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Deportivo La Coruña
May 11, 2013
• Estadi Cornellà-El Prat, Cornella de Llobregat
Referee: Ignacio Iglesias
• Attendance: 30023
C. Stuani 23'
G. Higuaín 58'
That's all from me for tonight guys and girls! Barcelona – who are rubbish these days according to some pundits – have won La Liga with three games still to play, after Madrid dropped more points this evening. Good bye!
FULL-TIME: ESPANYOL 1-1 REAL MADRID A draw for los Periquitos is enough to win their city neighbours Barcelona the Liga title, as Madrid's attempt to retain the Liga fell some way short. The Blaugrana will be given a guard of honour by Atletico Madrid at the Calderon tomorrow, after Madrid failed to find a winning goal in the second half here. Stuani gave the hosts the lead in the fist half, before a neat header from Higuain on the hour mark drew los Blancos level.
90' + 5'
And there is the final whistle!
90' + 4'
Madrid's title challenge is ending with a whimper here.
90' + 3'
90' + 3'
The Portugal international's effort is wayward though, as the ball flies out for a goal kick to Espanyol.
90' + 1'
Yellow Card Capdevila
90' + 1'
Red Card Víctor Sánchez Mata
SANCHEZ IS OFF!! The Espanyol midfielder is shown his marching orders after lunging horribly into Higuain 30 yards from goal.
90' + 1'
One last chance for Madrid? Ronaldo lines up the free kick...
Mourinho looks surprisingly calm in the Madrid dugout considering Barcelona are minutes away from winning the league because of the score here.
GREAT COVERING FROM NACHO! The left-back streams across to cover Albiol and dispossess Simao inside the Madrid box.
His strike ricochets off the wall though, as he is made to wait for his 201st goal for Madrid.
FREE KICK TO MADRID! 20 yards from goal! Capdevila catches Ronaldo, and I'm sure Madrid's No. 7 will be happy to take this...
Not on that occasion, as the corner is smashed clear by Moreno. Stuani sprints forward for Espanyol, and Wakaso eventually unleashes a firm shot at goal that a well-positioned Lopez is able to gather low to his left.
Modric wins a corner for Madrid after breaking down the left wing. Can the away side make this pressure count?
Nothing by the looks of it. Ronaldo is a very fortunate boy!
MORE ARGIE-PORGIE IN THE BOX! Ronaldo catches Forlin with an elbow. What is the referee going to do here?
Yellow Card Juan Daniel Forlín
Yellow Card C. Ronaldo
TWO MORE YELLOW CARDS! Ronaldo pushed Forlin to the floor after the Argentine had pushed him in the back. Both are shown yellow cards by the ref – Ronaldo is perhaps lucky it wasn't a red!
Garcia was appealing for a penalty as Essien challenged him for the ball there, but there was not much in it, and that would have been unfair on Madrid.
The ball pinballs inside the Madrid box, as Stuani and Garcia try and smash the ball home under pressure from a crowd of Blancos defenders. It is eventually hacked clear by the away side.
Albiol is awarded the ninth yellow card of the game for a late tackle on Verdu. Espanyol have a free kick 35 yards or so out.
Yellow Card Raúl Albiol
Benzema comes close to making it 2-1 to Madrid after meeting a cross from Essien with his head. A great reflex save from Casilla keeps the ball out, although the linesman also had his flag up for offside so it wouldn't have counted anyway.
Calmness personified by Lopez! The Madrid goalkeeper doesn't panic under pressure from both Stuani and Garcia, and he nonchalantly flicks a pass to Albiol who then clears the ball away.
STAT: Madrid have completed 484 passes tonight, compared to Espanyol's 195.
Yellow Card Ricardo Carvalho
The referee is showing his yellow card to anyone that looks at him at the moment. Modric and now Carvalho have had their names taken in recent minutes, which takes the yellow card scoreline to 4-4.
Madrid have just 20 minutes left to score a winner here. If not, Barcelona are champions of La Liga.
Yellow Card Luka Modric
Wakaso dribbles across Modric on the halfway line and the Croatia international has little choice but to bring him down as he raced forward with the ball.
