Two second-half goals seal the win for Madrid over Osasuna.
Herrera made some brilliant saves in the first half to keep it goalless and it took the hosts until the 76th minute to find the breakthrough when Militao nodded Isco’s corner past the keeper.
Just four minutes later, Benzema made a driving run through Osasuna’s half which ended with Casemiro touching it past Herrera to make it 2-0.
They had to sweat for the 2-0 victory, and no-one more than Eden Hazard who started brightly but faded badly and had just been substituted when Zinedine Zidane’s team finally took the lead on 76 minutes.
There was more collateral damage from the victory with Raphael Varane taken off at half time with a muscle problem in his right leg making him a doubt for Wednesday against Chelsea.
Hazard came alive on the 25-minute mark. First there was a touch of genius on the touchline with a back-heeled pass that sent Asensio clear. Then he volleyed Marcelo’s cross into the ground and saw it tipped over the bar by Herrera.
The Osasuna keeper then saved brilliantly from Militao’s header from an Asensio cross. Madrid were now on top and Herrera saved again this time down low from Militao’s header. Madrid had managed ten shots in the first half hour.
Having waited so long for the first, the second came along almost immediately. Benzema played the ball through to Casemiro and with his first touch he inadvertently rolled the ball past Herrera. Madrid could breathe easy.
Benzema almost made it three but Herrera saved his shot
Madrid stay in second with that win, but they close the gap to Atletico back to two points at the top.
Their attention now turns to the second leg of their Champions League semi-final against Chelsea on Wednesday.
Osasuna stay in 11th and they’ll be hoping to get back to winning ways against Athletic Bilbao next time out.