Real Madrid didn't hit their best form this evening, but they did just enough. The win was the most important thing for Zidane's side and they got that, despite Espanyol making things somewhat difficult for the champions at the start of the secon half. Ronaldo wasn't at his best, but Isco was fantastic.
- 2nd Half
- 1/2 Time
- JuradoSergio Garciá45'
- 1st Half
Real Madrid - RCD Espanyol
Liga - 2 October 2017
Liga – Follow the Football match between Real Madrid and RCD Espanyol live with Eurosport. The match starts at 02:45 on 2 October 2017. Our live coverage lets you follow all the key moments as they happen.
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- End of 2nd Half
FULL TIME: Real Madrid 2-0 Espanyol
- OffIscoReal Madrid
- OnBorja MayoralReal Madrid
Isco comes off and he gets the standing ovation he deserves. He's been the difference.
Just two minutes of stoppage time to be played at the end of the match.
VAZQUEZ STRETCHES! Just as looked like Real Madrid were going to run the ball into the corner, the ball is whipped into the box. But Vazquez couldn't stretch far enough to get a meaningful connection. Lopez made the save.
This match has been hard work for Real Marid. They have been far from their fluid best and Espanyol gave them something to think about at times. But three points are almost in the bag.
The Espanyol players believe that Casemiro handled the ball inside the penalty area as he lept with Moreno for a high ball. But the referee waves away the protests without a thought.
This has been the worst start to a Liga season Real Madrid have suffered in five years, but this win will ease the pressure that had been building on them over the past few weeks.
- OffIscoReal Madrid
- OnBorja MayoralReal Madrid
Ceballos comes on for Modric. The Croatian gets a round of applause.
Espanyol now have the look of a beaten team. They started the second half with renewed intensity, but the second goal was the sucker punch that knocked them out of the contest.
NOBODY IN THE MIDDLE! Isco dribbles to the byline and squares a dangerous pass into the six yard box, but despite the best efforts of Vazquez, nobody could turn it home.
This hasn't been the best performance from Real Madrid, but they are on course for a crucial three points that will drag them back into contention at the top of the Spanish league table.
- Yellow cardCasemiroReal Madrid
That was a rough challenge from the Brazilian. Not really surprising, though.
Isco is so important to this Real Madrid side. He was made to wait for a place in the first team over the years, but he is now considered of the most integral players at the Bernabeu.
LOPEZ COMES OUT! Navas sends Isco chasing a long ball over the top with the Espanol defensive line posted missing, but the goalkeeper comes off his line to make the clearance.
- GoalIscoReal Madrid
GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL! Real Madrid 2 (71 mins - Isco) Espanyol 0. Darder loses the ball in the middle of the pitch, with Asensio cutting back a pass to Isco just inside the box. The playmaker found the bottom corner with a composed finish.
ALMOST THE EQUALISER! Ramos is robbed of the ball inside his own penalty box, but Baptistao couldn't force it home into the empty net when the ball was played across goal.
- OffToni KroosReal Madrid
- OnLucas VázquezReal Madrid
Zidane changes things up by throwing on Vazquez for the final 20 minutes.
IT SAT UP NICELY FOR ASENSIO! The ball fell really nicely for the Real Madrid youngster, but he waited just a split-second too long and screwed his effort wide of the post.
- OffSergio SánchezRCD Espanyol
- OnEsteban GraneroRCD Espanyol
A forced change for the away side, with Sanchez coming off through injury.
At what point does Zidane look to his bench? This isn't really working for Real Madrid at the moment. He needs to act before Espanyol find an equaliser. Surely better to be pro-active?
There's so much space in behind the Real Madrid defensive line for Espanyol to exploit. The home side are really missing both Carvajal and Marcelo this evening. Big time.
CASEMIRO INTERVENTION! Baptistao was in behind and had the chanc to make the pass to Moreno, who was completely free in the centre, but Casemiro makes the interception. Wow.
This has been a frustrating evening for Ronaldo so far. The Real Madrid number seven contributed an assist for the opener, but that's really all he has done. Been very quiet so far.
