Espanyol end Real's unbeaten start

LaLiga

Real Madrid's unbeaten start in LaLiga came to an end after going down 2-1 to Espanyol on Sunday afternoon.

Los Blancos made made three changes from the shock defeat to Sheriff Tiraspol in the UEFA Champions League, with Toni Kroos making his first start alongside recalls for Luka Modric and Lucas Vazquez.

Madrid had a slow start and were punished in the 17th minute after Raul de Tomas fired Espanyol ahead with a first-time finish after a cross by Adri Embarba.

Carlo Ancelotti's charges were struggling to get into attacking rhythm, with the home side absorbing the pressure and playing on counter-attacks.

Espanyol were quiet comfortable defensively and they started to use a lot of energy making more box entries in the closing phase and they had a penalty appeal turned down.

Ancelotti made an attacking change at half-time, as Rodrygo came on for Eduardo Camavinga but Madrid were caught flat-footed again defensively on the hour-mark, as Aleix Vidal used the space behind the visitors' defence to set himself through on goal and fired a low strike past goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.

Madrid were opening themselves up, sending numbers forward and Sergi Darder should have made it 3-0 for Espanyol four minutes later after going through on goal, but he dragged his shot just wide.

Karim Benzema had a goal disallowed for Los Blancos in the 68th minute but he finally pulled a goal back legitimately two minutes later with a sublime curling strike after creating space for himself inside the box.

Ancelotti brought on Eden Hazard in place of Vinicius Junior in the 73rd minute for fresh legs in attack and Hazard found the back of the net in the last six minutes with a stunning curling strike from Benzema's through ball but the goal was disallowed by the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) for offside.

The game was on the edge in the closing minutes with Madrid desperate to at least rescue a point and their unbeaten run but Espanyol held on to win only their second game of the season while Madrid, equal on points with second-placed Atletico Madrid remained at the top on a head-to-head rule.

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