Albiol concedes a corner on the right after nicking the ball away from Garcia. The game has been littered with breaks in play in the last 10 minutes or so, which has disrupted Madrid's rhythm as they go in search of a winner.
AND NOW NACHO IS DOWN! Stuani boots the youngster in the hamstring as he wins a header on the left side. He's fortunate that the Uruguayan striker's boot did not land a few inches to the right!
Yellow Card Xabi Alonso
Alonso has drawn a number of fouls from Espanyol players but on this occasion it is he that is penalised by the man in yellow. After ploughing into the back of Sanchez his name is written into Iglesias' notebook.
Ronaldo is moving tentatively after a challenge from Moreno. I do not think Mourinho would be a happy chap if his Portuguese talisman were to pick up an injury tonight, particularly after Varane has already gone off for that reason.
Wakaso is the fourth Espanyol player to be booked by the referee. He is shown a yellow card after crashing into Alonso on the halfway line.
Yellow Card Wakaso
The momentum has certainly swung in Madrid's favour after that equalising goal. With Ronaldo on the pitch now you would not count against them scoring again here.
Modric's cross to set Higuain up there was wonderful. The Croatian has proved pivotal in quite a few of Madrid's recent games now.
Assist Luka Modric
Goal Gonzalo Higuaín
MADRID HAVE EQUALISED!! HIGUAIN NODS THE BALL PAST CASILLA! The Argentine gets on the end of Modric's inviting set piece from the left-hand side to send a deft header into the net to make it 1-1. Game on here at the Cornella-El Prat.
HEEEERE'S RONNIE!! Cristiano Ronaldo is introduced by Mourinho, as Madrid still trail with just over half an hour to go. Kaka is the man that makes way for the Portuguese man-of-war.
Di Maria prods a pass into the path of Benzema inside the Espanyol box and the Frenchman wins a corner off the legs of Moreno.
STAT: There have been over 2.5 goals scored in Madrid's last six games in La Liga.
That's an awful free kick from Alonso! The midfielder lofts the set piece into the Espanyol box and straight into the arms of the waiting Casilla.
Yellow Card Verdú
Verdu is shown a yellow card after a reckless challenge on Alonso. That was hard and late from the Espanyol No. 10.
Sanchez bursts forward through the centre for Espanyol, and the ball is quickly switched out to Wakaso on the left. The attacker curls a delicious ball towards Garcia inside the Madrid penalty area but he is beaten to the ball by Nacho.
I think he was just winded there after sprinting into Forlin, as he is able to rejoin the game after being taken to the sideline.
ANOTHER Madrid payer down! Modric is sent crashing to the deck after bouncing off a challenge from Forlin.
Nacho sends a dangerous ball into the Espanyol box but it is headed up field by their veteran left-back Joan Capdevila.
Madrid get the second half underway, complete with Karim Benzema. The Frenchman replaces Alvaro Morata.
I want to hear your views! Do you think Madrid can turn this game round and keep the title race alive? Or are Espanyol just to strong for Mourinho's side? Also, who do you want to see come on in the second half? Let me know your thoughts on Twitter @charliefscott.
Remember guys and girls, if Espanyol win tonight Barcelona will be crowned Liga 2012-13 champions.
HALF-TIME: ESPANYOL 1-0 REAL MADRID Aguirre's side lead Mourinho's men in Barcelona thanks to a well-taken strike by Stuani. The hosts have been the better side in the opening 45 minutes and are good value for their lead. Kaka has been silent in the first half for Madrid, and it would not be surprising if Mourinho were to make changes at the break.
45' + 2'
And there is the half-time whistle! Madrid are trailing Espanyol by a single goal at Cornell-El Prat.
Morata appeals for a penalty after his shot is blocked by the left arm of Moreno. The defender cleverly draws attention away from his hand by going down clutching his face. The referee believes him and gestures for play to continue. Sergio Busquets would have been proud of that moment of theatre from Moreno.
