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Primera División

  • 18 September 2016
  • • 19:45
  • • Estadi Cornellà-El Prat, Cornella de Llobregat
  • Referee: Alejandro José Hernández Hernández
  • • Attendance: 29484

Live Commentary

  • The referee blows his whistle for the final time and brings an end to a game that has resulted in yet another victory for Real Madrid. It was a tough first half for Zinedine Zidane's side but Rodriguez's excellent strike finally gave them the lead before Benzema wrapped up the win in the second half. From then onwards, it was relatively plain sailing and Espanyol were unable to find much joy on the rare occasions that they were able to push forward.
  • 90'+2'
    It's all Real Madrid at the moment, but, unsurprisingly, they're in no rush to push forward and are content with holding on to possession for as long as possible. It's been a relatively comfortable second half for the league leaders, who haven't looked much trouble since going ahead.
  • 90'
    The fourth official has indicated that there will be two minutes of added time.
  • 88'
    Morata tries to break down the left wing as he darts through the Espanyol back line, but his run is slightly mistimed and the linesman's flag is quickly raised, despite the striker's protestations.
  • 86'
    Vazquez picks up the ball on the edge of the Espanyol penalty area and is immediately clattered into from behind by Diop, resulting in a free-kick in a very dangerous position. Ramos steps up and tries to beat Diego Lopez with a curling strike, but it isn't hit well enough and is easily stopped by the former Real Madrid goalkeeper.
  • 84'
    Yellow Card Daniel Carvajal Ramos
    Carvajal dives into Sanchez as he tries to win the ball after a curling shot from Vazquez is saved by Diego Lopez. The Espanyol defender goes down and the referee immediately shows the Real Madrid full-back a yellow card, and it's a decision that Carvajal isn't at all happy about.
  • 83'
    SubstitutionMarc Roca Junqué Diego Antonio Reyes Rosales
    Espanyol have made their final change of the night, with Diego Reyes coming on to replace Roca.
  • 81'
    Morata, who hasn't seen a lot of the ball since coming on to the pitch, cuts inside from the left wing and heads towards the edge of the Espanyol penalty area before curling a shot towards goal, but there isn't enough power behind the strike and it ends up bouncing into the hands of Diego Lopez in the middle of the goal.
  • 80'
    Baptistao finds himself in a pocket of space 30 yards away from goal and spins quickly before unleashing an audacious effort, but it's poorly hit by the Brazilian and ends up rolling comfortably wide of the Real Madrid goal.
  • 78'
    Morata charges down the right wing on a great run before working the ball over to Marcelo on the opposite flank. Real Madrid then patiently hold on to possession until Asensio sends a chipped cross into the box, but Diop is there to cut out the danger with a strong headed clearance.
  • 76'
    Espanyol push forward as they desperately try to find a way back into the game, but they're closed down well over on the left wing and are unable to carve out a chance on goal due to good defending from the visitors.
  • 74'
    Excellent save by Casilal! A poor pass from Kroos gifts the ball to Baptistao, who flies towards the Real Madrid penalty area before teeing up Caicedo. The substitute skips past his marker with ease before firing a deflected shot towards goal, but the goalkeeper does really well to tip it over the top of the crossbar.
  • 72'
    SubstitutionKarim Benzema Álvaro Borja Morata Martín
    The goal will be Benzema's final touch of the game, as he is replaced by Morata for the final 20 minutes.
  • 71'
    Assist Lucas Vázquez Iglesias
    That was a wonderful cross from Vazquez, who did well to peel off to the right before finding Benzema with a lovely low pass, but everything about the build-up was excellent.
  • 71'
    Goal Karim Benzema
    GOAL! Real Madrid have doubled their lead! Carvajal picks up the ball just outside of the Espanyol penalty area and quickly tees up Lucas Vazquez. The winger is in a great position over on the right and immediately fires a low cross into the heart of the penalty area that finds Benzema, who beats David Lopez with ease before slotting the ball into the bottom right-hand corner of the net.
