So another win from Real Madrid and that will be highly satisfying for Zidane given his changed starting lineup. They are about much more than just Bale and Ronaldo. This was a big win for a second string team at a difficult venue against a dangerous side. Three points heading back to the capital.
- 2nd Half
- 1st Half
RCD Espanyol - Real Madrid
Liga - 18 September 2016
Liga – Follow the Football match between RCD Espanyol and Real Madrid live with Eurosport. The match starts at 20:45 on 18 September 2016. Our live coverage lets you follow all the key moments as they happen.
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- End of 2nd Half
FULL-TIME: Espanyol 0-2 Real Madrid
Real Madrid will start the Liga season with four wins from four games, but Zidane will feel that there is still room for improvement. They are capable of better than they have shown.
Just two minutes of stoppage time to be played at the end of the second half.
You have to give Espanyol some credit here, they are still pressing forward looking for a goal. The problem for them is that things are breaking down on the edge of the box.
Morata has been left frustrated as the focal point of Real Madrid's attacking frontline since he came on. This time he is flagged for offside and he sends a volley of abuse at the linesman.
This match has become very disjointed in the last 10 minutes or so. The changes from both teams haven't helped in that regard. Real Madrid won this game with the second goal.
- Yellow cardDani CarvajalReal Madrid
That was a contentious decision! Carvajal picks up a booking, but he seemed to win the ball cleanly in the tackle.
- OffMarc RocaRCD Espanyol
- OnDiego ReyesRCD Espanyol
Another change for the home side and it's Roca who comes off for Espanyol. The youngster has done okay.
Now Real Madrid are looking to keep the ball and see out this match. Modric is pulling the strings in the centre of the pitch and Espanyol have had the stuffing knocked out of them.
As things stand Real Madrid are heading for their fourth straight win to start the new Liga season. More significantly, they are on course for a 16th straight league win. A new record.
Ramos is still walking on thin ice here. He has been on a yellow card since the early exchanges of the match, but has somehow remained on the pitch despite a number of flashpoints.
Isco will also be looking to use the final 10 minutes of this match to make an impression on Zidane. He has fallen out of favour with the Real Madrid manager this season.
The second goal has probably ended this game as a true contest, but Espanyol have impressed in spells tonight. It's quite obvious, however, that they are lacking a true number nine.
I get the feeling Espanyol are building up a head of steam, but they need to find a goal soon if they are to stand any real chance of claiming something from this game. Time running out.
GOOD SAVE FROM CASILLA! That was the chance for Espanyol to get back into this match, with Caicedo wrangling a chance from nothing, but the keeper was alert enough to push the defleced effort over.
- OffKarim BenzemaReal Madrid
- OnÁlvaro MorataReal Madrid
Benzema scores with his last touch of the match. He didn't really play that well but has made an impact nonetheless.
- GoalKarim BenzemaReal Madrid
GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL! Espanyol 0 Real Madrid 2 (70 mins - Karim Benzema). There's the second goal and that should be the points secured for Real Madrid! Benzema made a run to the front post to finish from Vazquez's low cross.
BENZEMA HAS A SHOT SAVED! The Real Madrid striker got the shot away on goal very quickly, going for the element of surprise, but Lopez got down well to make the save.
- OffGerardRCD Espanyol
- OnFelipe CaicedoRCD Espanyol
Now it's Sanchez Flores' turn to make a change for Espanyol. It's an attacking change. They are going for it in the final 25 minutes or so.
- Yellow cardJavi LópezRCD Espanyol
Another booking for the home side and once against the Espanyol fans protest the decision made by the whistler.
- OffJames RodríguezReal Madrid
- OnIscoReal Madrid
This was a big opportunity for James and for the most part the Colombian has taken it, scoring the game's only goal so far.
Another suspect piece of play from Ramos! There was definitely an outstretched arm from the Real Madrid centre-back as he pushed Perez to the ground. No foul? Very lucky.
Of course, Asensio isn't the only player up against his former club tonight. Lopez used to play for Real Madrid and has done his best to keep his old club at bay as best as he possibly can.
