Karim Benzema is the third La Liga player to reach double figures in goals and assists in all competitions this season, after Lionel Messi and Luis SuarezReal Madrid are two points clear at the top of La Liga after grinding out a victory at bottom club Espanyol.Casemiro scored the only goal as he latched onto…


Karim Benzema

Karim Benzema is the third La Liga player to reach double figures in goals and assists in all competitions this season, after Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez

Real Madrid are two points clear at the top of La Liga after grinding out a victory at bottom club Espanyol.

Casemiro scored the only goal as he latched onto Karim Benzema’s brilliant no-look backheel through the legs of defender Bernardo Espinosa before firing home.

The Brazilian had earlier gone close to the opener when his shot from his own half was saved by Diego Lopez.

Espanyol had several chances with Thibaut Courtois making five saves.

Sporting director Francisco Rufete took over as manager on Saturday after replacing Abelardo Fernandez – the third Espanyol boss to be sacked this season.

They put up a good fight, with Wu Lei among the players to go close, but fell just short.

Real Madrid are now only six wins – or five wins and a draw – from a second La Liga title since 2012.

City rivals Atletico can do them a favour when they visit Barca on Thursday.

  • Line-ups
  • Match Stats
  • Live Text

Line-ups

Espanyol

  • 13López
  • 34Gómez
  • 20Bernardo
  • 18Cabrera
  • 17ViláSubstituted forPedrosaat45′minutesBooked at 68mins
  • 7WuSubstituted forMelendoat57′minutes
  • 15LópezSubstituted forLozanoat84′minutes
  • 21Roca
  • 10DarderSubstituted forMelamedat69′minutes
  • 23EmbarbaSubstituted forCalleriat69′minutes
  • 11de Tomás

Substitutes

  • 3Pedrosa
  • 4Sánchez
  • 5Gomes Pereira
  • 12Calleri
  • 14Melendo
  • 16López Rodríguez
  • 22Vargas
  • 24Calero
  • 25Olazábal
  • 26Lozano
  • 31Campuzano
  • 33Melamed

Real Madrid

  • 13Courtois
  • 2Carvajal
  • 5Varane
  • 4Ramos
  • 12Marcelo
  • 15Valverde
  • 14Casemiro
  • 8Kroos
  • 22IscoSubstituted forRodrygoat64′minutes
  • 9Benzema
  • 7E HazardSubstituted forVinícius Júniorat63′minutesBooked at 87mins

Substitutes

  • 1Areola
  • 3Militão
  • 11Bale
  • 16Rodríguez
  • 20Asensio
  • 21Díaz
  • 24Mariano
  • 25Vinícius Júnior
  • 26Altube
  • 27Rodrygo
  • 39Hernández
  • 47Gutiérrez
Referee:
Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz

Match Stats

Home TeamEspanyolAway TeamReal Madrid
Possession
Home31%
Away69%
Shots
Home8
Away14
Shots on Target
Home5
Away6
Corners
Home0
Away5
Fouls
Home19
Away13

Live Text

Match ends, Espanyol 0, Real Madrid 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Espanyol 0, Real Madrid 1.

Foul by Casemiro (Real Madrid).

Nicolás Melamed (Espanyol) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Federico Valverde (Real Madrid) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Nicolás Melamed (Espanyol).

Federico Valverde (Real Madrid) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Marc Roca (Espanyol).

Foul by Raphael Varane (Real Madrid).

Raúl de Tomás (Espanyol) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Karim Benzema (Real Madrid) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Pol Lozano (Espanyol).

Booking

Vinícius Júnior (Real Madrid) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Vinícius Júnior (Real Madrid).

Óscar Melendo (Espanyol) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Casemiro (Real Madrid) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Jonathan Calleri (Espanyol).

Substitution

Substitution, Espanyol. Pol Lozano replaces David López.

Offside, Real Madrid. Daniel Carvajal tries a through ball, but Rodrygo is caught offside.

Attempt blocked. Rodrygo (Real Madrid) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Karim Benzema.

Foul by Marcelo (Real Madrid).

Jonathan Calleri (Espanyol) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Rodrygo (Real Madrid) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Adrià Pedrosa (Espanyol).

Attempt saved. David López (Espanyol) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Nicolás Melamed.

Foul by Toni Kroos (Real Madrid).

Óscar Melendo (Espanyol) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Espanyol. Nicolás Melamed replaces Sergi Darder.

Substitution

Substitution, Espanyol. Jonathan Calleri replaces Adrián Embarba.

Booking

Adrià Pedrosa (Espanyol) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Attempt missed. Raúl de Tomás (Espanyol) header from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Leandro Cabrera.

Attempt saved. Raúl de Tomás (Espanyol) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

Foul by Vinícius Júnior (Real Madrid).

Óscar Melendo (Espanyol) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Raphael Varane (Real Madrid).

Raúl de Tomás (Espanyol) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Real Madrid. Rodrygo replaces Isco.

Substitution

Substitution, Real Madrid. Vinícius Júnior replaces Eden Hazard.

Hand ball by Víctor Gómez (Espanyol).

Foul by Isco (Real Madrid).

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