Spanish LaLiga match report Espanyol v Real Madrid 27 February 2018
Posted: 27 February 2018 Time: 22:41
Espanyol struck late in the second half to earn themselves a shock 1-0 win over Real Madrid in LaLiga on Tuesday night.
Los Blancos came into the match on the back of a 4-0 thumping of Deportivo Alaves, although coach Zinedine Zidane decided to leave Cristiano Ronaldo out of the squad.
Gareth Bale, who started as a lone striker up front, had the first chance for Madrid in the ninth minute with a header from just inside the box but Diego Lopez produced a fine save to deny the Welshman.
Isco found himself with acres of space on the right side of the box for Zinedine Zidane’s men in the 16th minute and unleashed a powerful shot that was tipped over the bar by Lopez.
Espanyol sat deep and allowed the visitors to go at them while only looking to attack on the transition.
In the 30th minute, Gerard Moreno got a chance for Espanyol to punish Zidane’s men on a counter-attack, but goalkeeper Keylor Navas made a timely interception to avert the danger.
The visitors lacked any focal point up top and couldn’t create clear-cut opportunities as the sides went into the break goalless.
Oscar Duarte was unlucky for Espanyol 10 minutes into the second stanza after his towering header rattled the woodwork with Navas well beaten.
The home side were more adventurous towards the hour mark, which was a stark contrast to their display in the first half.
Zidane made his first alteration 20 minutes from time by withdrawing Isco for Karim Benzema as Los Blancos pushed for a winning goal.
The presence of Benzema gave Los Blancos a focal point going forward but they could not carve out opportunities.
Espanyol nearly snatched the lead in the 88th minute when Gerard Moreno cut onto his left foot before curling an effort inches wide of the mark.
However, the hosts were not to be denied on the stroke of full-time as Moreno found the back of the net with a first-time volley from the edge of the box to hand the hosts three points.