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Deportivo La Coruña
May 17, 2014
• Estadio Santiago Bernabéu, Madrid
Referee: David Fernandez Borbalan
• Attendance: 51653
G. Bale 64'
Álvaro Morata 86', 90'+
FULL-TIME! It's all over. Real Madrid ultimately secure a comfortable 3-1 at home to Espanyol, momentarily taking them up to second ahead of Barcelona's game against Atletico Madrid, kicking off in about 10 minutes time. Anything other than a home win rarely looked likely and they go into the Champions League final with a win under their belt. The injuries to Ronaldo and Benzema will be concerning, however.
90' + 2'
GOAL!!! Real Madrid restore their two-goal cushion with virtually the final kick of the game! Di Maria races through on goal once again and - like with their second goal - he squares to Morata for an easy finish.
90' + 1'
Assist Ángel Di María
90' + 1'
Assist Sergio García
GOAL!!! Espanyol pull one back! Sergio Garcia did brilliantly to burst away from Ramos and Arbeloa, before sliding a pass through to Pizzi, who knocked in from close range.
Espanyol may be two goals down, but they are still going for this. Most of the stadium appears to have emptied, with Real fans seemingly accepting a win.
Assist Ángel Di María
GOAL!!! Real Madrid double their lead and effectively secure the win. Ramos broke forward with intent and fed Di Maria in to his right, with the Argentine squaring across goal from Morata, who tapped in.
Good try by Alex! The Espanyol midfielder is given too much space by Real and he tries his luck from about 25 yards, but Casillas is equal to it.
Lovely play by Di Maria this time! The Argentine's quick feet allow him to skip past a couple of challenges and he then pokes a pass into the area. Bale, however, can't quite reach it and Espanyol clear.
Di Maria, who has not been at his best today, is released down the right flank and he cuts inside before curling a shot well wide of the far post.
Good chance again for Espanyol. Cordoba does well to evade Marcelo's challenge before racing down the right wing. The Colombian tries to play a low ball into the six-yard box for Garcia, but Varane is in the way.
Wasteful play by Isco. The Spaniard brings down Bale's cross-pitch pass just inside the area, but when he tries to cut the ball back towards the penalty spot he gifts it straight back to the visitors.
Good play by Bale as he picks up possession midway through his half, offloads the ball and then receives a throughball into the area. He curls a cross into the danger zone, but Espanyol ultimately clear their lines.
This second half has been much more enjoyable than the first. Espanyol have offered more of an attacking threat and Real have generally looked more interested.
Real are living dangerously at the moment! Espanyol get forward through the middle on this occasion and after Garcia's shot is deflected into the air, Pizzi blasts a controlled volley well over.
Another blow for Real now ahead of the Champions League final next weekend. Benzema appears to have picked up a groin injury and is forced off. Morata replaces him.
Víctor Sánchez Mata
What a chance for an instant reply! Simao is played into the area by Garcia's clever poked pass, but the former Barcelona winger somehow misses the target when one-on-one with Casillas.
Assist Karim Benzema
Goal Gareth Bale
GOAL!!! Real Madrid take the lead at Santiago Bernabeu! Benzema squeezed a delightful reverse pass in towards the area for Bale and the Welshman took the pass in his stride, before coolly stroking past Casilla.
Ramos is enjoying himself out there. The defender has not had an awful lot to do at the back today, thus allowing him to roam forward more often. On this occasion he produces a fine curling effort from just outside the area, but it goes just over.
Much better effort by Abraham! Real afforded the Espanyol man a lot of space in a central position and he cleverly turned away from Khedira, before shooting low from 30 yards. Casillas tips the shot just around the post, but the referee fails to award a corner.
Half chance for Espanyol this time. Real clear the visitors' free-kick as far as Abraham, about 30 yards from goal. The midfielder shapes to shoot and unleashes a volley, but it sails well over.
After a largely disappointing first half, Real have started the second period with renewed focus and determination. A few chances have gone begging, but their intensity has improved.
Real are starting to really test Espanyol now! Marcelo's cut-back towards the penalty area is knocked goalwards by Isco, who sees his effort blocked. The ball goes back towards the edge of the box, but Di Maria's sliced volley flies into the side netting.
Intricate play on the edge of the Espanyol area by Real as Di Maria, Bale and Benzema all exchange quick passes. The Argentine loses possession, howevever, trying to feed Marcelo into the area.
Great chance for Espanyol goes begging! David Lopez races on to a ball behind the Real defence and charges through on goal. Casillas rushes out to great effect, though, producing a perfectly-timed tackle.
Di Maria takes a quick corner and Illarramendi clips the ball into the area from a deep position. Casilla battles for the ball with Varane, but ultimately wins the duel.
Bright start to the half by Real as Bale cuts in from the right and fires a good cross into the area left-footed. Benzema looks destined to get a header on goal, but Moreno nods the ball behind for a corner.
The teams are back out and the match is underway once again.
45' + 1'
HALF-TIME! And Bale's kick is the last action of the first half. Ultimately it has been a disappointing first period at Santiago Bernabeu. Real have dominated and created numerous chances, but the atmosphere has been flat. Espanyol will be the happier set of players, but it has not been a particularly exciting encounter.
