Real Madrid beat Espanyol 1-0
Madrid : A goal by Marco Asensio shortly before half time, which was first disallowed by the referee and then conceded by the VAR, gave Real Madrid a narrow 1-0 win at Santiago Bernabeu stadium against Espanyol.
Real Madrid on Saturday demonstrated their ability to perform despite the fact that some of their key players stayed on the bench to rest, including Carvajal, Marcelo, Kroos and Bale, reports Efe.
Los Blancos went from finding multiple opportunities to score against Roma on Wednesday to finding just one decent opportunity against Espanyol in the first half this Saturday.
Espanyol's defensive 4-5-1 formation seemed to be paying off, as Real Madrid spent much of the first half passing the ball around, trying to find a weak spot.
Real Madrid's Isco found an opening in the 5th minute, though his shot from the edge of the penalty area flew over the crossbar.
Espanyol's formation created the possibility of hitting Madrid on the counter-attack, which was close to happening in the 14th minute, but Pablo Piatti's shot off a pass from Hernan Perez was wide.
Real Madrid's Casemiro found an opportunity in the 34th minute, though his header off a well-placed corner kick was wide of the post.
Two minutes later, Espanyol were once again close to scoring in a counter-attack, but Madrid denied both Perez's shot and Didac Vila's follow-up.
Los Blancos' only decent opportunity in the 41st minute was all it took.
A shot by Luka Modric was deflected and the ball somehow found its way to Asensio, who was alone on the left side and whose left-footed shot went straight into the bottom-right corner of the goal.
The goal was first rejected by the referee, but was eventually conceded after a long VAR review for offside.
Real Madrid continued to dominate the match and to put pressure on Espanyol in the second half.
However, Espanyol kept causing problems for Madrid, especially on the counter-attack.
In the 65th minute, Espanyol were close to finding the equalizer, as striker Borja Iglesias took advantage of a mistake by Sergio Ramos, though his shot bounced off the crossbar.
This motivated Espanyol to go on the offensive, but the effort was too little, too late.