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Copa del Rey
Copa del Rey
22 January 2014
• Estadi Cornellà-El Prat, Cornella de Llobregat
Referee: Carlos Clos Gomez
• Attendance: 18050
K. Benzema 25'
90' + 3'
It's all over now and Madrid return home with a 1-0 win, just as they did in La Liga recently. Good result for Carlo Ancelotti's side, who will be expected to settle this one at home and advance to the semi-finals. Decent display by Espanyol, though, who showed a lot of fight and came close to scoring in the second half.
90' + 2'
Into added time now and not long left for either side. As things stand, Espanyol will be satisfied with their second-half performance; Madrid will be content with the result.
90' + 1'
90' + 1'
Strong finish by Espanyol but Madrid ultimately bring the ball out through Bale, who is fouled by Abraham. And that's Bale's last action of the evening as he is to be replaced by Jese.
The ball is pinging around the Madrid area like a pinball game, but the visitors miraculously save their lines and Espanyol win another corner. And then another.
Cordoba gets past Arbeloa and into the area, but Illarramendi covers to concede a corner.
Marcelo looks to be in on goal but Hector Moreno, who is on the ground, makes a stunning saving tackle to deny the Brazilian.
Bale skips past a couple of challenges on the edge of the box but ultimately runs out of space and is forced out. Espanyol still defending very well.
Madrid lose the ball carelessly in midfield and Sergio Garcia sets up Cordoba who only has Casillas to beat, but the Real keeper makes one of his tardemark one-on-one saves, similar to the one that denied Arjen Robben in the 2010 World Cup final.
Yellow CardVíctor Sánchez Mata
Ball sent deep and Ramos clears, but the subsequent attack breaks down and Madrid attack through Bale, who is fouled by Victor Sanchez. Yellow card.
Into the last 10 minutes now and Espanyol win a corner.
Great ball from Alonso to Ronaldo and the Portuguese wins a corner, but Casilla claims comfortably from the set piece.
Quick break by Madrid and the ball ends at the feet of Bale, whose sweet left foot deserts him as he sends a wild effort into the stands, amid ironic jeers from the home supporters.
Good pressing by Espanyol, who were rather anonymous in the first half. The home side are still in this, even if Madrid are defending with character.
Ángel Di María
Xabi Alonso on for Di Maria as Madrid look to keep a bit of control and balance in midfield.
Yellow CardSergio Ramos
Ramos booked for a foul on Sergio Garcia.
Ramos cuts out the danger as Espanyol try to set up Sergio Garcia, but Madrid can't keep hold of the ball for very long.
Pizzi appeals for a penalty after his shot appears to strike Luka Modric in the arm, but the Croat was right next to him and knew little or nothing about it.
Espanyol win a corner at the other end through Torje and Ronaldo - of all people - clears with a header.
Good possession from Espanyol but they lose the ball in midfield and Madrid break with Benzema, whose shot is saved by Casilla. Cristiano, all alone at the far post, may have been better placed but it wasn't an easy ball for the Frenchman. Espanyol survive, but need to be more careful.
Still only a goal in it, but Espanyol's recent spell of pressure ultimately came to nothing.
Arbeloa, hardly prolific in front of goal, then adopts a similar position and tries to lob Casilla, who makes the save. Ambitious, but Madrid are at least finding the gaps now. Meanwhile, Xabi Alonso and Carvajal warm up.
Modric finds some space beautifully, but has no options and Madrid are pushed back to the centre circle. Benzema then plays a one-two with Arbeloa, but the defender's cross is deflected wide by Casilla.
Good defensive work by Pepe to break up another Espanyol attack. The Portugal defender, who scored the winner here in the sides' recent league match, is back on form.
Good spell of possession from Espanyol, but Pepe clears his lines and Madrid break. Di Maria's excellent cross finds Cristiano, who heads into the ground and over the bar. Close!
Sergio Garcia races through the middle this time, but can't find the target. Madrid slightly rattled here.
Sergio Garcia tries an angled drive from the edge of the box and it's only just wide of Casillas' right-hand post. Espanyol are pushing.
Bale tries his luck from distance but sees his shot blocked.
Espanyol looking for a penalty as Torje goes down in the box, but there's no contact with Di Maria. Strong start by the home side, though, and the crowd are getting into this now.
