12 September 2009
Alberto Navarro (Barcelona) / Translation by Manuel Arcedillo
Real Madrid proved to have plenty of depth on their squad as they defeated Espanyol at the new Cornella-El Prat Stadium with four novelties in the initial line-up. Granero scored the opener just before half-time while Guti and Cristiano Ronaldo netted the definitive goals in the second half. Iker Casillas celebrated his tenth anniversary since his debut in La Liga with a shutout.
Coach Manuel Pellegrini madefour changes in the starting line-up with respect to the first league game. Cristiano Ronaldo, Raul, Lass and Garay stayed in the bench while Granero, Higuain, Guti and Metzelder played from the start.
The first half was a constant give-and-take. Espanyol had several set pieces opportunities while Metzelder got close to scoring the opener after Granero’s corner-kick (4’). Espanyol had two excellent chances to score. On the first one, Casillas denied Moises (18’) and on the second one Arbeloa cleared the ball on the goal-line (34’). Guti took the leading role then and made several assists to his team-mates. Benzema received one of his passes but his shot with his right foot sailed wide (35’). The best play of the match came on the 38-minute mark. Marcelo connected a volley after a nice combination between Xabi Alonso, Guti and Kaka, but Kameni made a brilliant save. Twenty seconds later Granero netted his first goal of the season after some quick first-touch passes between himself and Kaka. ‘The pirate’ became the first goal-scorer of the Cornella-El Prat Stadium.
The second half saw De la Peña and Coro coming in for Ivan Alonso and Nakamura. In turn, Pellegrini reacted and Cristiano Ronaldo and Raul substituted Benzema and Higuain. The second goal of the evening came on the 76-minute mark. Kaka dribbled past his defender and cut the ball back from the goal-line. Guti was waiting for it and defeated Kameni with a low shot. Cristiano Ronaldo netted the definitive strike in injury time after yet another wonderful long pass by Guti.
|De la Peña 47'|
|José Callejón 86'|
|Guti H.||Goal 78'|
|Cristiano Ronaldo 67'||Goal 92'|