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Key Events

90' + 10'
K. Benzema
1 - 3
90' + 6'
B. Lecomte
Red Card
K. Benzema
1 - 2
1 - 1
Vinícius Júnior
A. Tchouaméni
0 - 1

Match Stats

35% 64%
Shots Off Target
Shots On Target 4 6
Total Passes 303 555
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That concludes our commentary of the LaLiga fixture between Espanyol and Real Madrid. We hope you’ve enjoyed it!
Espanyol travel to play Athletic Bilbao in a week, while Real Madrid are back in action on Saturday when they host Real Betis.
Real Madrid steal all three points late in the match despite a valiant, industrious effort from Espanyol. The visitors ceded their opponents much more possession in the second half, looking to hit on the counter-attack with Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo, which left Benzema an isolated figure with a quarter-hour left to play. Tired legs would tell for the hosts, who despite finding an equaliser through Joselu after Vinicius Junior’s opener, would concede two minutes before injury time with the France international striker not to be denied; getting on the end of Rodrygo’s cross to volley home. He would double his tally very late in stoppage time with a pin-point accurate free-kick, taking advantage of Lecomte’s late sending off and the subsequent utilisation of a centre-back in goal. The win keeps Los Blancos perfect to start the year while Espanyol are stuck on a point.
K. Benzema
90' + 10' NO DOUBT ABOUT IT! 3-1! Benzema takes full advantage of Espanyol’s goalkeeper woes, sneaking his low effort into the bottom corner as Cabrera can only stare across his line in dismay.
90' + 9' It’s one of the rare sights in football; an outfield player going in goal. With Espanyol having used all of their allocated substitutions, the captain has taken it upon himself to strap on the gloves and throw on a bib for the remainder of the game - with his skills in goal to be immediately tested by Benzema’s free-kick.
90' + 8' Real Madrid have been given a free-kick and not a penalty as the incident did occur outside the penalty area, with Benzema still waiting to take the set-piece after a long wait in injury time.
B. Lecomte
Red Card
90' + 6' RED! HE’S OFF! Lecomte is deemed to have volleyed the underside of Ceballos’ leg, getting to the ball late and instead catching the man right outside the penalty area. The goalkeeper is given his marching orders as captain Cabrera is tasked with going in goal.
90' + 5' There is a VAR check currently to decide whether or not a red card should be awarded to Real Madrid after Lecomte’s ill-advised charge off his line takes him into Ceballos right on the edge of the 18-yard box. It’s unclear who got to the ball first or where it occurred but it doesn’t look great for the goalkeeper.
90' + 3' Before today, Benzema had been involved in at least one goal in each of their last seven LaLiga games against Espanyol (five goals and two assists).
90' + 1' The fourth official indicates six minutes of time will be added to the end of the game for stoppages.
Dani Gómez
Edu Expósito
89' Gomez comes on for Exposito in one last attempt by Espanyol to get back level.
88' Rodrygo's inspired cross 30 minutes after his entrance makes the difference and helps Real Madrid break the deadlock late!
K. Benzema
88' BENZEMA DOES WHAT HE DOES BEST! 2-1 REAL MADRID! It’s a delightful cross from Rodrygo, who dribbles into the penalty area and finds room between two defenders to hook the ball across the box to Benzema, who greets it with a side-foot volley into the bottom of the goal!
87' Desperate to keep possession, Espanyol are not afraid to turn and give it right back to Lecomte in order to wind down the seconds.
Lucas Vázquez
85' Carvajal comes on for Vazquez with five minutes remaining.
84' Vinicius Junior goes down inside the penalty area under close guard from Gil but the referee sees nothing wrong with the challenge as the Espanyol right-back is allowed to charge out of his penalty area and drag his side up the pitch.
82' Real Madrid have conceded at least one goal in each of their last seven LaLiga away games (eight goals in total) - the last time Los Blancos conceded in more consecutive away games in the competition was between January and April 2019 (eight).
