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Espanyol vs. Real Madrid result: Late Benzema double gives champions third straight La Liga win

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Karim Benzema struck twice late on to give Real Madrid a 3-1 win over Espanyol and maintain the Spanish champions’ 100 per cent start to the La Liga season.

Real Madrid took the lead after just 12 minutes when Vinicius Junior slotted home a composed finish following a through ball by Aurelien Tchouameni. At that point, the away team looked to be in control of the contest.

However, Espanyol grew as the first half progressed and grabbed an equaliser one minute before half-time when Joselu finished at the second attempt after a save by Thibaut Courtois had bounced back into his path.

The home team fought hard and had opportunities to score a second, but it was Real Madrid who claimed all three points as their quality shone through in the end.

Benzema volleyed home with just two minutes remaining after an excellent cross to the back post by Rodrygo before the French striker scored a third for Real Madrid against an Espanyol team that was reduced to 10 men in stoppage time due to the red card shown to Benjamin Lecomte.

Benzema makes the difference

Until the 88th minute, this hadn’t been the most fruitful match for Benzema. Opportunities had been few and far between for the Real Madrid striker and he had been denied by Lecomte on the odd occasion he’d had a sight of goal. Benzema still managed to make the difference for his team, though.

Benzema has now scored 28 goals in all competitions for Real Madrid in 2022. No player in any of European football’s big five leagues has scored more than the Frenchman, underlining the level at which he is operating right now. Even when he is below par, as he was for much of this match, he can be the one who makes the biggest contribution.

Camavinga and Tchouameni contributing

Many were surprised by Real Madrid’s decision to allow Casemiro to leave the club for Manchester United given the Brazilian’s importance to their midfield unit, but Eduardo Camavinga and Tchouameni are already stepping up in his absence. They both made major contributions in this match for the Spanish champions.

Tchouameni registered the assist for Vinicius’ opener, showing composure on the edge of the box when it would have been easy to lash at the ball or make a rash decision. Camavinga then came off the bench in the second half to give Real Madrid greater drive and energy on the ball.

Lecomte’s weaknesses exposed

Lecomte might have made a number of saves, but the Espanyol goalkeeper was a weakness that Real Madrid ultimately exposed. The 31-year-old is uncomfortable coming off his line and this contributed to the red card flashed in his direction. Real Madrid had too much pace in the attacking third for Lecomte to handle.

The former Atletico Madrid goalkeeper isn’t comfortable on the ball either and this also caused some problems for Lecomte and Espanyol. Diego Martinez wants his team to play a proactive, possession-heavy game, but this is going to be difficult with their new number one.

Espanyol vs. Real Madrid final result

 

1H 2H Final
Espanyol 1 0 1
Real Madrid 1 2 3

Goals:

REA – Vinicius Junior – 12 mins.

ESP – Joselu – 44 mins.

REA – Karim Benzema – 88 mins

REA – Karim Benzema – 90+10 mins

FULL TIME: Espanyol 1-3 Real Madrid – The final scoreline doesn’t quite tell full the story of the whole match. Espanyol pushed Real Madrid all the way, but the quality of Benzema told in the end. A very entertaining match!

90+10 mins: GOAL! Espanyol 1 Real Madrid 3 (90+10′ Benzema) – Cabrera goes in goal as Espanyol have used all their subs and Benzema lashes home the freekick from the edge of the box. There was nothing the outfielder could do to stop that one from finding the net!

90+6 mins: RED CARD! Lecomte has been sent off for a foul on Ceballos. VAR was used to spot that foul. The goal won’t count, but Real Madrid have been awarded a freekick on the edge of the box and the Espanyol goalkeeper has been sent off.

90+4 mins: DISALLOWED! Rodrygo has the ball in the back of the net, but the flag is up for an offside and the goal won’t count in the end.

90+3 mins: Just over the top! The freekick is swung into the area from deep by Alaba, Benzema gets above his man and flicks a header towards goal. It was heading for the back of the net, but Lecomte makes the save with his fingertips. That really would have been game over.

90+1 mins: There will be six minutes of stoppage time played at the end of the match.

90 mins: Espanyol will feel sorry for themselves. They have worked so hard, but it looks like they will come away from this match with nothing to show for it.

88 mins: GOAL! Espanyol 1 Real Madrid 2 (88′ Benzema) – Benzema scores what will surely be the winner for Real Madrid. Rodrygo teased a wonderful cross to the back post and the French striker read the flight to volley home the finish. That could be the decisive moment.

86 mins: Espanyol have put in a huge amount of effort in this second half. Real Madrid have had numerous opportunities in quick transition, but the home team have managed to stick with them. But there’s still time for the champions to find a winner…

84 mins: Real Madrid on the break! Rodrygo has space to run into, he sprays the pass out to Vinicius who takes the ball into his stride, but Gil comes across and makes a strong, but fair, tackle on the Brazilian winger.

