It was an entertaining away game for Real Madrid as Los Merengues had some tough work against Espanyol to get their 16th consecutive La Liga victory under Zinedine Zidane.
The match started with plenty of attacking intent from both the sides as they tried to boss possession, with the statistics tying them at 50-50% for the majority of the 1st half.
Real Madrid displayed plenty of flair even without their top 2 players, Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale, who missed out via a minor flu and minor hip injury, respectively.
As the game went on, chances fell to Espanyol as Kiko Casilla was largely untested except one good strike which flashed wide.
The first goal of the evening was struck by Real Madrid. James Rodriguez, who marked a rare appearance in the starting XI under Zidane put Real Madrid ahead with a stunning low strike from more than 20 yards out.
It was a brilliant opening statement by the Columbian who displayed brilliant technique and the goal was a moment of sheer class.
It was Real Madrid 1-0 Espanyol.
Los Merengues were shortly before dealt with a minor blow as Casemiro, who has been vital to Zidane’s side, was taken off as a precautionary measure and given instant treatment with an ice pack near his ankle.
The half time whistle showed Los Blanca ahead by 1 goal and firmly in the driving seat.
The second half saw a Real Madrid goal disallowed when Karim Benzema shot a point blank bullet header into the net but he was offside.
The Frenchman was soon rewarded for his fine efforts with a strike off his own after Lucas Vasquez went on a slaloming run on the right hand flank and turned in a low cross for Benzema to pounce on and score a simple goal inside the 6-yard box.
Madrid were 2-0 up with still plenty of time to play.
Zidane had started Marco Asensio, Lucas Vasquez and Karim Benzema and the trio performed fairly well in the absence of the two famed members of the much hyped BBC.
James was substituted for Isco and Benzema was let of for Alvaro Morata as the new subs provided an edge of quality to an already strong Real Madrid side.
Kiko Casilla only had to make 1 save (which was top quality) and was largely untested, otherwise.
There were plenty of positives for Zinedine Zidane, who can now see his talisman Cristiano Ronaldo return to the line-up as he prepares for a tough week ahead.
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Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.