Espanyol 2-1 Real Madrid: Carlo Ancelotti’s side sink to first LaLiga defeat of season and are without a win in three games in all competitions
- Real Madrid fell to first league defeat of campaign as they lost 2-1 at Espanyol
- Former Real academy player Raul de Tomas put Espanyol ahead on 17 minutes
- Ex-Barcelona winger Aleix Vidal doubled Espanyol’s lead on the hour-mark
- Karim Benzema hit back for Real Madrid but they couldn’t find an equaliser
- Carlo Ancelotti’s side are without a win in three games in all competitions
Real Madrid lost their second game in five days despite the brilliance of Karim Benzema.
The French striker scored his 10th goal of the season, his ninth in La Liga, but shambolic defending from Carlo Ancelotti’s team meant it was not enough as Espanyol did as Sheriff had done in midweek in the Champions League.
It was only the second time since 2009 that Espanyol had beaten the leaders in their own stadium but they fully deserved the three points.
Real Madrid were beaten for the second game in a row, going down to a 2-1 defeat at Espanyol
Former Real academy player Raul de Tomas scored Espanyol’s opening goal in the first half
Madrid started well enough and on three minutes a back-heel from Vinicius released Benzema whose shot was saved.
But Espanyol were giving as good as they were getting and when Adrian Embarba shot Thibaut Courtois saved at full stretch. Eduardo Camavinga had been picked to start and he was lively. He was also trod on by Adrian Embarba who was booked.
Espanyol took the lead on 17 minutes when Embarba raced past David Alaba down the Madrid left, got to the byline and crossed to the near post where Raul de Tomas sprinted ahead of Eder Militao and Lucas Vazquez to turn the ball first time past Courtois. It was the first time the former Real Madrid B-team striker had scored against his former club.
Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti has failed to win his last three games in all competitions
Karim Benzema (left) scored his 10th goal of the season to give Real hope in the second half
De Tomas then shot wide with Espanyol’s next chance as the home side dominated in the noisy RCDE Stadium. Militao headed Alaba’s free-kick wide after Vinicius had been brought down but the home side were comfortable.
At the restart Camavinga, who had been booked for foul on Oscar Melendo and stepped on by Embarba, was taken off with Rodrygo coming on. Militao almost levelled on 49 minutes but his header from Toni Kroos’ corner flashed wide.
On the hour Madrid were 2-0 down and it was former Barcelona full-back Aleix Vidal who scored the goal sprinting clear of Luka Modric, nutmegging Nacho who had committed himself with generous naivety before beating Courtois at his near post.
Former Barcelona winger Aleix Vidal doubled Espanyol’s lead in the second half
Benzema thought he’d pulled one back but his brilliant effort was ruled out because he had played the ball off of the offside Luka Jovic just before he danced through the Espanyol defence to score.
He would not be denied and on 70 minutes he got another pass from substitute Jovic and carried it along the edge of the area until he found the space to curl a shot past Diego Lopez to make it 2-1.
Espanyol fans enjoyed the occasion in their biggest turnout since the pandemic began in 2020
Espanyol had looked more like scoring the third goal of the game because as Madrid flooded forward they were free to attack them at will on the counter. Sergi Darder got clear on his own but couldn’t finish and substitute Nicolas Melamed also went close.
But Benzema’s brilliance had given Carlo Ancelotti’s team a chance. Eden Hazard was now on for Real Madrid and he hit the back of the net from Benzema’s assist but the Frenchman had been offside so the goal did not stand.
Hazard looked quick and strong and Madrid kept pouring forward but even with Courtois up for a last minute corner they could not get the equaliser.
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