AGAIN ESPANYOL ARE FLAGGED OFFSIDE! Colotto is adjudged to be in a offside position by the linesman, after connecting with a free kick from Verdu and sending a header on target that Lopez had done well to parry away.
Espanyol came into this game on the back of two straight defeats in the league, but they are leading Madrid as we approach half-time in this one. Their fans, unsurprisingly, are in a boisterous mood.
Yellow Card Michael Essien
Nacho has put in an enthusiastic performance for Madrid in the opening half here. He has been up and down the left flank offering himself as an outlet and battling well with Stuani.
Barcelona will win the league this evening if the score remains the same here. They head to the Calderon tomorrow and would be granted a guard of honour by Atletico if the title was theirs before that game.
Modric swings the corner on to the penalty spot but Albiol is penalised for climbing all over the back of Sanchez which means Espanyol have a free kick.
Corner for Madrid on the left...
Wakaso powers down the left for Espanyol but what looked like an exciting move is brought crashing to an ugly end as his pass inside goes straight to Modric.
The ball hits Sanchez's arm as Kaka tries to flick a cross towards Di Maria, but the referee sees nothing in it and waves play on.
Morata's cross from the right is deflected kindly into the arms of Casilla, with Higuain lurking just behind the Espanyol shot stopper ready to pounce.
Albiol nicks the ball from Stuani on the right side of the Madrid box as Espanyol continue to threaten going forward. The visitors' defence is certainly looking shaky this evening.
STAT: Madrid have won their last 6 matches in La Liga.
The former Liverpool man's whipped free kick is poor though, as it fails to find a teammate and is easily headed away by Moreno.
Yellow Card Stuani
A high boot from Stuani catches Nacho as the Madrid full-back tries to drive into the Espanyol box on the left, and Madrid now have a free kick in a dangerous position. Alonso will take it.
MORENO HAS THE BALL IN THE NET FOR ESPANYOL... BUT IT IS DISALLOWED! The referee brings play back after the centre-back had sent a thumping header from a corner into the back of the net. Moreno had been tussling with Alonso but they were both at it as the ball was sent in to the box, and that is a fairly controversial call from the man in yellow.
GREAT SAVE FROM LOPEZ FOR MADRID! Stuani has a chance to make it 2-0 after racing through on goal, but his poked effort is saved instinctively by Madrid's goalkeeper. It was Carvalho that played the Espanyol striker onside there.
STAT: Espanyol's last home win over Real was a 2-1 triumph in October 2007. That was also the last time they scored at home against the capital-based side.
Alonso flies into Victor Sanchez and the referee correctly awards the hosts a free kick.
Casilla wins a free kick inside the Espanyol box after he is challenge rather robustly by Higuain as Xabi Alonso floated a free kick into the penalty area.
Assist Sergio García
ESPANYOL ARE AHEAD!! STUANI MAKES IT 1-0!! Madrid look Stuanned as Espanyol score from a corner. How many times will Mourinho's team concede from set pieces this season?! The ball dropped to Stuani's left foot after the corner from the right was not cleared by Madrid's defence, and he struck it firmly through a crowd and into the net.
WE NEED A NEW FLAG! The linesman on the far side has just been sent flying by Lopez, and as he fell to the floor his flag broke cleanly in two. The substitution has been made though, and the linesman is ready to continue.
GOOD DEFENDING FROM CARVALHO!! The former Chelsea man rolls back the years to shift through the gears and get in the right place to block Stuani's shot from the right side of the area.
The young France international is moving very gingerly as he hobbles round the pitch with the held of Madrid's physios. That could be the end of what has been a fantastic season for the defender.
As Varane is helped towards the dressing room Xabi Alonso warms up for the visitors. Mourinho did not look like a happy man when the camera just panned to him in the Madrid technical area. It looks like Alonso will come on in midfield and Michael Essien will move to right-back to replace Varane.
STAT: Madrid have only won two of their last five away matches in all competitions (W2, D1, L2).
The Frenchman seemed to catch his foot in the turf and it looks like his knee may have jarred as he challenged Wakaso.
