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Played
September 21, 2010 9:00 PM BST
Estadio Santiago Bernabéu — Madrid
Referee:‬ Clos Gómez‎
Attendance:‬ 70000‎
 
28′ (PG) C. Ronaldo
 
 
 
90′ +4
AND IT IS OVER! Mourinho's side showed great determination and patience and managed to break a resilient Espanyol side today, despite being frustrated on a couple of occasions. It is a deserved win for Los Blancos, who can not celebrate being top of the table, before the games tomorrow. Espanyol will certainly rue not taking their chances and, despite playing well, will regret letting themselves fly off the handle and having two players sent off in the second half. At the end of the day, however, they will admit they were outplayed by a better team, and will look forward to their next league game. It is good night from me, Vasil Kotsev, stay with us for our post-match materials. Join us tomorrow for our live coverage of the most exciting games from the extra round of Europe's biggest leagues! Good night and bye for now!
 
90′ +3
There will be four minutes of injury time.
 
90′ +1
RONALDO! The Portuguese ran down the left and beat Chica with his trademark backheel flick dribble near the byline, then cut in and unleashed a powerful shot for the near corner, but Kameni managed to block the ball!
 
89′
Forlin is sent off after arguing with the referee after Benzema's goal. Second yellow card for the defender and a red follows shorty after.
 
88′
GOAL! BENZEMA SCORES! Diarra and Marcelo combined on the right side of the penalty area, the Frenchman cut in, took a few steps and then laid the ball to Benzema near the penalty spot, the substitute turned with the ball and scored with a precise low shot in the left corner.
 
88′
Yellow/Red Juan Daniel Forlín
 
87′
Assist Lassana Diarra
 
87′
Goal Karim Benzema
 
86′
Unless Espanyol win by some stroke of luck, tonight's win will see Real Madrid climb to the top of the table, albeit temporarily.
 
85′
One should certainly be impressed by the development of Ronaldo's gameplay as now he seems less selfish than ever. He has grown up and works for the team now, something everyone has been willing to see from him for so long.
 
85′
Substitution José Callejón Javier López Rodríguez
 
83′
RONALDO! The Portuguese received the ball on the left, just outside the penalty area, left Forlin for dead with his pace and shot straight away, forcing a good save from Kameni.
 
81′
Higuain will certainly be relieved to have finally scored. Hopefully, this would be a start of a good goalscoring streak. He has not had much luck in the recent weeks and it was starting to affect his confidence, but the duck is finally broken!
 
80′
Yellow Card Juan Daniel Forlín
 
80′
Substitution Gonzalo Higuaín Karim Benzema
 
79′
Assist C. Ronaldo
 
79′
Goal Gonzalo Higuaín
 
78′
GOAL! HIGUAIN SCORE! Ronaldo stole the ball in midfield to set Real Madrid on the counter and took a few steps before releasing Gonzalo Higuain on the left, the striker calmly controlled the ball and slotted in the left corner.
 
77′
I expected a scrappy game after Mourinho brought another midfield enforcer in the face of Khedira. With Arbeloa and three defensive midfielders one certainly expects to see a defensive festival, but the game seem to have opened up after the dismissals of Pepe and Galan.
 
75′
Higuain is on the ground after being unintentionally elbowed in the mouth by Forlin. Certainly a painful encounter for the Argentinian.
 
75′
Higuain is on the ground after being unintentionally elbowed in the mouth by Forlin. Certainly a painful encounter for the Argentinian.
 
73′
Substitution Sergio García Álvaro
 
73′
SERGIO GARCIA! Chica dribbled down the left flank and was allowed to cross by Marcelo. Sergio Garcia, who was ghosting in the penalty area, tried to reach for the ball, but could not.
 
71′
RAMOS! WHAT A MISS! Cristiano Ronaldo whipped in an inch-perfect cross for one of Higuain and Ramos in the goal area, but it was the defender, who headed the ball and it flew over the bar. Both Higuain and Ramos were completely unmarked/
 
69′
MARCELO! The wing-back went on one of his trademark runs on the left, skipping by three players, before trying to shoot from the byline in the goal area, Kameni blocked the ball and it fell to Didac, who was brought down by Arbeloa near the right corner flag.
 
67′
HIGUAIN! Khedira almost made an instant impact as he delivered a good through ball for Higuain in the penalty area, the Argentinian turned with the ball, thus eliminating Forlin, turned again, but this time his shot was blocked Chica.
 
65′
Yellow Card Verdú
 
65′
Khedira and Arbeloa replace Oezil and Di Maria respectively. This certainly says that Mourinho is looking to close up the game.
 
