La Liga

  • Álvaro Morata 33’
  • G. Bale 83’
1 Half Time 0
19/02/2017
La Liga
Santiago Bernabéu
Attendance 75,606

    Timeline

    • KICK OFF
    • 45'
      Huge appeals for a spot-kick from Morata after he goes down under pressure from David Lopez. However, the referee made the correct decision in waving away Morata’s claims.
    • 0'
      Well, that's all from me for now. Until next time, thank you and goodbye!
    • 0'
      But Morata and Bale did the damage, and Madrid will now march on into their clash with Valencia. Espanyol, meanwhile, can only hope that those above them drop points as they look to finish in the European spots.
    • 0'
      A dominant display from Madrid, who never looked in danger of dropping points today. They could have had more, though Espanyol defended well and the likes of Ronaldo and Vazquez were strangely blunt in front of goal.
    • 0'
      FULL TIME. It matters little, though, as Madrid earn a comfortable victory, with Alvaro Morata and Gareth Bale getting the goals as they move four points clear at the top of LaLiga.
    • 0'
      Espanyol have not been terrible, and are relatively well-organised, but they have not been able to cope with Madrid whenever Zidane’s side have upped the tempo, with Isco setting the tone for what has been an excellent display from Los Blancos so far.
    • 0'
      Madrid in dominant form at Santiago Bernabeu, and they lead courtesy of Alvaro Morata’s header. It is no less than the hosts, who could have had another two or three already, deserve.
    • 0'
      HALF-TIME: Real Madrid 1 Espanyol 0.
    • 0'
      The big news for Madrid is, of course, the fact that Gareth Bale is back on the bench, having returned from his injury lay-off. With Benzema not in the squad, the Wales star is likely to get a run-out at some point this afternoon.
    • 0'
      The teams are in the tunnel now, as we rapidly approach kick-off at the Santiago Bernabeu, which is of course, packed full of fans.
    • 0'
      Three changes then from Quique Sanchez Flores, whose side lost to in-form Real Sociedad last time out, ending a three-match winning run. With Espanyol switching from a 4-4-2 to a more conservative 4-2-3-1 for this fixture, striker Felipe Caicedo drops out to be replaced by holding midfielder Papa Di
    • 0'
      TEAM NEWS - Espanyol substitutes: Jimenez, R.Duarte, Alvarez, Caicedo, Perez, Vazquez, Roca.
    • 0'
      TEAM NEWS - Espanyol (4-2-3-1): Lopez; D.Reyes, Lopez, O.Duarte, Martin; Fuego, Diop; J.Reyes, Jurado, Piatti; Moreno.
    • 0'
      No shortage in changes from Zinedine Zidane from the Madrid line-up that started in the Champions league victory over Napoli. Karim Benzema ended his recent goal-drought with a fine header in that game, but he is rested today, with Alvaro Morata his replacement. Out wide, James Rodriguez is replaced
    • 0'
      TEAM NEWS - Real Madrid substitutes: Rodriguez, Bale, Marcelo, Casemiro, Diaz, Asensio, Yanez.
    • 0'
      TEAM NEWS - Real Madrid (4-3-3): Kiko Casilla; Carvajal, Varane, Pepe, Nacho; Kovacic, Kroos, Isco; Vazquez, Morata, Ronaldo.
    • 0'
      The team news is in from Madrid. Let’s start off with the hosts…
    • 0'
      Espanyol, on the other hand, are in ninth, though would move into the top eight with a victory today as they look to join the hunt for Europe.
    • 0'
      Madrid sit just one point clear of Espanyol’s city-rivals Barcelona - who face struggling Leganes on Sunday - though they have played two games less than Luis Enrique Garcia’s side heading into this round of fixtures.
    • 0'
      It promises to be an enthralling clash this afternoon, and it’s one that Madrid will be confident of winning. They have not lost to Espanyol in their last 20 LaLiga meetings in the Spanish capital, with their last home defeat against the Catalan side coming in 1996.
    • 0'
      Hello and welcome, football fans, to this LIVE coverage of LaLiga action, as league-leaders Real Madrid take on Espanyol at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu!
    • 1'
      KICK-OFF! Espanyol, donning their dark away strip, get proceedings up and running at a sun-soaked Santiago Bernabeu.
    • 3'
      Luka Modric has been so important to Madrid’s sparkling form this term, as has Sergio Ramos in defence. However, both have been suffering from slight niggles and knocks, and have not been risked ahead of the trip to Valencia in midweek.
    • 5'
      The corresponding fixture last season ended in a 6-0 victory for Madrid, and though Espanyol have retained possession neatly in the opening minutes, Los Blancos are now looking to get on the front foot, with Carvajal and Nacho both making driving runs down their respective flanks.
    • 6'
      A chance for Kroos - who netted his first Madrid goal since August against Napoli in midweek - to deliver some quality into the area now, but the German’s free-kick is well-cleared by Espanyol’s defence.
    • 8'
      Quique Sanchez Flores has lost his last 10 games as manager against Madrid, with eight of these games been LaLiga fixtures.
    • 9'
      A maiden half-chance of the fixture for the visitors, with David Lopez latching onto a corner from the right, but the defender can only loop a header over the crossbar.
    • 11'
      Composed defending from Espanyol, as they work their way out from the back in tidy fashion after Vazquez’s cross had been cut-out by Duarte, with Morata lingering close-by. No clear-cut chances for either side as of yet...
    • 13'