That was Benzema back to his best. The touch to control the ball and set himself up at the same time, combined with the acrobatic shot... the save from Lopez was equally good!
GREAT SAVE, GREAT SAVE! Asensio nods back to Benzema to save a deep cross to the back post, with the striker firing off a shot at goal on the volley. But Lopez pulled off the save!
Perez has hit the turf and is now receiving treatment on the pitch. The Espanyol player seemed to hurt himself in the challenge with James. The Colombian trod on his toe.
Asensio has faded in this second half. Along with Marcelo and Modric he was probably Real Madrid's best player in the first half, but the youngster isn't making much of an impression now.
- Yellow cardPapakouli DiopRCD Espanyol
This wasn't a popular booking with the home crowd. Their levels of frustration are building!
Carvajal is still getting a lot of joy down the right side. Espanyol are affording him plenty of space and the full-back is providing Real Madrid with a consistent outlet down that wing.
Pepe crunches Baptistao! The Real Madrid centre back got to the ball first to clear the danger from a cross, but he cleaned out the Espanyol striker in the process. Ouch!
The home side have started this second half well. They started the first half similarly well but didn't make the most of the opportunities they had in front of goal. They must do better in that respect.
Ramos is walking on thin ice. The Real Madrid centre-back came close to seeing a second yellow card in the first half and he is already throwing himself into tackles in the second.
So will Espanyol be able to build on the promise they showed in the first half? Real Madrid grew into the contest, but they still look distinctly shaky at the back throughout.
- 2nd Half
The second half is under way at the Power8 Stadium! Real Madrid hold a 1-0 lead over Espanyol.
What did you make of the first half from the Power8 Stadium? Are Real Madrid slightly fortunate to be leading at the break? Can Espanyol hit back and claim something from this game? Tweet me!
- End of 1st Half
HALF-TIME: Espanyol 0-1 Real Madrid. It's been a scrappy game with not too much between the teams, but a moment of quality proves the difference at the break. James scored the only goal.
- GoalJames RodríguezReal Madrid
GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL! Espanyol 0 Real Madrid 1 (47 mins - James Rodriguez). What a sensational goal! James wins the ball about 25 yards out and finds the bottom corner of the net with an excellent low drive past Lopez!
The home supporters aren't happy. The referee blows up for a foul just as Espanyol looked to have found a way in behind Real Madrid, but the whistle was blown for seemingly nothing.
Three minutes of stoppage time to be played at the end of the first half.
Even now that they have weathered the worst of the storm that came early on in the first half, Real Madrid look unsure of themselves at the back. Espanyol are exposing them.
- Yellow cardÓscar DuarteRCD Espanyol
That was a very late challenge on Benzema from Duarte and the yellow card is correctly flashed.
JUST PAST THE POST! Another good chance for the home side. Lopez whips a wicked cross into the box, with Baptistao flashing a header towards the goal. But it drifts wide of the target.
The offside decision was the right one, but the cross from Marcelo into Benzema was perfect. The left back needs to swing a few more of those into the Espanyol penalty area.
BENZEMA GOAL RULED OUT! The French striker almost made me eat my words. He powered home a header from a Marcelo cross, but the flag is up and he was called for offside.
Benzema said something interesting during the week regarding his fitness. He said that it takes him longer than most players to get back in his groove. On this basis, he might be right.
Benzema really is struggling to get anywhere near the ball at the moment. I can't even recall him doing anything of any note in the opening 35 minutes of this match. Drifting.
Indeed, there is more intent about Real Madrid's play at the moment. Asensio is taking a grip of the contest, with the full-backs Marcelo and Carvajal also coming into the match.
Real Madrid have improved in the last few moments. Asensio and Modric have upped the pace of their play and Espanyol are having to some defending of their own for a change.
Great play from Modric! The Croatian midfielder drives forward, plays a nice one-two with Marcelo on the edge of the box, but eventually the challenge is made before he can get the shot away.
James has also been quiet so far. The Colombian has, up until this point, allowed the opportunity to pass him by. He needs to grab it with both hands! Game time is at a premium for him.
