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Deportivo La Coruña
4 March 2012
• Estadio Santiago Bernabéu, Madrid
Referee: José Antonio Teixeira Vitienes
• Attendance: 78000
Cristiano Ronaldo 23'
S. Khedira 38'
G. Higuaín 47', 78'
FULL-TIME! Madrid east to a 4-0 victory courtesy of Higuain's hat-trick and Callejon's solitary strike. Mourinho's men were impressive this evening and outclassed a hard-working Espanyol. The club move upto third place, a point behind leaders Barcelona. Thanks for joining me, Luke Matthews this evening. Be sure to check out all of the earlier action today in La Liga on Goal.com. Buenos Noches.
90' + 1'
The scoreline in probably a little unfair on the home side who have enjoyed some decent spells of possession in this game. We are into three minutes of injury time.
4-0 MADRID! HIGUAIN GRABS A HAT-TRICK! The Argentine striker gets onto the end of an Espanyol player's back pass as Datolo's desperate attempt to clear the ball falls to Higuain who calmly lifts it over the despairing Alvarez. Easy peasy..
Madrid are looking to see out the remaining minutes by keeping possession of the ball. Mourinho will certainly be happy with his side's performance and the result.
Casillas produces a decent save to parry Sergio Garcia's low drive from the edge of the box. Looks like the 30-year-old is intent on keeping a clean sheet tonight.
Game over here with Espanyol three goals down now. A goal for Callejon in his 100th Liga appearance. Granero is on for Kaka.
Yellow Card Raúl Baena
3-0 MADRID! The substitute Callejon scores after some great work from Ronaldo. The Portuguese winger breaks forward before turning his marker and sliding the ball to the former Espanol striker who puts the ball into the corner past the diving Alvarez from 12 yards out.
Into the final 10 minutes here at Estadi Cornella-El Prat with Madrid still hoilding a two goal lead. A goal now for Espanyol would make for an interesting conclusion to this game.
Goal Gonzalo Higuaín
Ronaldo's cross is met by a half-volley from Marcelo who hits his effort into the ground. However, he comes close as the ball bounces just over the bar.
Madrid are making another change with Ozil being replaced by former Espanyol player, Callejon. Ozil looked exhausted as he left the field of play.
Espanyol are certainly seeing plenty of the ball as their opposition appear to be happy to sit back and soak up the pressure before hitting the home team on the counter attack.
POOR MISS! Didac Vila cuts the ball back to Weiss who somehow shoots wide from six yards out. That culd be a costly miss for home team.
Ronaldo makes his way down the left wing before cutting in and shooting across goal. However, the ball drifts out for a goal kick, with Higuain unable to get onto the end of the mishit effort.
Is that game over for Espanyol? It could very well be if they do not find a goal soon. Just over 20 minutes to play with Madrid heading for another win.
Yellow Card Vladimir Weiss
Assist Gonzalo Higuaín
2-0 MADRID! Lovely goal from Higuain who grabs his second of the night. The Argentine runs onto Arbeloa's pass into the box and strikes it first time into the top corner. Alvarez had no chance!
Madrid are looking a little off the pace at the moment with the home side seeing more of the ball. The next goal in this one will be crucial but who will grab it?
Weiss shows a nice turn of pace to make his way past two Madrid markers. However, his low ball into the box is poor and cleared by Albiol.
Weiss is the next Espanyol player to earn a yellow card for attempting to win a penalty through simulation.
Thievy is the player who makes way for Weiss. The young French midfielder has done fairly well tonight and caused the Madrid defence a few problems.
Yellow Card Juan Daniel Forlín
Weiss is preparing to come on for the home side. The Slovakian on-loan from Manchester City will surely provide some much-needed width for Espanyol.
Madrid are looking dangerous with Ronaldo in particular looking to get on the scoresheet. The Portuguese forward is currently on an astonishing 95 goals in 98 games in a Madrid shirt.
Yellow Card Romaric
Ronaldo goes on one of his famous swashbuckling runs forward but his shot from 25 yards out is tame and drifts wide of the near post.
Xabi Alonso attempts to pick Ronaldo out with a through ball but Moreno is on cue to intercept it on the edge of the box. The former AZ Alkmaar man has defended well tonight.
The home side are on the attack straight away with Romaric and Thievy linking up well. However, no chances as of yet in this second period.
Goal Gonzalo Higuaín
The second-half is back underway with the home side kicking-off. Can Pochettino's men get themsleves back into this one?
HALF-TIME! Madrid lead 1-0 at the break and despite an impressive opening, Mourinho's side have come under pressure in the last 15 minutes of the half. Can Espanyol get back into this one after the break or will Madrid build on their lead? Be sure to stay with us as we are surely in for a superb second half.
Javi Marquez attempts a long-range effort but the ball is beaten away by Casillas who is having a great game.
When the two sides met last season at this stadium, Casillas was sent off after a minute before in a 1-0 win for Mourinho's men. The keeper brought down Callejon who is on the bench for Madrid tonight. It's a funny old game.