  • 70'
    Benzema comes back once again and charges towards the edge of the penalty area before unleashing a 20-yard strike that Diego Lopez is just about able to tip round the far post and out of play for another Real Madrid corner.
  • 69'
    The ball bounces around the Espanyol penalty area as the hosts struggle to clear the danger, but Benzema is unable to take advantage of lax defending and ends up firing a deflected strike out of play for a corner that is easily dealt with by the home side.
  • 67'
    Espanyol get themselves into a good position before Baptistao is set up in a great position on the edge of the Real Madrid box, but he takes far too long trying to get a shot away and is eventually dispossessed by Pepe before he can shoot.
  • 66'
    SubstitutionGerard Moreno Balaguero Felipe Salvador Caicedo Corozo
    Espanyol have made an attacking change, with Moreno, who has had a difficult game, making way for Caicedo.
  • 64'
    Yellow Card Javier López Rodríguez
    Javi Lopez comically holds on to the waist of Asensio as the youngster tries to dart down the left flank, leaving the referee with no choice but to award Real Madrid a free-kick before showing the right-back a yellow card.
  • 62'
    SubstitutionJames David Rodríguez Rubio Francisco Román Alarcón Suárez
    Real Madrid have made their second alteration of the evening, with Isco coming on to replace Rodriguez for the final half an hour.
  • 62'
    Espanyol swiftly win the ball back and work it over to Perez, who is in a good position 25 yards away from goal. He looks up quickly and then decides to unleash a thumping strike, but it ends up flying several yards over the top of the crossbar.
  • 61'
    A cross-field pass is flung over to the left flank, where it finds Sanchez in a great position. It initially looks as if the full-back had done wonderfully well to keep the ball in play with some lovely skill, but the linesman ends up flagging for a throw-in, much to the annoyance of Quique Sanchez Flores, who doesn't seem to agree.
  • 60'
    Excellent save by Diego Lopez! A wonderful cross flies towards the far post and finds Benzema, who quickly unleashes an acrobatic volley, but the Frenchman's thumping effort is parried away by a great diving stop from the Espanyol goalkeeper.
  • 58'
    Real Madrid get themselves into a good position deep down the left wing thanks to positive play from Kroos and Benzema, but Marcelo holds on to the ball for too long and ends up giving away possession before he can swing a cross into the box.
  • 56'
    After a slightly nervy start to the second half, it's now Real Madrid who are on the front foot once again. They move the ball around nicely before Marcelo tees up Asensio, but the youngster ends up pushing Javi Lopez to the ground and gives away a free-kick just as he's about to penetrate the Espanyol penalty area.
  • 54'
    Yellow Card Papa Kouly Diop
    Diop flies in to Lucas Vazquez as the winger tries to break forward and brings the Real Madrid man crashing to the ground with a hefty challenge, resulting in him becoming the latest player to receive a yellow card.
  • 53'
    Espanyol are finding plenty of joy whenever they push forward and they're starting to cause real problems for the Real Madrid back line. This time it's Perez who skips past Marcelo on the byline before whipping a lovely cross into the box, but Pepe is there to out-muscle Baptistao at the vital moment.
  • 52'
    An Espanyol attacking move breaks down, and Real Madrid immediately try to hit them on a swift counter-attack. They're unable to do so, however, as Diop rushes back to dispossess Rodriguez with a great tackle on the halfway line.
  • 50'
    The hosts continue pushing forward before Alvaro Vazquez sends another dangerous cross towards Baptistao, but this time it's Marcelo who is there to beat the striker to the ball just as he's about to reach it with his head.
  • 48'
    Espanyol embark on a bright start to the second half as they move the ball around nicely. The ball is picked up by Javi Lopez over on the right wing and he quickly curls a cross into the middle of the Real Madrid penalty area, but Ramos is there to easily beat Baptistao to the ball.