More injury trouble for Madrid! Raphael Varane is down on the right after a clash with Wakaso. Los Blancos are already missing Mesut Ozil, Alvaro Arbeloa and Sami Khedira because of injury tonight.
A deft touch from Morata 30 yards out nearly plays Di Maria in, but Diego Colotto is able to intervene and steal the ball for Espanyol.
SANCHEZ IS FLAGGED OFFSIDE! The Espanyol midfielder is caught out by Madrid's defence, just, as he looked to take Wakaso's chipped pass down inside the penalty area. Raul Albiol and Carvalho stepped up to catch Sanchez offside, and the linesman on the near side spotted the infringement and so raised his flag.
Di Maria makes Wakaso Mubarak look silly by slipping the ball through his legs on the halfway line, but Mubarak quickly gets revenge by dragging the winger back as he tries to escape.
Di Maria is allowed to cut in from the right on to his left foot – surprise, surprise – and the Argentine does well to fire a shot between Moreno and Javi Rodriguez but it is saved well down low by Casilla.
Christian Stuani shifts the play over to Lopez on the right but the Espanyol right-back's cross towards the back post is under hit and Madrid's very own Lopez is able to claim the ball easily.
Angel Di Maria threads a neat through ball into the path of Alvaro Morata, and the young forward does well to glide past a challenge from Hector Moreno before the Espanyol goalkeeper Francisco Casilla rushed out to push the ball away from him.
STAT: Los Periquitos are on a 10-match winless run against Real Madrid, losing eight.
Madrid youngster Nacho has gone down clutching his left leg after he was caught by Verdu. Despite initial fears that he may have to be subbed off, the left-back is able to carry on.
Earlier this week Goal.com Espana brought you guys and girls the exclusive news that Juventus are in pole position to sign Gonzalo Higuain in the summer transfer window. The Argentine starts in attack for Madrid tonight and it will be interesting to see how he performs as those rumours of a move away from the Bernabeu continue to gather pace.
Javi Lopez continues to press down the right for Espanyol, but Madrid are eventually able to clear the ball through Luka Modric.
The home team win a couple of throw-ins on the right-hand side, one of which comes after a heavy touch from Kaka takes the ball out of play.
Espanyol get us underway in Barcelona as rain drizzles on to the pitch...
The teams are making their way out on to the pitch at Cornella-El Prat. Madrid's XI has certainly been impacted by their impending Copa del Rey final on Friday. Both Nacho and Alvaro Morata are handed rare starts by Mourinho tonight.
Madrid need to win tonight to keep the pressure on Barcelona, although the Catalan side could still win the league tomorrow evening if they were to beat Atletico Madrid.
Just imagine those first five in a five-a-side team!
That Portuguese legend for Madrid is, of course, Ricardo Carvalho... The away side boast an outrageous bench tonight. SUBS: Casillas, Alonso, Ronaldo, Benzema, Callejon, Llorente, Casemiro.
REAL MADRID (4-2-3-1): Lopez; Varane, Albiol, Carvalho, Nacho; Essien, Modric; Di Maria, Kaka, Morata; Higuain
ESPANYOL (4-2-3-1): Casilla; Javi Lopez, Colotto, Moreno, Capdevila; Sanchez, Forlin; Wakaso, Verdu, Sergio Garcia; Stuani
Jose Mourinho has been busy ostracizing himself from large chunks of his Madrid squad this week. Pepe – who criticised his handling of Iker Casillas – does not even make the bench. Casillas, meanwhile, does. Diego Lopez continues in goal for los Blancos. I've got both starting XIs coming right up... HINT: A Portuguese legend starts for the visitors.
You can get in touch with me at any point during proceedings tonight by posting in the comments box to the right, or by tweeting me at @charliefscott. As always, I would love to hear form you.
My name is Charlie Scott and I am the man bringing you colourful updates from Barcelona as Jose Mourinho's side try and stay in the Liga title race.
Good evening ladies and gentlemen and welcome to Goal.com's LIVE coverage of tonight's Liga clash at the Cornella-El Prat between Espanyol and Real Madrid.
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