SUPERB SAVE FROM CASILLAS! The Spanish No.1 turns Sergio Garcia's rasping low drive around the post. Strangely, the referee awards a goal kick.
The answer is no. The former Liverpool midfielder tries his luck from over 30 yards out yet the ball drifts into the arms of Alvarez.
Ronaldo is brought down again by Javi Lopez who is walking a tightrope at the moment, after his earlier booking. Can Xabi Alonso whip a decent ball into the box?
Assist Mesut Özil
Goal Sami Khedira
Madrid have enjoyed 54 per cent of possession compared to Espanyol's 46. However, the home side are looking lively at the moment.
Thievy does a lot better with his next effort. The young French player tries his luck from the edge of the box and forces Casillas into a smart save, down low to his right.
Nervy moment at the back for Madrid as Romaric's ball into the box lands at the feet of Thievy. The attacker struggled to control the ball and put his effort wide with Ramos getting in the way.
Romaric is next Espanyol player to go into the referee's book. The Catalan side are certainly taking after their coach's dogged playing style.
Yellow Card Ricardo Carvalho
Javi Lopez earns a yellow card for a blatant push into the back of Ronaldo. Can the 2011 Copa del Rey winners create something from the resulting set-piece?
Mourinho's side are keeping possession well in the centre of the park with Espanyol appearing to be chasing shadows at the moment. Can Pochettino's team get themselves back into this one?
Verdu whips a decent cross into the box but Casillas claims the bal with ease as Sergio Garcia is unable to contest for the ball.
Madrid have looked very impressive in the opening 24 minutes but will be looking to grab a second as Espanyol are clearly up for this game.
Assist Gonzalo Higuaín
Goal Cristiano Ronaldo
MADRID NEARLY MAKE IT TWO! Xabi Alonso whips an inviting set-piece into the box and Kaka gets slight contact on the ball to flick it towarda goal. However, Alvarez makes a smart stop.
How will Espanyol respond to going a goal down? Well, pretty well as Javi Marquez slips a pass to Romaric in the Madrid box. However, Casillas is alert to come and claim the ball at the feet of the Ivorian.
1-0 MADRID! Simple goal for the away side who counter-attack wonderfully. Xabi Alonso plays the ball to Ronaldo who then slides a precise through ball to Higuain. The Argentine striker controls the ball and lifts the ball high past the on-rushing Alvarez. Great strike.
BRILLIANT EFFORT FROM ROMARIC! The on-loan midfielder from tries his luck from 40 yards out. Casillas is way off his line and can only watch on as the ball bounces narrowly wide. Big let off for Madrid.
After a frenetic start, the temp of the game has slowed down a little as Higuain is unable to control Kaka's sliding pass into the box.
Espanyol are seeing more of the ball now yet Madrid look comfortable in defence, despite the changes in personnel.
Kaka picks the ball up on the left wing and his jinxing run takes him past two Espanyol defenders and into the box. However, the ball is intercepted and put out for a corner by Moreno.
First attempt at goal for Espanyol yet Sergio Garcia fails to hit the target as his long range shot flies over the crossbar.
RONALDO HITS THE POST! The Portuguese forward's ferocious, swerving effort from 30 yards out nearly catches Alvarez out. However, the Argentine keeper unconventionally punches the ball onto the post before it is cleared.
Madrid will be confident of victory in this stadium this evening. They have won on their last three visits to face Espanyol, keeping a clean sheet every time.
We're underway here with the home team kicking off. Espanyol are in their traditional blue and white striped shirts with blue shorts while Madrid wear all black.
Jose Mourinho will be happy with how his team have started this evening. The Spanish giants look hungry and far from the side who struggled to pick up a 0-0 draw against Racing in the club's last Liga away fixture.
Both sets of players are now on the pitch while we wait for the game to get underway. Good atmosphere in the stadium this evening where Barcelona will be hoping their local rivals can do them a favour against Madrid this evening.
So Madrid bring in Marcelo, Raul Albiol, Lassana Diarra and Gonzalo Higuain into the side that beat Ajax in the Champions League midweek. Will their makeshift centre-half partnership of Albiol and Ramos be able to keep Espanyol at bay this evening?
Real Madrid (4-2-3-1): Casillas; Arbeloa, Ramos, Albiol, Marcelo; Xabi Alonso, Diarra; Ozil, Kaka, Ronaldo; Higuain
Espanyol (4-1-4-1): Alvaraez; Javi Lopez, Moreno, Forlin, Didac Vila; Raul Baena; Romaric, Javi Marquez, Thievy, Verdu; Sergio Garcia
Here come the teams...
Hello and welcome to Goal.com's coverage of the Sunday evening Liga game between Espanyol and Real Madrid from Estadi Cornella-El Prat. I'm Luke Matthews and i'll be guiding you through tonight's action. Jose Mourinho's men returned to winning ways in the league against Rayo Vallecano last week and will be looking for another three points against the Catalan club who currently have a 100 per cent record at home. Who would you put your money on?
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