Espanyol 1-0 Real Madrid: Ronaldo-less Los Blancos Suffer Heartbreaking Defeat
A thrilling 93rd-minute winner from Espanyol forward Gerard Moreno saw Espanyol beat champions Real Madrid to leave Zinedine Zidane’s future hanging by a thread. After a long 22 attempts, they finally got the better of Los Blancos. The first half was rather slow and cagey.
Gareth Bale missed a close-range header in an otherwise poor game for Madrid, who failed to create the better chances. With Ronaldo, Benzema, Hernandez and Carvajal rested, it was clear that it wouldn’t be a cakewalk. The home side, in fact, enjoyed more creativity and the goal scorer himself had three clear-cut chances before the goal.
Oscar Duarte, unfortunately, struck the crossbar too. This defeat leaves the Galacticos 14 points adrift of the top while Espanyol found their comfort space by leapfrogging to 13th place.
Real Madrid Player Ratings
Keylor Navas: 7/10
Made three fine saves and was kept busier than usual. However, he stood up to the challenge. Couldn’t do much about the goal.
Achraf Hakimi: 5/10
Decent with both running up and down the pitch. He was energetic and willing, but two things let him down. One, he was beaten in the air way too many times. Two, the end product wasn’t good enough.
Sergio Ramos: 7/10
He eased through the proceedings by doing everything professionally. Ramos blocked a couple of shots, cleared his lines and was formidable throughout.
Raphael Varane: 8/10
He was fabulous and solid at the back. Won almost all aerial duels and kept track of all the movement around. He closed down the players well.
Did well against Sergi Darder and Navarro, was disciplined at the back and didn’t leave too much space behind himself.
Marcos Llorente: 7/10
Not much creativity going forward but won almost every 50-50 in midfield. He charged at players, pressed well and won the ball back convincingly.
Mateo Kovacic: 6.5/10
Couldn’t break a jam-packed Espanyol backline protected by midfielders but his vision and pass completion were both outstanding.
Lucas Vazquez: 4/10
Failed to utilise the space down his side as he often over hit the deliveries and didn’t make the right choices. He was the biggest let down for Real Madrid.
Sprayed passes all over the pitch, found his radar early on and was constructive. Saw nothing or did nothing with the ball in the second half, which led to him being replaced.
Marco Asensio: 5/10
Ran out of steam in the second half, clearly. Asensio was too static and slow on the ball at times. In the first half though, he had his moments.
Gareth Bale: 7.5/10
He was the player who came closest to scoring. Bale created the play more often than not, involved himself, looked sharp on the turn and ran at defenders.
Karim Benzema: 6/10
He was alright with the ball at his feet but despite all the efforts, Benzema failed to give Madrid the lead or get into a goal scoring position.
Dani Ceballos: 2/10
He was ball watching when Moreno scored, as he left the striker free on the edge.
Borja Mayoral: N/A
Played too little to be judged.