Real Madrid look rattled at the back right now. Espanyol are putting their defensive line under real pressure and Pepe and Ramos aren't having their best games. Dangerous.
Asensio has probably been the best Real Madrid player on the pitch so far and there is a mutual appreciation from the Espanyol fans towards him. He was on loan at the club last season.
Benzema has hardly had a touch of the ball in the opening 30 minutes of this match! The French striker has had hardly any service into him, but even still, he hasn't imposed himself at all.
Espanyol are still the ones looking to press forward and create something in the final third. There doesn't seem to be much fluidity to Real Madrid's play in this first half so far.
Apologies for break in bringing you updates from this game. You'll be pleased to hear that the technical gremlins didn't mean you missed much. Nothing in the way of scoring chances.
- OffCasemiroReal Madrid
- OnToni KroosReal Madrid
Zidane finally decides who he wants to replace the injured Casemiro and Toni Kroos is on for Real Madrid.
Indeed, Casemiro is also going to have to come off for Real Madrid here. The midfielder has hit the ground again and now the bench are preparing to make the change.
Casemiro is back on the pitch after receiving some treatment but he is hobbling. Zidane might have a decision to make on whether the Brazilian midfielder can continue here.
It has been quite an open contest so far, but it's Espanyol who are setting the pace and direction of it. It hasn't helped Real Madrid that they have defender so poorly early on.
Espanyol are causing Real Madrid some real problems in the final third! The home side are the ones pressing forward, looking for the opener. The away side aren't so comfortable with that.
Casemiro is now hobbling after taking a kick from Diop to the back of the calf. That was a sore one for the Brazilian midfielder. He should be able to continue though.
Between Ramos and Pepe, Real Madrid look shaky at the back! The two centre backs have made a couple of big blunders and we're only 15 minutes into this match.
WHAT A SAVE! Pepe gets caught under the ball, allowing Baptistao clean through on goal. But Casilla came out quickly to make the stop with the legs from the Espanyol striker.
- OffPablo PiattiRCD Espanyol
- OnÁlvaro VázquezRCD Espanyol
Indeed, Piatti is forced to come off for the home side and Vazquez comes on to replace him on the wing.
This is also a big game for Espanyol. They have new Chinese owners and have spent big in the summer. The new owners have promised that they will qualify for the Champions League!
FREE HEADER FOR RAMOS! The Real Madrid centre-back ghosts into some space around the centre circle, but he can only direct his header wide from James' corner kick.
This doesn't look so good for Espanyol. Piatti has gone for the home side and is receiving some treatment. He doesn't look like he will continue playing here. Change will be made.
LUCAS COMES CLOSE! The youngster beats one man and cuts inside, getting a left footed shot away at goal. But his effort flashes past the far post with Asensio unable to get on the end of it.
But despite their unsettled team early on this season, Real Madrid come into this game having won all of their last 15 league fixtures. They are technically a team in form right now.
James Rodriguez is in the Real Madrid starting lineup for the first time this season and so the Colombian must make the most of the opportunity he has been handed this evening.
- Yellow cardSergio RamosReal Madrid
Dreadful mistake by Ramos! The Real Madrid centre-back takes a slack touch and flies into an Espanyol player, clattering him to the ground.
So the big team news tonight from the Power8 Stadium is that there is no Bale and no Ronaldo in the Real Madrid starting lineup. This is a big chance for some of the club's fringe players.
- 1st Half
The match is under way! It's Espanyol against Real Madrid in the Spanish Liga.
TEAM NEWS: Espanyol - D.Lopez, J.Lopez, D.Lopez, Duarte, Victor, Perez. Diop, Roca, Piatti, Baptistao, Gerard. /// Real Madrid - Casilla, Pepe, Ramos, Carvajal, Marcelo, Casemiro, Asensio, Modric, James, Lucas, Benzema.
I'm Graham Ruthven and you can catch me on Twitter to let me know your thoughts ahead of the game. How will Real Madrid cope without Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo? Tweet me!
Good evening and welcome to Eurosport's LIVE coverage of the Spanish Liga clash between Espanyol and Real Madrid. We'll bring you all the goals and action as it happens. Kick-off: 19.45.