64′
Substitution Mesut Özil Sami Khedira
 
64′
Substitution Ángel Di María Arbeloa
 
64′
Red Card Ernesto Galán
 
63′
GALAN IS OFF! Ronaldo was hacked down by a horrendous tackle from Galan near the centre-circle. Not a straight red card offence in my book.
 
62′
Nothing comes out of the free-kick on the left for Espanyol, which resulted from Pepe's foul.
 
61′
PEPE IS OUT! SECOND YELLOW CARD FOR THE PORTUGUESE! Shirt pulling does not go unpunished today, early bath for the defender.
 
60′
Yellow/Red Pepe
 
60′
An interesting fact is that Mourinho's men have stopped pressuring their opponents, giving them more space and time to attack. Does the Portuguese want to hit them on the break?
 
57′
Di Maria gives us some pleasure for the eye with a spectacular cross with his right foot behind the left one. It was all style and no substance as this cross resulted in nothing.
 
56′
Yellow Card Pepe
 
55′
VERDU! Callejon bombed down the left and put in a looping cross in the penalty area fro Sergio Garcia, who intelligently shielded the ball with his body, so Verdu have a corridor to shoot, but the the striker's effort from the left-side of the goal area is saved by Casillas!
 
53′
SERGIO GARCIA! SO CLOSE! The striker received the ball just outside the penalty area side-stepped past Alonso and shot between Carvalho and Pepe, but his shot missed by the right post.
 
51′
RAMOS! Oezil delivered a perfect cross for the overlapping Ramos just outside the goal area, but the Spanish international could not time his run well, hence he mistimed his jumped and could not head the ball well and it went out for a goal kick.
 
49′
HIGUAIN! WHAT A MISS! Oezil took the corner kick on the left and found Ronaldo on the right of the penalty area with an in-swinging delivery, the Portuguese ace headed down for the unmarked Higuan just outside the goal area, but the striker's first-time volley flew wide of the right post.
 
48′
RONALDO! The striker was picked out by Higuain near the right corner flag, and the resulting cross from the Portugues almost went in. Corner on the left for Los Blancos.
 
46′
The second half begins.
 
45′ +3
The referee blows his whistle for the end of this first half. Real Madrid had more of the ball in the first half, and most importantly managed to score through a penalty by Crisitano Ronaldo. Espanyol, on the other hand, had more clear chances and could and should have scored in the fifth and the forty-third minute. The hosts have not been convincing so far, while Espanyol could actually cause an upset if they raise their game, we will see in the second half. Join us after the break for the second period!
 
45′ +2
Casillas makes a spectacular headed clearance just outside the penalty area from a Duscher through-ball for Garcia. Close one, but Casillas was quick off his line to thwart this Espanyol attack.
 
45′ +1
There will be two minutes of injury time.
 
45′
Substitution David García Dídac Vilà
 
45′
Lassana Diarra commits a foul in the penalty area against David Garcia. The French international certainly lacks Khedira's tackling finesse, but he makes up for it with his physicality.
 
43′
VERDU! Galan run down the right and managed to cross from near the right corner flag for Sergio Garcia near the penalty spot. The ex-Real Zaragoza and Real Betis man let the ball go between his legs for Verdu on the left side of the penalty box, whose first time piledriver misses narrowly by the left post! Great chance for Espanyol wasted!
 
41′
Espanyol will certainly rue missing their excellent chance in the fifth minute. Opportunities like that does not come often at the Bernabeu and a team has to make use of them if they are to come out of the Madrid fortress with something.
 
39′
Ramos brings down Callejon with a clumsy tackle on the left, around 35 yards out. Callejon takes it, but his delivery is poor and the ball goes out for a goal kick.
 
37′
Watching this Madrid side is certainly a pleasure now as it seems that Mourinho has managed to insert much needed fluidity, which Los Blancos' fans have not witnessed since the retirement of Zidane.
 
35′
RONALDO! Oezil released Ronaldo on the left side of the penalty area, after superbly controlling a pass from Di Maria, the Portuguese cut in, but took too long to shoot and the chance went begging.
 
33′
Ronaldo wins a touch from David Garcia on the left after performing a double step-over. This is certainly a thing one should except from the Portuguese.
 
31′
HIGUAIN! Marcelo whipped in a cross from the left wing for Higuain on the right, just outside the penalty area. The striker controlled superbly and turned with a magnificent backheel flick, went on a diagonal run to the left of the penalty box, skipping by three challenges, but saw his shot blocked by Molina in the end.
 
