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Played
December 16, 2012 1:00 PM EST
Estadio Santiago Bernabéu — Madrid
Referee:‬ Antonio Mateu‎
Attendance:‬ 65000‎
 
Top of the Match
Kiko Casilla
Kiko Casilla
Espanyol
Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo
Real Madrid CF
Flop of the Match
Wakaso
Wakaso
Espanyol
Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo
Real Madrid CF

Real Madrid 2-2 Espanyol: Brittle Blancos blow chance to close gap

The Portuguese forward and Fabio Coentrao looked to have wrapped up the points for the hosts but a late equalizer from Juan Angel Albin stunned the Bernabeu faithful

By Tom Webber

Cristiano Ronaldo - Real Madrid v Espanyol
Getty Images
After coming from behind to lead, Real Madrid failed to close out the game as it stuttered to a 2-2 draw with Espanyol.

Los Merengues' midweek malaise looked set to continue in the capital as Sergio Garcia gave Javier Aguirre's side the lead in the 31st minute. Goals from Portuguese pair Cristiano Ronaldo and Fabio Coentrao relieved the Madrid faithful but a late equalizer from Juan Angel Albin ensured more points were dropped for the hosts.

Ronaldo, who started the game as a striker, was finding plenty of space in the early exchanges. After firing wide in the second minute he fed Luka Modric in space on the left but the Croatian fared no better, shanking his shot past the far post.

Los Blancos were running into a lot of congestion in the center of the opposing half but great first touch from Modric enabled to work the space to get a shot away. His strike arrowed towards the bottom corner but despite beating Kiko Casilla it only rattled the post.

Yet the defensive complacency that had allowed Simao in earlier in the half reared its head again in the 31st minute, and this time it proved costly. Verdu slid a pass up to Garcia, who bullishy raced through a big hole left by Sergio Ramos and Pepe before adding a cool finish to silence the Bernabeu.

Ronaldo was denied by Casilla in the 40th minute after an exquisite Ozil pass but he got the equalizer on the stroke of halftime. Sami Khedira's cross found the 27-year-old at the back post who beat Javi Lopez to the ball to stab the ball into the net.

Jose Mourinho clearly had strong words for his players during the break as the emerged for the second half with renewed vigor.

It took Madrid just three minutes to go ahead as Ronaldo picked out Coentrao with a lovely reverse pass as he surged into the area. The left back controlled the ball tightly before sweeping a low shot past Casilla.

The keeper did well not to let the game get away from his side with a trio of excellent saves, first from Alvaro Arbeloa and then two from Angel di Maria. The last of which was a deflected effort that was tipped onto the bar, before 10 second-half minutes had passed.

Casilla continued to thwart the hosts' attempts to find a third, this time keeping out Ozil with a brilliant near-post stop after a delightful pass from Di Maria had put the German in on goal.

But Madrid was unable to hold out for the win and second-half substitute Albin was in the right place at the right time to slot home after a goalmouth scramble in the 88th minute.

Defeat means Mourinho's men will need a favor from their city rivals Atletico Madrid whch can stop Barcelona opening a 14-point gap at the top of La Liga with a win at Camp Nou.

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Real Madrid CF

1
Iker Casillas
Goalkeeper
3.00
3
Pepe
Defender
3.00
4
Sergio Ramos
Defender
3.00
5
Fabio Coentrao
Defender
48′
3.50
17
Arbeloa
Defender
3.00
6
Sami Khedira
Midfielder
46′
3.00
11
Mesut Özil
Midfielder
3.50
14
Xabi Alonso
Midfielder
70′
2.50
19
Luka Modric
Midfielder
46′
3.00
7
Cristiano Ronaldo
Midfielder
46′ 48′ 80′
3.50
7
3.00

Espanyol

4.00
13
Kiko Casilla
Goalkeeper
3.00
6
3.00
15
2.50
16
3.00
19
3.00
4
2.50
10
Verdú
Midfielder
31′ 70′
2.50
20
Simão
Midfielder
1.50
-
Wakaso
Midfielder
13′ 29′
3.50
9

Substitutes

1
Adàn
Goalkeeper
 - 
2
 - 
18
 - 
-
Michael Essien
Midfielder
 - 
22
3.50
22
Kaká
Midfielder
 - 
21
Morata
Striker
73′
2.50

Substitutes

 - 
1
Germán
Goalkeeper
 - 
3
3.00
11
 - 
7
Raúl Baena
Midfielder
3.50
-
J. Albín
Midfielder
70′ 88′ 89′
3.00
41
Alfonso
Midfielder
29′ 61′
 - 
8
Stuani
Striker

Coach/Manager

-
 - 

Coach/Manager

3.50
-
 
  • Goal
  • Own Goal
  • Penalty
  • Penalty Missed
  • Yellow Card
  • Assist
  • Penalty Save
  • Penalty Shootout Goal
  • Penalty Shootout Miss
  • Yellow Card / Red Card
  • Red Card
  • Substitution IN
  • Substitution OUT
  • Injury
  • Goal.com Rating
  • Goal.com Man of the Match
  • Goal.com Flop of the Match
  • Top & Flop Global Ranking
  • Fans' Man of the Match
  • Fans' Flop of the Match
Results
 
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Cristiano Ronaldo Cristiano Ronaldo
Striker
Real Madrid
28 6
Diego Costa Diego Costa
Striker
Atl. Madrid
27 5
Lionel Messi Lionel Messi
Striker
Barcelona
26 6
Karim Benzema Karim Benzema
Striker
Real Madrid
17 0
Alexis Sánchez Alexis Sánchez
Striker
Barcelona
17 0