ESPANYOL 0 - REAL MADRID 1
|Team celebrates Marcelo's goal|
Real Madrid always returns. Also this time, hooked up to the best of its tradition, after a tremendous match where everything done was heroic. Soaking the shirt to polish it, inviting the fans to believe in miracles, beatingbest Espanyol in a decade. And with ten men for 88 minutes, many of whom played for two (Marcelo, Cristiano, Xabi and Pepe), shot 20 times.
Florentino Perez came two minutes before the break and a Cup less. One misfortune after another. Because swallowed the defeat of basketball and missed a first half o value and fight, with Real Madrid that does not surrender, all nerve and heart, as it is said in its anthem.
Iker Casillas was sent of for marginally kicking Callejon on his right foot as he tried to clear the ball right outside the box. Other teams would have deflated following such a decision, but Real Madrid pulled rank and doubled their efforts to win.
Di Maria had to come off for goalkeeper Antonio Adan, who made his First Division debut tonight. Khedira soon had two chances to score the opener. Marcelo would net the only strike in the evening from a fantastic shot near the left post, after being assisted by Ronaldo (24'). Adebayor then had a chance to seal the match on the 39-minute mark, but his lobbed shot hit the crossbar.
After the break, Madrid became a cheaper and more tired. Oxygen tanks would have admitted at times. Especially when Callejón hung a goal on three occasions. But it also had an answer. Cristiano accelerator was not available to the defense of Pochettino.
The Whites continued to have most of the chances on goal in the game. Adebayor came close to netting a second strike twice more, but Kameni defeated him on both counts. Espanyol didn't have many chances, but Adan proved to be a solid keeper, clearing all the shots that were on target.
Real Madrid made a great impression and took three very important points that keep them five points behind the leaders. They will now concentrate on defeating Levante next week at the Bernabeu.
Stadium: Cornella-El Prat
Goals: 0-1 min.24 Marcelo