  • 46'
    And we're underway once again!
  • The two teams are making their way back out on to the pitch ahead of the start of the second half. Neither side have made any substitutions during the half-time break.
  • Espanyol were just a minute away from heading into the half-time break with the scoreline still goalless, but a wonder strike from Rodriguez means that they'll now have to try and fight back in the second half. The home side had played brilliantly until then and had done well to keep the visitors at bay, but, in the end, they just weren't able to contain Zinedine Zidane's men for long enough.
  • 45'+2'
    Assist Toni Kroos
    It's Kroos who got the assist after teeing up Rodriguez, but that goal was all about the Colombian, who showed great determination to beat two Espanyol players before leaving Diego Lopez with no chance.
  • 45'+2'
    Goal James David Rodríguez Rubio
    GOAL! Fantastic strike by Rodriguez! The Colombian breaks free of two tackles and muscles his way past Diop before finding himself in a pocket of space 25 yards away from the Espanyol goal. He looks up and unleashes a wonderful low strike that flies past the outstretched limbs of Diego Lopez and into the bottom right-hand corner of the net to give Real Madrid the lead.
  • 45'
    The fourth official has indicated that there will be three minutes of added time.
  • 45'
    Alvaro Vazquez cuts inside from the left wing and beats Carvajal with ease before trying to pick out Perez with a deep cross into the Real Madrid penalty area, but a deft touch from Marcelo takes the ball away from the right-winger and out for a throw-in.
  • 44'
    Yellow Card Óscar Esau Duarte Gaitán
    Duarte crashes into Benzema as the striker tries to tee up Lucas Vazquez, leaving the referee with no choice but to show the Costa Rican defender a yellow card.
  • 42'
    Baptistao goes close! After sitting on the back foot for the last 10 minutes, Espanyol are finally able to push forward on an excellent attack. Javi Lopez flies down the right wing on a wonderful run before swinging a beautiful cross over to the edge of the penalty area, where it finds Baptistao, but the striker's first-time header ends up bouncing just wide of the far post after beating Casilla.
  • 40'
    Benzema scores, but it's ruled out for offside! The Espanyol midfielders step off Marcelo and leave the full-back in far too much space, allowing him to send a lovely cross over to the far post. Benzema rises high and meets the ball well before sending a bullet header past Diego Lopez, but as soon as the ball hits the back of the net the linesman's flag is raised for offside.
  • 38'
    Kroos is starting to find more joy as he pushes Espanyol deeper inside their own half of the pitch. The German twists and turns just outside of the hosts' box before unleashing a thumping, 25-yard shot, but it's slightly overhit and sails a few yards over the top of the crossbar.
  • 37'
    Kroos picks up the ball near the halfway line and immediately sends a great lofted pass over to the right flank. It finds Carvajal near to the byline and he quickly fires a low volley across the face of goal, but Diego Lopez is there to collect it before it can pick out a purple shirt.
  • 35'
    Modric twists and turns on the left-hand side of the Espanyol box as he tries to fire a cross towards Benzema, but he has to settle for a corner. Kroos steps up and whips it into the heart of the penalty area, but it's sent too near to Diego Lopez and is easily dealt with.
  • 33'
    Real Madrid try to embark on a patiently attacking move through the middle of the pitch, with Rodriguez and Asensio playing vital roles in it, but Diop is there to dispossess the Colombian before he can make it to the Espanyol penalty area.
  • 32'
    Casilla kick-starts a quick counter-attack that almost ends in a chance for Asensio on the edge of the Espanyol penalty area, but the hosts get plenty of bodies back quickly and end up snuffing out the danger before Rodriguez is flagged offside.
  • 31'
    Poor defending from Real Madrid results in a corner for Espanyol over on the left wing. It's whipped towards the near post but can only find Benzema, who reaches it well and sends the ball out of play for second corner, which Casilla is this time able to collect.