Good try by Bale! The Welshman's stance and kick are very Ronaldo-like, but he cannot find the net, sending it just wide of the top corner.
Free-kick for Real just outside the area as Illarramendi is sent tumbling following a clever interchange of passes with Bale. The Wales star looks set to take.
Good run by Bale as he surges on to the end of a lofted pass from the midfield, but he hits his shot straight at Casilla. The offside flag spares his blushes, however.
Great chance for Espanyol! Victor Sanchez gets forward to good effect down the right and cuts a clever pass back into the danger area. The ball finds its way to Simao, but his effect is deflected agonisingly wide of the post.
There is another example of Espanyol wasting possession. Alex wins the ball back near the centre as a Real throw-in is delivered straight to the youngster, but he immediately passes straight to Varane.
It is surprising how Espanyol have not looked overly bothered about putting Real under pressure. The Madrid club are nowhere near top gear and have been wasteful.
Ancelotti's men have had rather a lot of corners so far, but this latest one ends with nothing as Hector Moreno wins himself a free-kick in the Espanyol area.
Real go relatively close again from the resulting corner, but Ramos' header goes over the crossbar as Espanyol remain level. Surely it will just be a matter of time until Real make the breakthrough?
Big chance for Madrid! Moreno heads a long-ball up into the air and Benzema capitalises, holding off the Mexican in order to win the ball in the area. The Frenchman battles his way past one tackle, before skipping around another and shooting. His effort, however, strikes Casilla on the top of the chest and goes out for a corner.
Good effort by Bale! Espanyol do manage to partially clear the Real corner, but only as far as the edge of the area. Bale shows good strength to hold off David Lopez, before spinning and meeting the ball with a volley. It goes just wide, however.
Real win themselves another corner. Bale cleverly picked out Marcelo on the left with a cross-field pass, but the Brazilian's delivery is knocked behind.
Espanyol enjoy a rare venture forward, but it ends fruitlessly as Stuani attempts to catch Casillas out from distance, dragging a tame effort well wide of the mark.
Another big save by Casilla! Espanyol fail to clear the corner properly and the ball eventually lands at the feet of Ramos. The defender produces some clever footwork to evade a challenge, before poking a shot goalwards. Casilla denied him, though.
The commentator's curse strikes as Real create a good opportunity! Marcelo showcases excellent determination to battle his way past Javi Lopez before shooting from a very tight angle and Casilla blocks it. Corner.
The home side are enjoying most of the possession here, but they aren't doing an awful lot with it. Espanyol look comfortable, for the most part.
That's better from Bale! The world's most expensive player pops up on the right flank, cuts inside and shoots left-footed, but fired wide of the target.
The first 15 minutes have been very low key and flat. Real have virtually nothing to play for, and boy can you tell.
Great chance for Benzema! Once again Real find joy down the left and Marcelo crosses without any real obstacle. The delivery is fired between the goalkeeper and defence, but Benzema could only head over the open goal.
Wild play by Bale! The Wales winger does well initially as he bursts down the left, finding space in the process. However, his eventual cross is blasted well over the crossbar.
Ramos is involved again, at the other end this time. Espanyol looked to threaten on the counter and the Spain international knocked the ball behind for a corner.
After a seemingly delayed corner, Modric eventually delivers a teasing ball into the area. Casilla, however, does brilliantly to rise above the Real players and punch clear.
Encouraging piece of play by the hosts. Ramos - in an unusually attacking position on the left - curls a clever cross into the danger area and Moreno slices the ball behind his own goal. The Mexican had little control over that.
Real have seen plenty of the ball in the opening stages, as you would expect. Even though their talisman has had to settle for a place on the bench, they certainly look dynamic in attack.
Real made a late change before the match as the injured Ronaldo was replaced by Isco. No official word yet on the Portugal star's problem.
We're off in Madrid!
Espanyol also have little to play for. A win would take them up to 45 points, but they still cannot finish any higher than tenth and a trip to Real is unlikely to see them produce a triumph.
Carlo Ancelotti's men do, however, still have one more trophy left to play for. This time next week Real will be ready to face bitter rivals Atletico in the UEFA Champions League final, with their neighbours hoping to dash Los Blancos' decima hopes.
Real come into their final league match of the season with little to play for. A win could potentially see them clinch second spot in La Liga, but their title challenge is already over. Barcelona and Atletico Madrid face-off at Camp Nou later today in what is effectively a title play-off, but should Barca emerge victorious and retain their crown, Real will finish third.
Espanyol subs: German, Rodriguez, Sidnei, Pizzi, Alex, Cordoba, Torje.
Espanyol starting XI: Casilla; Javi Lopez, Colotto, Moreno, Fuentes; Victor Sanchez, Abraham, David Lopez; Simao, Stuani, Sergio Garcia.
Real bench: Jesus, Casemiro, Nacho, Arbeloa, Modric, Morata, Isco.
First of all, the teams. Real Madrid's line-up is: Iker; Carvajal, Ramos, Varane, Marcelo; Khedira, Illarramendi; Di María, Bale; Ronaldo, Benzema.
Hello and welcome to the LIVE text commentary of the La Liga meeting between Real Madrid and Espanyol. Santiago Bernabeu is today's setting and I - Ryan Benson - will be describing the action for you.
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