Dani Ceballos
T. Kroos
80' Kroos is withdrawn 10 minutes from the end of the match with Ceballos coming on in his stead.
Nico Melamed
Javi Puado
78' Ribaudo comes on for Puado as Espanyol make a change on the wing.
76' Kroos whips in a Real Madrid corner from the left but it’s far too easy for Lecomte, who steps off his line and makes a clean catch.
74' Camavinga puts on a show, dribbling through and around Cabrera right by the byline on the right wing. The centre-back eventually gets frustrated and brings his opponent to the floor roughly, giving away a free-kick.
72' Camavinga puts on a show, dribbling through and around Cabrera right by the byline on the right wing. The centre-back eventually gets frustrated and brings his opponent to the floor roughly, giving away a free-kick.
70' Vazquez barges Olivan over in an attempt to win an aerial ball and gives away a free-kick in Espanyol’s half.
K. Bare
Vinicius Souza
68' Vinicius Souza will be unable to continue as he's replaced by Bare.
68' Vinicius Souza is down receiving treatment in the aftermath of the annulled goal, with the hardworking midfielder apparently suffering from a bit of cramp. It’s unclear whether he’ll be able to continue but it does look like the hosts are preparing substitutes on the touchline.
66' Benzema turns the ball past Lecomte, getting on the end of Kroos’ low drive after a rampaging Camavinga run but the linesman raises his flag immediately for offside - keeping the score level at 1-1.
64' Benzema receives Alaba’s pass with a deft touch before smashing a volley with the ball over his shoulder, sending the effort well above the crossbar.
62' GREAT STOP FROM LECOMTE! Camavinga strides forward on a counter-attack with three team-mates at his disposal, eventually opting to play it to Benzema. The pass is behind the striker but he’s able to turn back to get it before whipping an effort to the far corner that brings a full-stretch save out of the Espanyol goalkeeper!
60' WHAT A SAVE! Darder’s quick corner taken short to Olivan provides the left-back with a crossing opportunity from a different angle. It’s sent to the far post where it’s redirected back to Joselu, who smashes a shot from close range towards Courtois, forcing the goalkeeper to stick an arm straight up in the air to make a crucial stop!
F. Valverde
58' Valverde comes off as Ancelotti opts to put a natural winger on the right, with Rodrygo taking his place.
E. Camavinga
L. Modrić
58' Camavinga comes on for Modric with Real Madrid making a change just before the hour.
57' Valverde drives a powerful, low cross towards the penalty spot in search of Benzema but Vinicius Souza sticks out a leg and disrupts the service in the nick of time.
55' The set-piece comes in from the right but it’s a disappointing effort that’s caught immediately by Courtois.
54' Sanchez shows his pace to burst through Vazquez and Militao to get into the penalty area before dispatching a low shot that’s blocked behind for a corner.
52' Vinicius Junior charges into the penalty area to latch on to Valverde’s pass but goes over after an apparent push in the back by Calero. Lecomte quickly rushes out of his goal and collects the ball as the referee urges play to continue, denying Real Madrid’s claims.
50' Alaba is taking every opportunity to enjoy his role at left-back, getting forward at every opportunity to link up with Vinicius Junior and make overlapping runs. Usually employed in the heart of the defence at Real Madrid, Ancelotti has opted today to use him on the wing to accommodate Rudiger at his natural position at centre-back.
48' Modric is brought down by Vinicius Souza, who leaves his foot in after the ball had gone to take down the Croatia international.
46' Espanyol get the match restarted from the kick-off!
Espanyol will be thrilled to take a draw into the interval, though it’s been a difficult evening for the hosts, who have been made to chase the ball all game. The injection of a midfielder - like Bare or Villahermosa - would assist Vinicius Souza in his attempts to win back the ball, giving Martinez’s side a much-needed breather occasionally. As for Real Madrid, only a win will suffice as the second-half substitutes will be tasked with once again turning the tides: with Rodrygo, Camavinga, Hazard and Asensio all ready to contribute from the bench.