  • 30'
    Espanyol work the ball from one flank to the other before Perez tries to whip a low cross into the Real Madrid penalty area, but Marcelo is there to throw his body in the way of the pass to stop it from penetrating the box.
  • 29'
    Kroos and Benzema link up well on the left-hand side of the Espanyol penalty area as they try to carve out a chance on goal, but they're unable to do so due to great defending from the hosts, who are easily able to deal with the danger before thumping the ball up the pitch.
  • 27'
    Ramos makes his way back on to the pitch and play gets underway once again. Espanyol move the ball around well before a cross-field pass finds Perez, but he's unable to pick out a teammate with his header and it ends up looping into the hands of Casilla.
  • 26'
    Ramos makes his way off the pitch to receive further treatment from the Real Madrid medical team, but it looks as if he's going to be able to continue.
  • 25'
    Ouch! Perez peels off into a pocket of space just outside of the Real Madrid penalty area and immediately unleashes a rocket of a shot that flies into the side of Ramos, sending the centre-back crashing to the ground. Surely not another early injury!
  • 23'
    A poor touch from Kroos gifts the ball to Roca, who immediately tries to break away on a quick counter-attack. He's unable to do so, however, as he's quickly closed down by purple shirts and fails to find his way through a clump of Real Madrid players.
  • 21'
    Yellow Card Hernán Arsenio Pérez González
    Marcelo is fouled as he tries to break forward and Real Madrid are awarded a free-kick midway inside the Espanyol half of the pitch. The set-piece is taken quickly and sent short before being worked over to Lucas Vazquez, but his cross fails to find a teammate.
  • 19'
    SubstitutionCarlos Henrique Casimiro Toni Kroos
    Casemiro is still struggling after picking up that earlier knock, and after being unable to make a recovery he eventually limps off the pitch to be replaced by Kroos.
  • 18'
    A great ball over the top of the Espanyol defence finds Asesnio, who then tees up Marcelo. The Brazilian immediately tries to find Benzema with a curling cross into the box, but it's poorly hit and fails to pick out the Frenchman.
  • 16'
    Casemiro has made his way back on to the pitch but he still seems to be struggling slightly. It looks as if he's going to try and run off the knock but it could be that he's unable to continue if he can't make a full recovery.
  • 15'
    Espanyol quickly win back possession as they continue to put Real Madrid under plenty of pressure. The ball eventually rolls out to Alvaro Vazquez, who is in a good position 25 yards away from goal, but his curling strike has too much power behind it and ends up sailing comfortably over the top of the crossbar.
  • 14'
    Casemiro makes his way off the pitch to receive further treatment as the free-kick in thumped into the Real Madrid penalty area. It fails to find an Espanyol player, however, as Ramos is easily able to deal with the danger with a strong headed clearance.
  • 13'
    Diop is tripped from behind by Casemiro as he tries to send a lofted pass forward, and the referee ends up awarding Espanyol a free-kick midway inside the Real Madrid half of the pitch. However, replays show that it was actually the Brazilian who was caught by the Senegalese midfielder, leaving him a heap on the floor and in serious discomfort.
  • 11'
    What a chance for Baptistao! Poor defending from Pepe allows a lofted pass to find the striker on the edge of the Real Madrid penalty area, but the Brazilian forward's low shot is pushed away by the outstretched legs of Casilla.
  • 10'
    SubstitutionPablo Daniel Piatti Álvaro García Vázquez
    Piatti will play no further part in the game, and he gingerly limps off the pitch to be replaced by Alvaro Vazquez.
  • 8'
    Free header for Ramos! The corner is eventually fired into the heart of the Espanyol penalty area, where it finds Ramos completely unmarked, but, somehow, the centre-back ends up sending his close-range header well wide of the goal. He really should have done better with that golden opportunity!
