11 May 2013
Real Madrid, who are unbeaten in their last four visits to the Cornella-El Prat, drew with Espanyol in what was their fourteenth consecutive unbeaten league match (12 wins and 2 draws). The match started badly. Varane's injury and Stuani’s goal following a corner, made things tough for Real Madrid, but Higuain, who continues his good scoring record against the Catalans, scored in the second half for a share of the points six days before the Copa del Rey final against Atletico.
Real Madrid came into the match against Espanyol with the clear goal of getting their seventh consecutive win in the championship and prolonging their romance with the Cornella-El Prat, in which they have won on their previous three visits. The start of the match was not very promising. First came Varane's injury in the 17th minute whilst challenging for the ball against Wakaso and six minutes later came Stuani’s goal, which made things even more difficult for the visitors. It could have been worse had it not been for the reflexes of Diego Lopez, who prevented the Uruguayan striker’s second in a clear one-on-one as the match was approaching the half hour mark.
The last 15 minutes of the first half were dominated by the visitors, even if they were unsuccessful and the Whites went in at the break with the scoreboard against them. Morata could have equalised in the 45th minute, but his volley crashed into Javi Lopez’s hand inside the area. Iglesias Villanueva did not give the penalty.
The script for the second half was similar to that of the closing minutes of the first half. The substitution of Morata for Benzema after the break and Cristiano Ronaldo for Kaka on 57 minutes gave even more bite to a team that was clearly showing their intent to turn the result around. And that is what happened. With the Portuguese’s first touch of the ball he drew a foul, which was masterfully taken by Modric and finished by Higuain with a header on 58 minutes. All square with just over half an hour to play.
From that moment, the match could have gone either way. The ball was barely passing through the midfield and both teams had opportunities to take all three points. Cristiano Ronaldo, from a counterattack started by Di Maria, could have put his side ahead in the 69th minute, but Casilla made the block. From then until the end there were more chances for both teams and also the sending off of Victor Sanchez in added time. The points were eventually shared with to six days to go until the Copa del Rey final against Atletico.