The first half at the RCDE Stadium comes to a close with Espanyol and Real Madrid locked in a 1-1 draw, despite Real Madrid dominating the majority of the match. The visitors looked confident in possession, dominating more than 70 percent of the ball and fashioning almost three times as many passes as their opponents in that time. Vinicius Junior’s opener was definitely a merited strike, with Tchouameni’s brilliant leading pass guiding the run of the Brazil international but Ancelotti’s side would throw it away just before half-time with their first and only lax moment of the half. Joselu was allowed to have two attempts at goal from close range after Gil’s wonderful delivery, with the striker getting it right on the second chance.
43' ESPANYOL EQUALISE! 1-1! Sanchez finds Gil in a pocket of space on the right side of midfield just outside of the penalty area, where he is allowed to pick out the perfect pass for Joselu. The striker’s first effort is denied by Courtois but he regathers possession and tucks it away at the second time of asking!
41' Espanyol have won just two of their last 27 meetings with Real Madrid in LaLiga (D3 L22), both occasions at home (1-0 in February 2018 and 2-1 in October 2021).
39' Gil arcs a cross into the penalty area from a position deep on the right wing but it’s an easy catch for Courtois, who uses every inch of his frame to reach up and pluck the ball out of the air.
37' Kroos is tasked with taking the corner but Joselu is again back to help out his defence, powering the ball away with his head.
36' Kroos’ delivery is not dealt with convincingly by Exposito, who can only manage to flick it back to Benzema waiting at the far post. The striker hammers a volley through the crowd of bodies but the visitors will have to settle for a corner-kick for their efforts.
34' Puado jumps on the back of Tchouameni and eventually brings him down, giving Real Madrid a free-kick in a position to trouble the goalkeeper from the right wing.
32' Vazquez gets forward down the right and chips a cross into the penalty area for Alaba but it’s sent over the head of the ambitious defender. Vinicius Junior pops up on the other side of the 18-yard box and looks to chip a finish into the far corner but the Brazil international gets his angles wrong as he misses the target.
30' The first 30 minutes of the match have been dominated by Real Madrid, who have seen more than 70 percent of the ball while almost tripling Espanyol’s total passes. The hosts haven’t yet had a shot on Courtois’ goal while Lecomte has already been forced into two saves as well as the goal conceded.
28' The referee goes over to have a word with Darder, whose untidy sliding challenge brings Vinicius Junior down during a sprint. The referee again keeps his cards in his pocket as he looks to diffuse the situation with a stern talk.
26' Sanchez meets an Espanyol corner at the near post but he’s unable to put his effort on target as he flicks the ball up and over Courtois’ crossbar.
24' It appears as though Espanyol have changed shape slightly after conceding, changing to a 4-1-4-1 to allow Exposito to play higher up the pitch alongside Darder in order to supply Joselu. The striker hasn’t had much to work with so far, however, with the visitors dominating possession.
22' Puado looks to wriggle free from Valverde on the right after an ineffective short-corner routine but the versatile Uruguay international sticks to his man and wins a goal-kick for his side despite taking an accidental knock to the face in the process.
20' Vinicius Junior charges into the penalty area and looks to poke a shot towards Lecomte with his laces, forcing a great reactionary save from the Espanyol goalkeeper!
19' Modric’s corner is met by the outstretched leg of Rudiger, who can only pop it directly up into the air before it’s whacked away by a covering Espanyol defender.
17' Alaba is caught for an elbow to the face of Puado, ending Real Madrid’s press near the Espanyol penalty area and giving the hosts a free-kick.
15' Modric’s corner is hit looking for Tchouameni at the near post but Joselu climbs high to make an effective clearance.
14' Benzema finds an inch of space and shapes to curl a shot into the far corner but a deflection takes the effort wide and behind for a corner-kick.
