.”

Vinicius 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 were 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. Vinicius 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 Diaz and Federico Valverde.

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

GIRONA LOSE

Girona were 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 have since lost four of their last six and will drop to third place if Barcelona win at Atletico Madrid on Sunday.

ATHLETIC FOURTH

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 Raillo scored with a late header to give the hosts a 1-0 win over Granada, who remained in next-to-last place.

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

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