29′
GOAL! The Portuguese ace stabs the ball in the right corner for the first goal of the game!
 
28′
Penalty Goal C. Ronaldo
 
28′
GOAL! NO! .... Ronaldo has to retake it .. " No stopping before the penalty! ", says the referee.
 
27′
Yellow Card Luis García
 
27′
Ronaldo takes it .... PENALTY! Hand ball by Luis Garcia in the wall!
 
26′
Ronaldo is hacked down by Duscher for a free-kick on the left, just outside the penalty area.
 
24′
RONALDO! Oezil received the ball just outside the penalty area and threaded a delightful pass between Chica and Molina for Ronaldo in the penalty area, but the Portuguese could not control the ball in his stride.
 
23′
Yellow Card Marcelo
 
22′
Marcelo is booked for a dive in the penalty area. There was not even the slightest contact between Forlin and Marcelo on the left side of the penalty box and the referee dishes out some yellow applauses for the Brazilian.
 
20′
RAMOS! The wingback almost scores a fluke goal! The Spaniard advanced on the left wing and decided to cross for Higuain on the left side of the goal area, but miskicked the ball and it almost caught Kameni by surprise at the right post as the goalkeeper was covering his left one.
 
17′
Higuain receives the ball around the centre-circle, but misplaces yet another pass. The Argentinian hitman's confidence have been fading away recently, certainly not good news for Mourinho, who craves to get another striker and he has valid grounds to demand that, having in mind that Los Merengues's squad is pretty thin.
 
17′
Yellow Card Ricardo Carvalho
 
15′
DI MARIA! Higuain was picked out superbly by Lass with exquisite pass, the Argentinian found himself around 25 yards in front of goal, but decided to combine with Di Maria on the left side of the penalty area, who initially managed to race ahead of David Garcia, but later saw his cross blocked by the Spaniard.
 
13′
Real Madrid are coming out of the blocks fast and the Bernabeu crowd is certainly urging them to go for it and score early. Will we see a goal soon?
 
11′
OEZIL! Ronaldo surged to the left corner flag and crossed for Di Maria, who was well marked by Forlin, the ball reaches Oezil just outside the penalty area semi-circle, but the young German international's shot was impressively blocked by Molina.
 
9′
Callejon brings down Ronaldo on the right, just outside the penalty area. Oezil takes it, but Carvalho is adjudged to have been in an offside position the moment the pass was made.
 
7′
DI MARIA! The Argentinian was well picked out by Oezil on the right side of the penalty box, and his first time shot was barely blocked by Kameni and the ball goes out for a corner on the left. Nothing came out of this set-piece.
 
5′
CALLEJON! What a chance for Espanyol! Chica ran down the right wing and crossed for Verdu near the penalty spot, the attacker did superbly to flick the ball to the completely unmarked Callejon on the left side of the penalty area, but his first-time shot fizzles wide of the far post!
 
3′
Los Blancos are passing the ball around comfortably, but have so far failed to penetrate the visitors' defence. One surprising change to Mourinho's set-up is the appearance of Lassana Diarra, who replaces the ever-reliable Khedira.
 
1′
And they are off!
 
 
Kameni; Didac, Forlin, Garcia, Chica; Duscher, Galan; Callejon, Luis Garcia; Sergio Garcia, Verdu. Substitutes: Coro, Ruiz, Alvarez, Javi Lopez, Amat, Molina, David Lopez.
 
 
Real Madrid: Casillas; Carvalho, Pepe, Marcelo, Ramos; Alonso, Diarra; Higuain, Oezil; Di Maria, Ronaldo. Substitutes: Dudek, Mahamadou Diarra, Arbeloa, Benzema, Khedira, Leon, Granero.
 
 
Hello and welcome to Goal.com's live coverage of tonight's game between Real Madrid and Espanyol. Real Madrid have been steady, but unspectacular so far in their outings, however, this is a feature of every team Jose Mourinho has coached. Espanyol have been hot and cold this season, defeating Getafe and Almeria, but suffering a heavy defeat at the hands of Villarreal. The game will be played at the Santiago Bernabeu, certainly an intimidating venue for hosts and visitors alike. Join us after after fifteen minutes for the beginning of the first half. Here are the line-ups:
 
Results
 
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
C. Ronaldo C. Ronaldo
Striker
Real Madrid
28 6
Diego Costa Diego Costa
Striker
Atl. Madrid
27 5
Messi Messi
Striker
Barcelona
26 6
Karim Benzema Karim Benzema
Striker
Real Madrid
17 0
Alexis Sánchez Alexis Sánchez
Striker
Barcelona
17 0