A. Tchouaméni
12' Vision and execution in equal measure for Tchouameni, who registers an assist for Real Madrid's opener with the lovely pass to Vinicius Junior.
Vinícius Júnior
12' VINICIUS JUNIOR OPENS THE SCORING IN FANTASTIC STYLE! 1-0! Tchouameni strides forward and plays a one-two pass with Vazquez 25 yards from goal before slipping a phenomenal disguised ball through the defensive line for Vinicius Junior, who opens up his body to steer the ball into the far corner!
11' The Espanyol free-kick is worked square to Darder, whose flat delivery to the far post sails over the head of Joselu and out for a goal-kick.
10' The match continues to grow in needle as Tchouameni’s high boot catches the hip of Puado, sending him to the ground in a heap.
8' Kroos sends his delivery into the penalty area from the set-piece looking for Militao but Espanyol’s Vinicius rises highest to clear the danger.
7' Kroos is barged over by an overzealous Gil, who gives away a free-kick in a dangerous position on the left wing.
5' Militao remains down on the pitch after being on the end of Olivan’s crunching tackle near the touchline. With a scissoring motion the left-back caught both the man and the ball, enough to give Real Madrid a free-kick but not enough to produce a card.
3' Real Madrid are moving up the pitch slowly, working neat passing triangles in midfield and moving it from left to right and back again in search of a way through Espanyol’s block.
1' Real Madrid get the match underway from the kick-off!
Real Madrid make three changes from the side that beat Celta Vigo 4-1 last Saturday. Vazquez replaces Carvajal at right-back while Rudiger comes into the back line for Mendy, pushing Alaba out to left-back. The final switch is in midfield, where the experienced Kroos gets the nod ahead of Camavinga.
Espanyol make two changes from the XI that lost 2-0 to Rayo Vallecano last time out. Calero fills in for the suspended Sergi Gomez in defence, while Puado comes in for Ribaudo.
REAL MADRID SUBS: Andriy Lunin, Eden Hazard, Rodrygo, Luis Lopez, Eduardo Camavinga, Dani Carvajal, Marco Asensio, Mariano, Dani Ceballos, Ferland Mendy.
REAL MADRID XI (4-3-3): Thibaut Courtois; Lucas Vazquez, Eder Militao, Antonio Rudiger, David Alaba; Luka Modric, Aurelien Tchouameni, Toni Kroos; Federico Valverde, Karim Benzema, Vinicius Junior.
ESPANYOL SUBS: Nabili Zoubdi Touaizi, Omar El Hilali, Angelo Fortuno, Wassim Keddari, Keidi Bare, Nicolas Melamed, Jose Carlos Lazo, Pere Joan, Daniel Villahermosa, Dani Gomez, Nico Ribaudo.
ESPANYOL XI (4-2-3-1): Benjamin Lecomte; Brian Olivan, Leandro Cabrera, Fernando Calero, Oscar Gil; Sergi Darder, Edu Exposito; Javier Puado, Vinicius Souza, Ruben Sanchez; Joselu.
With 15 minutes to go before kick-off, let’s take a look at how the two sides are lining up - starting with our hosts.
Real Madrid made it two wins from two last Saturday, dispatching Celta Vigo 4-1 despite some early turbulence, thanks to the sustained brilliance of Luka Modric. Carlo Ancelotti’s side have a good record against today’s opponents, with eight wins in their last 10 games - though both losses came at the RCDE Stadium.
Espanyol followed up their opening-day draw away at Celta Vigo with a disappointing home loss to Rayo Vallecano on August 19. Diego Martinez’s side will be looking to better their 14th-place finish from last season but face a difficult fixture list early on, including trips to play Athletic Bilbao and Real Sociedad, as well as a home match against Sevilla.
Hello and welcome to our LIVE commentary of the LaLiga fixture between Espanyol and Real Madrid!