Real Madrid 2-0 Espanyol: Karim Benzema helps Real to comfortable win

Karim Benzema scored and picked up an assist as Real Madrid recorded a comfortable win over Espanyol but were down to 10 men for the final stages after Ferland Mendy was sent off.

Benzema set up French team-mate Raphael Varane for the opener and made it 2-0 with just over 10 minutes to go.

The striker also wasted a huge chance in the second half, hitting it straight at keeper Diego Lopez from close range.

Mendy was shown a second yellow card in the 82nd minute for a rash challenge.

The victory moves Real Madrid three points clear of Barcelona at the top of the La Liga table before Ernesto Valverde’s side take on Mallorca later on Saturday (20:00 GMT).

Real were comfortably the better team, although Espanyol did come close in the first half when Esteban Granero’s header was palmed away by Thibaut Courtois, seconds before Vinicius Junior raced up the other end and forced a save out of Lopez.

The hosts squandered numerous chances to extend their lead before Benzema made it 2-0 – Vinicius having three shots on target, while Toni Kroos and Federico Valverde came close.

Brazilian Vinicius, 19, was a constant threat on the left, linking up with Benzema and causing problems for Espanyol’s defence. He replaced Wales international Gareth Bale in the starting line-up, with the winger not in the squad after picking up a hamstring problem.

Real Madrid were also playing in an unfamiliar green kit – the first time they have done so at the Bernabeu – to show support for the COP25 climate summit in Madrid.

Line-ups

Real Madrid

Substitutes

Espanyol

Substitutes

Match Stats

Live Text

Match ends, Real Madrid 2, Espanyol 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Real Madrid 2, Espanyol 0.

Booking

Sergi Darder (Espanyol) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Brahim Díaz (Real Madrid) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Sergi Darder (Espanyol).

Offside, Espanyol. Diego López tries a through ball, but Víctor Campuzano is caught offside.

Substitution

Substitution, Real Madrid. Brahim Díaz replaces Rodrygo.

Substitution

Substitution, Real Madrid. Eder Militão replaces Vinícius Júnior.

Raphael Varane (Real Madrid) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Bernardo Espinosa (Espanyol).

Substitution

Substitution, Espanyol. Óscar Melendo replaces Jonathan Calleri.

Dismissal

Second yellow card to Ferland Mendy (Real Madrid) for a bad foul.

Foul by Ferland Mendy (Real Madrid).

Víctor Gómez (Espanyol) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Goal!

Goal! Real Madrid 2, Espanyol 0. Karim Benzema (Real Madrid) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Federico Valverde.

Attempt saved. Marc Roca (Espanyol) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

Corner, Espanyol. Conceded by Raphael Varane.

Attempt blocked. Víctor Campuzano (Espanyol) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Dídac Vilá.

Booking

Federico Valverde (Real Madrid) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Federico Valverde (Real Madrid).

Víctor Campuzano (Espanyol) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Substitution

Substitution, Espanyol. Pol Lozano replaces Esteban Granero.

Federico Valverde (Real Madrid) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Marc Roca (Espanyol).

Substitution

Substitution, Real Madrid. Luka Modric replaces Toni Kroos.

Attempt missed. Karim Benzema (Real Madrid) left footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Vinícius Júnior.

Attempt missed. Jonathan Calleri (Espanyol) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Bernardo Espinosa with a headed pass following a set piece situation.

Foul by Rodrygo (Real Madrid).

Sergi Darder (Espanyol) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt missed. Casemiro (Real Madrid) right footed shot from outside the box is too high from a direct free kick.

Karim Benzema (Real Madrid) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Bernardo Espinosa (Espanyol).

Attempt blocked. Vinícius Júnior (Real Madrid) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Karim Benzema.

Substitution

Substitution, Espanyol. Víctor Campuzano replaces Wu Lei.

Booking

Ferland Mendy (Real Madrid) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Ferland Mendy (Real Madrid).

Víctor Gómez (Espanyol) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Real Madrid. Conceded by David López.

Booking

Fernando Calero (Espanyol) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Rodrygo (Real Madrid) wins a free kick on the right wing.

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