      CLOSE! That should have been 1-0! Vazquez put in a superb delivery from a corner on the right, which Pepe met on the rise, but the Euro 2016 winner cannot direct his header on target.
    • 14'
      Fantastic defending from Diego Reyes, as the Mexico defender blocks Morata’s cross-cum-shot after the Madrid striker had got the better of Duarte with some excellent footwork. Moments later, Moreno latches onto a long pass from deep, but despite taking the ball under control with an excellent first-
    • 16'
      Madrid are controlling possession and territory, but as of yet the hosts cannot pick a hole in Espanyol’s defence. However, should they up the tempo, the league-leaders have shown signs they can create an opening.
    • 19'
      Excellent defending from Moreno, who has been dragged back to the right-back position at the moment. Isco had played Nacho through with a sublime flick, but Espanyol’s No.7 got back to make a terrific challenge.
    • 20'
      Madrid seem to be turning the screw somewhat now, as Kroos catches Espanyol out with a short corner into Isco. The former Malaga playmaker twists and spins as he attempts to shirk off the rather clumsy challenge of Aaron Martin, but the visitors escape unscathed.
    • 21'
      Isco is beginning to pull the strings from a number 10 position now, with Vazquez the recipient of a fantastic throughball on this occasion. The Spain forward drives in a cross, but Duarte reacted swiftly to head the ball away from danger.
    • 23'
      Reckless play from Martin, who concedes a corner needlessly after dallying in possession. Just moments earlier, Vazquez had gone down under pressure from Fuego, resulting in boos and whistles emanating around this massive stadium when the offical did not award a free-kick.
    • 26'
      A nasty clash of heads now between Diop and Kovacic. There was no malice from either player, but it is Kovacic who has come off worse, having suffered a cut to his cheek, which will require treatment. As a contingency, Casemiro is begging to warm-up.
    • 27'
      Magnificent skill from Ronaldo, who has been quiet so far this afternoon. The Portugal superstar stands-up the unfortunate David Lopez before manipulating the ball through the legs of the hapless defender. Fortunately, Fuego gets back to intercept the wingers’ cross.
    • 28'
      Kovacic is back on the field, and is immediately involved as he is clattered into by Moreno, who had lunged in recklessly.
    • 30'
      MISS! That’s a terrible miss from Morata from the resulting free-kick, though he is spared by the linesman’s flag. The former Juventus forward latched onto Kroos’ cross, but could only skew his effort over from close-range.
    • 31'
      SO CLOSE! A terrible error from Piatti sets Vazquez away. He swiftly feeds Ronaldo, who turns a cross-cum-shot across the face of goal, but Duarte is just able to prod it wide before Morata is able to tap it home. That was superb defending!
    • 32'
      NO GOAL! Ronaldo has poked the ball home, but the goal is swiftly disallowed for offside. The goalscorer was onside, but Morata - who was in an illegal position - had made a move towards the ball before it reached Ronaldo.
    • 33'
      G Álvaro Morata Assist Isco
    • 33'
      Isco has been excellent so far in this game, and he has got his reward with a fantastic assist. The playmaker found space on the edge of the area, and his resulting cross left Morata with very little work to do.
    • 33'
      GOOOOOOOAAAAAALLLL!!! Well, that has been coming! It’s Madrid who have the lead, and it’s Morata who has it. Isco delivered an inch-perfect cross to the back post, and Morata - who had easily shirked off Lopez - duly made no mistake with a brilliant header into the bottom-left corner.
    • 36'
      Only Barcelona and Atleti have earned more points than Espanyol (10) in La Liga in 2017. However, they cannot get out of their own half at the moment, and Madrid are in complete control.
    • 38'
      CHANCE! Just wide from Morata, who had latched onto Nacho’s cross. Isco was at the heart of the move once more, threading a wonderful pass into the path of Madrid’s left-back.
    • 40'
      Madrid are just taking it easy at the moment, pressing Espanyol back without really draining to much energy. Pepe suddenly ups the pace with a cross-field pass that Nacho somehow keeps in play, proceeding to win a corner.
    • 41'
      The hosts fail to make anything of the set-piece, though, with Piatti leading a counter-attack for Espanyol, only to be dragged back by Kovacic, who duly picks up a booking.
    • 43'
      Espanyol are winless in 18 games against Real Madrid in La Liga (L15 D3), their worst ever run against the same team. It doesn't look likely that they're going to end that run today...
    • 44'
      Exceptional from Ronaldo, who whoops in a fantastic delivery to the back post. Former Espanyol-loanee Vazquez does brilliantly to get on the end of it and knock the ball back towards the penalty spot, but Morata cannot react quick enough.
    • 46'
      SI H. Pérez SO Isco
    • 46'
      Welcome back! Los Blancos get the second-half up and running. There has been one change at the interval, with Jose Antonio Reyes making way for Hernan Perez for the visitors.
    • 48'
      A huge round of applause from the Madrid faithful now, as Gareth Bale - who was going through an invigorating warm-up at half-time - trots along the touchline. Could we see him sooner rather than later?
    • 49'
      A yellow card now for Isco, who goes into the book for a professional foul on Piatti.
    • 50'