81 mins: We’re into the final 10 minutes of this match and the intensity is still very high. Is there a winner left in this encounter? Espanyol aren’t backing down. There’s not a suggestion that they are about to settle for a point against the champions.

80 mins: Real Madrid substitution – Kroos OFF, Ceballos ON

78 mins: Espanyol substitution – Puardo OFF, Nico ON

76 mins: Benzema exchanges passes with Rodrygo on the edge of the box, but his shot is deflected over the crossbar. Benzema has struggled to make much of an impression in this match. There is, however, still time for the Frenchman to make the difference!

74 mins: Camavinga wins a freekick in a dangerous position, but Real Madrid couldn’t make the most of the opportunity. Then Espanyol have a chance on the counter through Darder, but Camavinga gets back to make a tackle. He’s everywhere!

69 mins: The introduction of Camavinga has contributed to this becoming an increasingly open match, which probably suits Real Madrid. The French midfielder has made a couple of driving runs to the edge of the box.

66 mins: DISALLOWED! Camavinga has a shot blocked, the ball falls to Kroos who passes it into the back of the net, but the flag is up due to Benzema’s interference with play in an offside position. But was Benzema in an offside position? Yes, he was! It doesn’t stand.

65 mins: This match has become an extremely compelling watch in this second half. The first half was entertaining, but the intensity has reached another level now. Espanyol are more than contributing to the encounter!

62 mins: BENZEMA… saved! The space opened up for Real Madrid on the break, Camavinga played the pass out to Benzema, he had to check back, but still had time to get the shot away, but Lecomte makes the stunning diving save!

59 mins: Courtois saves! A cross into the middle causes chaos in the Real Madrid box, Joselu has two stabs at the shot and his second shot forces Courtois into a reflex save! Espanyol are giving this a real go! Courtois needed to make that stop! It was struck with power.

57 mins: Real Madrid substitution – Modric and Valverde OFF, Camavinga and Rodrygo ON

56 mins: Espanyol are quite clearly attempting to target Vazquez down the left side and they are enjoying some success in that regard. Puerdo bursts down the wing, but his cross into the middle is gathered by Courtois.

54 mins: Ancelotti can’t be pleased with the lack of control his team have had since the scored the opening goal. Espanyol are doing an excellent job of disrupting the champions when they have possession.

51 mins: Chance for the hosts! Olivan has the beating of his man and gets the cross into the box, but it’s cleared behind for a corner kick. There’s a great atmosphere at the RCDE Stadium! That isn’t always the case, but the fans are backing their team!

50 mins: Vinicius goes down! Calero just nudges the Real Madrid winger as he attempts to control a pass from Valverde into the middle and that was enough to send him to the ground. There was nothing in that and the referee ignores the half-hearted claims for a penalty.

46 mins: The second half is under way! Real Madrid need to do more to make sure their dominance counts for something in terms of the scoreline.

45 mins: HALF TIME! Espanyol 1-1 Real Madrid. Real Madrid had control of the match for much of the first half, but Espanyol grew into the contest and they are level again after Joselu’s equaliser!

44 mins: GOAL! Espanyol 1 (44′ Joselu) Real Madrid 1 – An equaliser! It had been coming! Joselu got the shot away on the turn, Courtois made the save, the ball bounced back into his path from the back of Militao and he makes no mistake with the second attempt!

43 mins: Just past the far post! Espanyol come close to equalising! The corner kick delivery was a good one, Cabrera got up highest, but his glancing header bounces wide of the far post. The home team are applying some genuine pressure now!

42 mins: Rudiger makes the challenge! Espanyol worked the opportunity, but Joselu’s touch wasn’t good enough and that allowed the Real Madrid centre back to make the tackle to prevent the striker from getting the shot away.

39 mins: There’s been a lot of focus on Tchouameni after Casemiro’s surprise exit from Real Madrid, but the young Frenchman has been very impressive in this first half.

36 mins: Darder plays a ball over the top from deep looking for the run of Sanchez, but Courtois was quick to recognise the danger and was waiting on the edge of the box to gather. That could be a route for Espanyol, though!

35 mins: Benzema on the half-volley! That was strange! Benzema’s half-volley is scrambled away and then Exposito’s header back very nearly creates problems for his own team, but it goes behind for a corner kick. That was some shaky defending!

33 mins: Real Madrid dropped out of the match for about five minutes there, but they have possession again and are pressing for a second goal before the half time break.

32 mins: Over the top! Vinicius is found at the back post, he takes the touch to control, but could only chip the ball over the top of the crossbar when he probably should have hit the target! That was an opportunity for the Brazilian to double Real Madrid’s lead.

28 mins: Vinicius has been Real Madrid’s danger man in this first half. He scored the opener and his runs in behind are giving Espanyol a lot of problems.

26 mins: Mistake by Alaba! The Real Madrid defender played a loose pass to the edge of his own box where Puado was able to control it and get the shot away. However, the block is made and Espanyol can’t do anything to make the most of the opportunity.

