Real Madrid suffered their first La Liga defeat of the season and are now winless in three after losing 2-1 to a brilliant Espanyol in Barcelona.
The visitors made the stronger start, dominating possession in midfield and looking sharp in attack, with Karim Benzema testing his former Real team-mate Diego Lopez with a couple of early sighters.
But as Benzema and co attacked in numbers they left gaps at the back, and when Adri Embarba won the ball in midfield, he ran freely into Real territory and forced a smart, diving save from Thibaut Courtois.
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And it was Embarba´s brilliant work down the right which saw Espanyol take the lead. The winger ran free of Eduardo Camavinga before crossing brilliantly for Raul de Tomas, whose smart touch at the front post found the back of the net.
The second half started as the first with Real in control, but again Espanyol took advantage of Real´s leaking defence to double their lead.
Aleix Vidal picked the ball up in midfield, raced past a hapless Nacho Fernandez before guiding the ball beyond Courtois in front of an ecstatic home crowd.
Espanyol should have had three moments later when De Tomas was through on goal, only to see his effort fly inches wide of the post.
Real brought on Eden Hazard and Luka Jovic as they pushed for an equaliser. It was talisman Benzema who gave Los Blancos hope, cutting inside before lashing home to pull one back for the visitors.
Real pushed forward in numbers but were unable to grab the equaliser against a brilliantly organised defence, and finish off a torrid week with another defeat after they lost to Sheriff in midweek.
Carlo Ancelotti´s men remain top of the table, but must regroup during the international break and escape the slump.
Talking point – Real have week to forget
The international break can´t come quickly enough for Ancelotti who needs to take a long look at his side after a week to forget.
A goalless draw with Villarreal was followed by one of the great Champions League shocks with a home defeat to Sheriff.
Now, against relegation-threatened Espanyol, they were outfought and created little. They sit top of the table but will have to put this week behind them with Atletico Madrid looming large.
Man of the Match – Adri Embarba
A brilliant performance from the electric winger who found so much space. His assist for the first goal was brilliant and that propelled Espanyol towards a famous win.
Espanyol: Lopez 7, Pedrosa 7, Cabrera 8, Gomez 8, Bare 7, Gil 7, Embarba 9*, Darder 8, Melendo 7, Vidal 8, De Tomas 7. Subs. Melamed 7, Morlanes 7, Lei 6, Vila 5, Lopez n/a.
Real Madrid: Courtois 7, Vazquez 6, Militao 5, Fernandez 5, Alaba 6, Modric 5, Camavinga 6, Kroos 6, Valverde 5, Vinicius Junior 6, Benzema 8 Subs. Casemiro 5, Jovic 6, Rodrygo 6, Hazard 4.
GOAL! ESPANYOL 1 REAL MADRID 0 (De Tomas). OUT OF NOWHERE! Espanyol have the lead! Embarba does brilliantly down the right to squeeze in a cross that Raul de Tomas pokes in at the front post! Espanyol lead!
60´- GOAL! ESPANYOL 2 REAL MADRID 0 (Vidal). ESPANYOL DREAMING! Vidal surges towards goal, skins Fernandez, and is one on one with Courtois before coolly sliding the ball into the net! TWO NIL! What do Real Madrid have???
63´- SHOULD BE THREE! Oh my word. De Thmas is clean through on goal with all the time and space in the world but he slides his effort wide!
72´- GOAL! ESPANYOL 2 REAL MADRID 1 (Benzema). Brilliant from Benzema. The way his team had been playing he had to do it all himself. Benzema runs at Esapnyol down the left, cuts inside, and two dummies later he puts Gomez and Cabrera on the floor before striking beyond Lopez from outside the box. It´s a goal of real class. Real have 20 minutes to get back into it.
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