Espanyol immediately close at the other end, but Madrid are yet to concede in 2014 and Iker Casillas has now broken his own personal record for consecutive minutes without letting in a goal. His best was 518 minutes and is now 552 and counting...
Ronaldo crosses for Bale and the ball takes a deflection off goalkeeper Casilla and onto the Welshman, who knows little about it, and goes over the bar. Lively start.
The second half gets underway with Madrid one up and looking extremely comfortable, much more so than in the sides' recent league game at Cornella. But Espanyol need something to take back to the Bernabeu. Can they get back in this?
The referee blows his whistle for half-time. Madrid lead 1-0 thanks to Benzema's header on 25 minutes. The visitors have been by far the better team, but Espanyol did create one glorious opportunity that Pizzi fired over the bar inside the box.
Great save from Kika. Bale steps up strikes a dipping effort over the wall that swerves from side to side and forces the goalkeeper to tip the ball over the bar at full stretch. Espanyol need half-time here.
Free-kick to Madrid, 30 yards from goal in a central position. Bale puts the ball down...but Ronaldo looks interested...
Modric is at the heart of all of Madrid's best work here. He's been intelligent in possession and provided a link between midfield and attack. Much improved under Carlo Ancelotti this season.
Madrid are turning the screw here. Benzema plays a one-two with Ronaldo on the right edge of the box and drills a firm effort at goal, which Kika does well to parry. Espanyol need to get tighter.
Ronaldo goes close again with another sighter, 20-yards from goal. This time his right foot shot fizzes through the air but flies just past the left-hand post.
Half chance for Madrid. Marcelo finds Benzema inside the penalty area and the striker takes a touch before dragging a left foot shot well wide of goal.
Ramos has got lucky there. The centre-back is flattened by Torja as he tries dribbling past him on the edge of his own box. The referee awards a free-kick but that could easily have been a lot worse for Madrid had he lost possession.
GOAL. Madrid draw first blood. Arbeloa swings a ball into the near post from the right wing, Bale flicks it on and Benzema heads home. 1-0 Madrid.
CLOSE. Madrid respond with a chance of their own. Modric plays the ball to Ronaldo on the edge of the box, who swivels and gets a shot off on his right foot, with the ball coming back off the post. Kiko was well beaten.
Best chance of the game and it falls to Espanyol. Garcia dances his way into the box but his pull back is blazed over the bar by Pizzi. Big chance for the home side against the run of play. Still 0-0.
A dangerous delivery is headed behind by Sidnei but the visitors can't take advantage with their second corner-kick, with Ramos heading well over from Bale's ball.
Corner-kick to Madrid. Ronaldo goes through the gears down the left wing but his left foot cross is deflected behind by Raul Rodriguez. Good defending.
Free-kick to Madrid down the left but they opt to go short and Illarramendi's in-swinging ball is cleared away on the edge of the box. A good opportunity missed to send a dangerous delivery into the box.
The front three of Benzema, Ronaldo and Bale are inter-changing at will and pressing high up the pitch - the Espanyol defence have had little time to settle on the ball.
Bright start from Madrid, who are getting the ball down and enjoying plenty of possession. Espanyol yet to get going and a little wasteful so far.
First chance of the game and it goes the way of Madrid. Bale feeds Ronaldo down the left and the Portuguese cuts inside the box before firing a low, left foot shot narrowly wide of the left-hand post. A warning for Espanyol.
Espanyol boss Javier Aguirre is back on the bench tonight after a four-match touchline ban.
We're off and underway in Barcelona. Madrid wearing their orange strip, Espanyol in their customary blue and white home kit.
Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti has picked a strong side for tonight's Copa del Rey quarter-final clash with Espanyol. Can Bale and Ronaldo get on the scoresheet for the second time in a matter of days? Kick-off is just minutes away.
Espanyol: Kiko, Raul R, Víctor Sanchez, Sidnei, Sergio Garcia, Pizzi, Capdevila, M. Lanza, H. Moreno, Abraham, Torje. Real Madrid: Casillas, Pepe, Sergio Ramos, Ronaldo, Benzema, Bale, Marcelo, Arbeloa, Modric, Di Maria, Illarra.
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