Karim Benzema maintained his tremendous form in La Liga as he assisted Casemiro in the most exquisite fashion to lead Real Madrid back to the top of La Liga after beating Espanyol 0-1 at the R.C.D.E. stadium. Here’s our exclusive Espanyol vs Real Madrid Match Review for you.
Lineups & Match Ratings
Here are the Lineups and match ratings of both teams, included in our Espanyol vs Real Madrid Match Review.
Let’s look at how the match went in our Espanyol vs Real Madrid Match Review. This match was a crucial match for both the teams. Real Madrid wanted to take this opportunity to move up to the top of the table back once again, gaining full advantage of Barca’s points slip up. On the other hand, Espanyol who sat at the bottom of the table needed the three points for hoping to avoid relegation. The match wasn’t easy for Espanyol, as this was the first match of Abelardo Fernández as the head coach of the team after the Barcelona based side changed their coach in this season for the 3rd time. Isco was the surprise inclusion in Real’s XI, as Zidane left out in-form Vinicius Jr.
The hosts started brightly and tried to unsettle the Real defence. Chinese winger Wu Lei tried to get the advantage of Marcelo’s defensive shakiness, but it’s his decision making in the final third that let him down. The first chance of the game for Real came rather unexpectedly, as a Casemiro shot from distance forced Diego Lopez at full stretch. The first big chance of the game came at 10 minutes when Ramos missed the goal with a header from 2 or 3 yards. The next chance arrived almost immediately for Real as Casemiro missed a similar header from a corner.
Espanyol’s Chinese striker Wu Lei caused Real all sorts of problem with his devastating pace thereafter, where he missed one chance and shot just over the bar on the 23rd minute. It was probably Espanyol’s best spell all game, where they troubled the Madrid defence mainly through Wu Lei’s pace.
Benzema forced an excellent save from Diego Lopez on the other end, after combining with Hazard and Marcelo for the build-up in the left side of the pitch. Real started looking dangerous, as they forced 3 saves from Diego Lopez within a few seconds. The former Real man did a brilliant job at keeping his team level, but not for much long.
The only goal of the match came through the boots of Casemiro, just on the brink of half-time. Marcelo floated a ball towards the box, which was then headed towards Benzema by Ramos, and the Frenchman did an excellent job by backheeling it to Casemiro who slotted it home. The build-up was absolutely fantastic from the eventual table toppers.
The second half was much more flat, with very less chances to talk of. Espanyol was let down by their performance in the final third once again, where Wu Lei couldn’t put power on a shot at goal from inside the box. The first chance of the half for the visitors came from none other than Benzema, who controlled the ball beautifully and forced a near post save from Diego Lopez from an almost impossible angle.
Zidane then looked to inject some pace in the game as he introduced the young Brazilian pair of Vinicius & Rodrgygo, taking off Isco and Hazard, and switching to a 4-3-3. On the 65th minute, a chance came for Espanyol when Raul De Tomas, former Real man, troubled Courtois from a long-distance free-kick which was curling away from the Belgian.
There were not many more chances in the second half after that, as it looked like Real put more the focus on passing the ball around and keeping their defensive shape rather than going for the 2nd goal at the R.C.D.E. Stadium. Vinicius and Rodrygo tracked back, with only Benzema left forward. A late, late chance arrived for Espanyol to snatch a draw out of a loss as Marc Roca curled a free-kick into the box, but no Espanyol player could head it towards goal. Referee Mateu Lahoz blew the final whistle as the match ended with a not-so-convincing win for Real Madrid, but they got the job done.
Man of the Match : Casemiro
Next Fixtures for both teams
- Getafe (H)
- Athletic Bilbao (A)
- Deportivo Alaves (H)
- Granada (A)
- Villareal (H)
- Real Sociedad (A)
- Leganes (H)
- Barcelona (A)
- Eibar (H)
- Valencia (A)
Real Madrid’s performance was not as convincing as their previous matches, however, they got their job done and now sit 2 points clear of Barca at the top of La Liga. For Espanyol, once again they failed to take their chances in front of goal, and it looks more and more evident now that they Catalunyan side will be relegated this season from La Liga. That’s it from today’s Espanyol vs Real Madrid Match Review.
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