23 mins: Militao carries the ball out from defence. He beats one, then two, then three, but is dispossessed and that allows Darder to drive forward. He can’t resist the shot, but the ball flies well over the target!

20 mins: Espanyol believe they should have been awarded a spot kick for what they saw as a handball by Tchouameni inside the box. But nothing is given, and that’s the correct decision – his arms were by his body and the ball struck his chest.

19 mins: Vinicius is denied! The Real Madrid winger is released through on goal, but the angle was tight for him and Lecomte is able to make the save at his near post! Vinicius has started very brightly. Espanyol are struggling to stop him.

14 mins: The finish from Vinicius was great, but the play of Tchouameni was crucial to making that goal happen. The Frenchman got to the edge of the box and had the presence of mind to pick out the run of his teammate.

12 mins: GOAL! Espanyol 0 Real Madrid 1 (12′ Vinicius Jr) – There’s the opening goal and it’s Vinicius who rolls the ball into the back of the net! Tchouameni played the pass into the Brazilian winger and he converts! Lovely composure from Vinicius there!

6 mins: Vazquez gets down the right side, he keeps the ball in play and gets the delivery into the area, but the clearance is made before it could reach another Real Madrid player.

3 mins: It’s been a challenging start to the season for Espanyol. They have yet to claim a win and their top scorer looks to be on his way out of the club. Can tonight’s match spark them into life?

1 min: The match is under way! Espanyol are in their usual blue and white kits with Real Madrid in a dark grey away kit.

5 mins to KO: The two teams are out on the pitch at the RCDE Stadium. Not long until kick off in this one.

10 mins to KO: There’s no sign of de Tomas for Espanyol. There is speculation that the striker could be on his way out of the La Liga club. Joselu starts in his place. That’s a big blow to Espanyol. RDT is one of the best finishers in the Spanish game right now.

20 mins to KO: Real Madrid actually lost away to Espanyol in La Liga last season. They have a good record at the RCDE Stadium, with the exception of that result.

30 mins to KO: Modric was exceptional in Real Madrid’s 4-1 win over Celta Vigo at Balaidos last weekend. The Croatian will be 37 next month, but he has never been more influential for Los Blancos. They will need him to be in top form again here!

45 mins to KO: Rudiger looks set to start on the left side of the Real Madrid defence with Alaba and Militao as the centre backs. It could be Alaba at left back, but the suggestions are that Ancelotti views him as central to the way his team plays out from the back.

60 mins to KO: Espanyol team news – Lecomte – Oscar Gil, Calero, Cabrera, Brian Olivan – Vinicius Souza, Edu Exposito, Darder – Javi Puado, Ruben Sanchez – Joselu

Espanyol are still searching for their first win of the La Liga season and they’ll be doing well to claim that maiden victory against Real Madrid.

75 mins to KO: Real Madrid team news – Courtois – Vazquez, Militao, Rudiger, Alaba – Tchouameni, Modric, Kroos – Valverde, Benzema, Vinicius Jr.

Kroos comes back into the Real Madrid XI after last week’s win over Celta Vigo. Tchouameni keeps his place in the centre of midfield.

90 mins to KO: Hello and welcome to The Sporting News’ LIVE coverage of the La Liga fixture between Espanyol and Real Madrid. Ancelotti’s team have started their campaign with back-to-back victories – can they make it three-in-a-row at the RCDE Stadium?

Espanyol vs. Real Madrid lineups

Espanyol will be without key defender Sergi Gomez through suspension following his red card against Rayo, with a one-game ban imposed.

Joselu starts up front for the home team with support provided by Ruben Sanchez and Javi Puado.

Espanyol lineup (4-3-3): Lecomte – Oscar Gil, Calero, Cabrera, Brian Olivan – Vinicius Souza, Edu Exposito, Darder – Javi Puado, Ruben Sanchez – Joselu

Casemiro was omitted from the squad for last weekend’s win over Celta Vigo as he wrapped up a move to Old Trafford, with Aurelien Tchouameni replacing him.

Tchouameni starts as part of an unchanged side with Nacho Fernandez still out. Aurelian Tchouameni keeps his place in midfield.

Real Madrid lineup (4-3-3): Courtois – Vazquez, Militao, Rudiger, Alaba – Tchouameni, Modric, Kroos – Valverde, Benzema, Vinicius Jr.

MORE: Ballon d’Or 2022 finalists: No Lionel Messi as nominees list for men’s & women’s awards, Kopa and Yashin trophy are unveiled

How to watch Espanyol vs. Real Madrid

 

UK USA Canada Australia
TV channel Premier Sports/La Liga TV ESPN+
Streaming Premier Sports/La Liga TV ESPN+ TSN.ca Optus Sport

UK: Matches are carried across Premier Sports/La Liga TV streaming and TV platforms.

USA: Selected La Liga matches are televised on ESPN+ with options available in English and Spanish.

Canada: Every La Liga game streams live and on demand exclusively via TSN.ca.

Australia: Fans in Australia can stream matches live and on demand on Optus Sport.

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