Ramos once again surges forward to act as a centre forward in open play. That's at least the third time he's done that. Is that really worth the risk? What does Zidane think of Ramos doing that?
Real Madrid are now making an effort to knock the ball around the centre of the pitch, taking a bit more care with their passing, calming down the intensity of the play. Makes sense.
Modric takes control of a pass from a corner kick 25 yards, drives inside and takes aim, but his effort flashes well over the bar. That illustrates the troubles Real Madrid are having.
The home crowd and players believe that Navarro fouled Kroos, but the referee isn't swayed and allows play to continue. The frustration is starting to build among Real Madrid ranks.
They might be winning, but this isn't exactly going to plan for Real Madrid. They are struggling to make things happen in the final third, while Espanyol look increasingly dangerous.
Navarro has made a big difference for Espanyol since coming on at the half time interval. He's not the most natural of attacking players, but has found himself in dangerous positions.
It might be cynical and a little cruel, but Espanyol are targeting Achraf in this second half. They have identified the 18-year-old as the weak link in the Real Madrid defensive line.
It is obvious that Flores has told his team to press much higher on Real Madrid in this half. They are attempting to force the home side into mistakes on the ball. Bold strategy.
Espanyol have started this half with renewed intensity and tempo to their play. Real Madrid look to have been caught a little cold here. The away side are making a go of this.
NAVAS SAVE! What an opportunity for Navarro to take the shot, with Real Madrid caught short in the full back position. Navas came out to make the save to keep his side ahead.
BAPTISTAO CHANCE! He surely had to take the shot on himself. The Espanyol forward was presented with a great chance inside the box, but played the pass instead and the chance vanished.
- OffJuradoRCD Espanyol
- OnSergio GarciáRCD Espanyol
... and Garcia is also on for the away side.
- OffMarc RocaRCD Espanyol
- OnMarc NavarroRCD Espanyol
Espanyol have made a couple of changes at the break in an effort to turn things around. First on was Navarro...
- 2nd Half
The second half is under way at the Bernabeu! It's 1-0 to Real Madrid over Espanyol.
What did you make of the first half at the Santiago Bernabeu? Is there a way back into the game for Espanyol? How have you rated the performance of Achraf so far? Tweet me!
- End of 1st Half
HALF TIME: Real Madrid 1-0 Espanyol. The hosts have the lead at the break, but that final opportunity for Espanyol offered them with a warning. They mustn't be too complacent.
OFF THE POST! Espanyol were inches away from finding an equaliser, with Moreno cracking a low shot off the base of the post. That would have been a remarkable development.
Real Madrid have controlled the opening 45 minutes of this game, but Zidane might feel that his side should have more to show for their dominance than just a single goal. Narrow.
The problem for Espanyol is that they are severely lacking pace on the attack, and they don't have many options on the bench who can bring that either. They are missing Piatti.
Ronaldo does well to get to the byline and looked to be picking out a teammate in the middle, but he couldn't get the delivery past Sanchez, who has endured a mixed night so far.
Kroos is controlling things for Real Madrid in the centre of the pitch. The German has become more important to the way Zidane's side plays this season. He is integral in every way.
- Yellow cardNachoReal Madrid
There's the first yellow card of the night and it's been shown to Nacho.
Home games have been a bit of a problem for Real Madrid so far this season. Thy dropped points at home to Levante and Valencia before losing out to Real Betis last time out.
LOPEZ MAKES ANOTHER STOP! Ronaldo has another shot on goal, but is this time thwarted by the Espanyol goalkeeper. Without him, the visitors would be two or three down by now.
RONALDO OVER THE BAR! Real Madrid come flying forward on the counter attack, with the pass played to Ronaldo on the far side, but he sends his shot over the bar on the half volley.
- GoalIscoReal Madrid
GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL! Real Madrid 1 (30 mins - Isco) Espanyol 0. Real Madrid have made the breakthrough on the half hour mark! Ronaldo slots through Isco, who had made an excellent run in behind to toe poke a finish underneath Lopez. The hosts have the lead!
Real Madrid are still trying to work this one out. Espanyol have proved a stubborn opponent to break down, but the hosts are pressing and probing on the edge of the penalty box.