  • 7'
    Just as the corner is about to be whipped into the box, the referee temporarily halts the game after spotting Piatti down on the ground. The winger looks to have picked up an injury, and it's the last thing that Quique Sanchez Flores would have wanted to see at this early stage of the game.
  • 6'
    Boos whistle round the stadium as Real Madrid push forward. Vazquez twists and turns over on the right wing before cutting inside and firing a lovely shot over towards the far post, but it's deflected just wide of the goal and out for a corner.
  • 4'
    Piatti whips the resulting free-kick into the heart of the Real Madrid penalty area, but it's easily dealt with by the visitors and Espanyol are unable to take advantage of the opportunity to test Casilla with an early attempt on goal.
  • 3'
    Yellow Card Sergio Ramos García
    Awful mistake by Ramos! The defender cheaply gives away the ball in a dangerous position deep inside the Real Madrid and immediately flies in to Baptistao to stop the striker from darting away, but he does so unfairly and is immediately shown a yellow card for his rash challenge.
  • 1'
    And we're off! Real Madrid get us underway, attacking from right to left.
  • The two sides are making their way out on to the pitch, with just a few minutes to go until kick-off.
  • Meanwhile, Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane has made four alterations to the side that featured against Sporting during the week, with the most notable exclusion being Cristiano Ronaldo, who misses out due to a virus. In his place comes Marco Asesnio, whilst Raphael Varane, Toni Kroos and Gareth Bale have also made way for Pepe, James Rodriguez and Gareth Bale, respectively.
  • Quique Sanchez Flores has decided to make just one change to the Espanyol side that started the 1-1 draw against Real Sociedad last weekend, with Papakouli Diop coming into the starting line-up to replace the suspended Javi Fuego.
  • Real Madrid substitutes: Yanez, Varane, Danilo, Kroos, Kovacic, Isco, Morata.
  • Real Madrid XI (4-3-3): Casilla; Carvajal, Pepe, Ramos, Marcelo; Modric, Casemiro, Rodriguez; Lucas Vazquez, Benzema, Asensio.
  • Espanyol substitutes: Jimenez, Demichelis, Duarte, Jose Antonio Reyes, Caicedo, Alvaro Vazquez, Diego Reyes.
  • Espanyol XI (4-4-2): Diego Lopez; Javi Lopez, David Lopez, Duarte, Sanchez; Perez, Diop, Roca, Piatti; Baptistao, Moreno.
  • There’s just over 15 minutes left to go until kick-off, so let’s have a look at how the two teams will be lining up this evening…
  • It’s now almost nine years since Espanyol last beat Real Madrid and over two since they last avoided losing by at least three goals. Today’s visitors picked up thumping 6-0 victories in both of last season’s meetings between the two sides, with Cristiano Ronaldo bagging himself five memorable goals on this very ground almost exactly 365 days ago.
  • As for Espanyol, they are still searching for their first win of the season after failing to do so in any of their opening three games. Their first clash of the campaign resulted in a thrilling yet slightly concerning 6-4 defeat away to Sevilla, whilst they let leads slip against Malaga and Real Sociedad and had to settle for draws in both games.
  • A lacklustre performance against Sporting Lisbon on Wednesday evening almost resulted in a rare defeat for Real Madrid, but late goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Alvaro Morata saved their blushes and got their Champions League campaign underway with a 2-1 win. It was a relatively similar story at home to Celta de Vigo three weeks ago, and the league leaders will hoping for a comfortable win today to banish any memories of those two nervy performances.
  • Games between these two sides have proven to be rather one-sided affairs in recent years, and Real Madrid will be hoping that trend continues today as they aim to build on their winning start to the season. Zinedine Zidane’s men are the only La Liga side to still have their 100% record intact, and another victory here today will not only continue that but will send them three points clear of Barcelona.
  • Good evening and welcome to our live text commentary of today’s La Liga game between Espanyol and Real Madrid at the RCDE Stadium.