      Excellent defending from Duarte! Espanyol had been torn apart by Morata’s turn and riving run at their defence. The striker slipped a pass to Ronaldo, rushing into the area on his left, but the Portugal winger cannot direct his cross past Duarte.
    • 53'
      Madrid have scored in their last 33 LaLiga games, including today’s encounter. That’s just two fewer than their best run ever in the competition (35 on 1952).
    • 54'
      A booking for Fuego, who could only hold up the run of Ronaldo by pulling on the shirt of the former Manchester United star. It results in a free-kick for the home side, around 25 yards from goal. Ronaldo stands of it...
    • 55'
      Despite the typical build-up, it’s a poor free-kick from Ronaldo, who directs his strike straight into the wall. Espanyol fail to clear their lines, though, and Madrid are able to maintain the pressure.
    • 57'
      Kroos tries his luck from over 30 yards out, but the Germany midfielder’s strike whistles way over the crossbar.
    • 59'
      Espanyol counter at pace after clearing a Madrid corner, and Perez soon found himself in a one-on-one with Carvajal. His touch is a heavy one though, and the Paraguayan catches the full-back on the follow-through, with the official swiftly awarding a free-kick to Madrid.
    • 61'
      SI Casemiro SO Isco
    • 61'
      Perez involved at the other end now, as he gets back to halt Kovacic’s run into the area with a well-timed tackled. The pause in play will allow Madrid to make their first change...
    • 62'
      Mateo Kovacic, who had picked up a booking, makes way. He is replaced by Casimiro.
    • 63'
      Another opportunity goes amiss for Madrid after they broke swiftly from an Espanyol corner. Vazquez led the charge at pace, but despite having plenty of time down the left, his cross - aimed in towards Morata - is a poor one.
    • 66'
      CHANCE! Pinball in the area as Vazquez finds space in the area and engineers a cross to the back post. Morata stretches to meet it, but his volley is blocked, and Espanyol eventually hook it clear.
    • 68'
      The pressure is building once more now from Madrid, with Espanyol showing few signs of sparking into life going forward. As I type, Papa Diop picks up a booking for a late lunge on Casimiro.
    • 70'
      MISS! That should have been 2-0! Excellent play from Nacho and Morata, as they combine down the left before the latter floats in an inviting cross. Ronaldo rises, typically staying high up in the air for longer than seems humanly possible, though on this occasion he cannot direct his header under th
    • 71'
      SI G. Bale SO Isco
    • 71'
      Here's the moment Madrid's fans were wating for, as Gareth Bale makes his long-awaited comeback from injury. Alvaro Morata is the man to make way, which seems to indicate that Cristiano Ronaldo will now play through the middle.
    • 72'
      Bale's involvement is immediate, as he wins the ball back from Moreno with a clean challenge before looking to set Madrid away on the counter.
    • 75'
      Breathtaking counter-attacking play from Madrid, as Ronaldo tees up Isco, who drives forward before slipping the ball wide to Vazquez. Isco continues his run, but Vazquez’s cross is poor, although Diego Lopez almost makes a mass of gathering it in.
    • 77'
      Terrific skill from Bale, who knocks the ball up over hi head before - on the volley - thumping in a cross. Ronaldo heads it down to Carvajal, but his long-range strike does not test Diego Lopez.
    • 79'
      CLOSE! Kroos picks out Vazquez with a pinpoint pass. The winger takes it on first time, directing a volley goal-wards, though it nestles harmlessly into the side-netting.
    • 80'
      A definite booking for Martin, who had hauled down Vazquez on the edge of Espanyol’s area.
    • 81'
      SI Marcelo SO Isco
    • 81'
      A third and final substitution for Madrid. Off goes Nacho, seemingly having picked up a muscle injury, and on comes Marcelo.
    • 82'
      SI Álvaro Vázquez SO Isco
    • 82'
      A yellow card now for Casimiro, as this game becomes just a bit scrappy. The midfielder argues his case, but he had clearly fouled Piatti.
    • 82'
      Another change for Espanyol sees the ineffective Jurado replaced by Alvaro Vazquez.
    • 83'
      G G. Bale Assist Isco
    • 83'
      A perfect return for Bale, though it has to be said that the star of the show for Madrid today has been Isco, who claimed his second assist of the day with a perfectly-weighted pass into the path of the Wales star.
    • 83'
      GOOOOOAAAAAAALLLLL!!! BALE IS BACK WITH A BANG! That’s game over now, and it is the returning Welshman who has got it. Isco set it up with a fantastic throughball and, after 88 days on the sidelines, the former Tottenham forward made no mistake with a clever finish across the goalkeeper.
    • 86'
      A clinical finish from Bale, and that has all-but claimed the points for Madrid, who are set to move four points clear of Barca at the summit of LaLiga.
    • 88'
      Brave defending from Duarte, who dived in to prevent Ronaldo getting free down the left. The Costa Rican has played well today.
    • 89'
      Another superb tackle from Duarte to deny Ronaldo, who looked all set to extend Madrid’s advantage until Espanyol’s No.6 made a timely block.
    • HALF TIME
    • 90'
      Confusion in Madrid. Ronaldo thought he had won a penalty after been hauled down by Martin, and although the offical appeared to point straight to the spot, only to then change his mind after the linesman - for some bizarre reason - raised his flag.
    • FULL TIME