Of course, the problem with that is that Real Madrid are without a centre forward while Ronaldo is on the left. Not to worry. Ramos is playing there now. Not even joking.
Ronaldo is starting to have more of an influence on this game. He has taken up a position on the left side of the attack and that allows him to drift inside, driving at defenders.
I just wonder, at what stage does the frustration start to creep into the game of Real Madrid? They have found things tough going at home recently, so when does the crowd get on their back?
WHAT A SAVE! That looked certain to be the opener for Real Madrid! Ronaldo crosses into the box for Ramos to attack, with the defender powering a header towards goal. But Lopez tips it over the bar.
Achraf comes striding forward down the right wing and attempts to play a long, diagonal ball to Ronaldo on the far side, but there was just too much weight on it for him to gather.
This match is just as political as the one that was played between Barcelona and Las Palmas earlier in the day. Everything in Spain and Catalonia is political at the moment.
Asensio and Isco are starting to take a grip of this game. Real Madrid started brightly but a sense of tedium has set in over the past 10 minutes or so. They need to up the tempo.
Real Madrid are missing both Marcelo and Carvajal at the moment. Those two players are crucial to the way they play and the hosts look short of a couple of outlets without them playing.
Ronaldo hasn't seen much of the ball so far. He was close to getting on the end of a cross from Isco, but it was just a little too long for him. The Portuguese hasn't had much service.
With the exception of the opening minute, when they allowed Isco clean through, Espanyol are well organised at the back. Real Madrid are finding it tough to break them down.
Espanyol are just starting to grow into the game as a contest. They are taking the chance to knock the ball around the middle of the pitch. Real Madrid seem quite content letting them.
The game at the Camp Nou earlier in the day felt like something of a sideshow, and while it might not be to the same extent here, this match sort of feels like the same thing.
Indeed, there are definitely demonstrations going on in the stands of the Santiago Bernabeu this evening. Spain is wound tight at the moment following the events in Barcelona.
Real Madrid have a number of injuries to contend with and that's maybe why 18-year-old Achraf has been handed a debut this evening. Zidane isn't afraid to throw in the youngsters.
Plenty of Spanish flags around the stadium tonight...
Piatti will be a big miss for Espanyol this evening. He is the main man for the Barcelona side. He's the one who makes things happen in the final third. Espanyol depend on him a lot.
This has been a strong start to the match by Real Madrid. Espanyol have hardly had a touch of the ball, with the hosts knocking it around the opposition half, looking for a way through.
Of course, Barcelona's home game against Las Palmas earlier in the day was played against the backdrop of violence in the city, with the match played behind closed doors as a result.
Barcelona won against Las Palmas earlier in the day, establishing a five-point lead at the top of the Liga table. Real Madrid simply can't allow the gap to get any bigger. They need to close it.
Of course, this is pretty much a must-win match for Real Madrid. They have drawn two and lost one of their last three home matches in La Liga. They simply must pick up three points tonight.
That could have been the perfect start for Real Madrid. There was a huge gap for Isco to exploit through the middle, but his finish was a little predictable. Espanyol could have been behind within a minute.
CHANCE FOR ISCO! Real Madrid should be ahead after 24 seconds! Isco was played clean through Ramos from deep, but Lopez came off his line to smother the shot from the playmaker.
- 1st Half
The match is under way at the Santiago Bernabeu! It's Real Madrid against Espanyol!
TEAM NEWS: Real Madrid - Navas, Achraf, Varane, Ramos, Nacho, Casemiro, Kroos, Modric, Isco, Asensio, Ronaldo. /// Espanyol - Pau, Lopez, Aaron, Gerard, Jurado, Baptistao, Lopez, Fuego, Roca, Hermoso, Sanchez, Dardar.
I'm Graham Ruthven and you can catch me on Twitter ahead of the game to let me know your thoughts. Can Espanyol cause Real Madrid problems tonight? Tweet me!
Good evening and welcome to Eurosport's LIVE coverage of the Spanish Liga clash between Real Madrid and Espanyol. We'll bring you all the action from the Santiago Bernabeu. Kick off is at 7.45pm.