    Line Up

    ACTIVE
    Defender
    spain
    Daniel Carvajal
    2
    Defender
    brazil
    Marcelo
    12
    Captain
    81'Substituted
    Midfielder
    brazil
    Casemiro
    14
    61'Substituted
    Midfielder
    spain
    Lucas Vázquez
    17
    Midfielder
    spain
    Isco
    22
    Goalkeeper
    spain
    Diego López
    13
    Defender
    spain
    David López
    15
    Captain

    SUBSTITUTES

    Defender
    spain
    Nacho
    6
    81'Substituted
    Midfielder
    spain
    Marco Asensio
    20
    Goalkeeper
    spain
    Roberto Jiménez
    1
    Midfielder
    spain
    Marc Roca
    21

    MANAGERS

    france
    Zinedine Zidane
    spain
    Sacha Kljestan

    Statistics

    OVERVIEW

    Possession 0% 0%
    Effective Chances 0 0
    Shots on Target 0 0
    Turnovers 0 0

    POSSESSION

    Passes 0 0
    Passing Accuracy 0% 0%
    Passing Accuracy in opponent’s half 0% 0%
    Crosses 0 0
    Crossing accuracy 0% 0%

    ATTACK

    Shots 0 0
    Shots outside the box 0 0
    Shots inside the box 0 0
    Shooting accuracy 0% 0%

    DEFENCE

    Tackles 0 0
    Effective Tackles 0% 0%
    Blocked Shots 0 0
    Clearances 0 0
    Saves 0 0

    DISCIPLINE

    Fouls Conceded 13 14
    Yellow Cards 3 4
    Red Cards 0 0
    Offsides 0 0

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