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Benzema brace sends Madrid to top of league

MATCH REPORT. 28/08/2022. Rodrigo Salamanca. Photographer: Helios de la Rubia

Vini Jr. put Real Madrid ahead, as Espanyol equalised just before half-time but the captain sealed the win with two goals in the final minutes.

Real Madrid maintain their winning start to the LaLiga season as Ancelotti's men picked up their third win in a row after beating Espanyol at the RCD Stadium to take top spot in the league. Benzema showed once more why he's UEFA's player of the year, giving our team all three points thanks to two late goals. 
Neither team managed to create chances in what was an evenly matched opening, until Vini Jr. broke the deadlock in the 12th minute. The Brazilian capitalised on a through ball from Tchouameni to score with a right-footed effort to make it 0-1. Lecomte had to be at his best shortly afterwards to keep out the Brazilian again after a great run down the left flank.
Espanyol's equaliser
stepped up a gear and began to create a string of chances, with Vini Jr's curling effort sailing over the bar before Kroos's shot was blocked by the Catalonian defender. As the first half drew to a close, Espanyol finally threatened with Joselu eventually finding the equaliser thanks to his shot from inside the box which was initially saved by Courtois, but the ball deflected to the Blue and Whites' forward who  made it 1-1.

Video.1-3: Benzema brace sends Madrid to top of league

The second half got underway with Espanyol applying the early pressure. In the 52nd minute, Puado went close with an effort that just went over the crossbar and seven minutes later Courtois pulled off a magnificent stop to deny Joselu from point-blank range. The game then opened up with both sides looking to take the lead. Ancelotti sent on Rodrygo and Camavinga and the coach almost got his reward. The French midfielder burst through the centre of the pitch to play in Benzema, but the striker’s curled shot was superbly fingertipped away by Lecomte.
Benzema comes to the rescue
The madridistas kept turning the screw and on 66’ Kroos fired the ball goal-wards from the left and Benzema toepoked the ball into the net to put the visitors 2-1 ahead, but the goal was soon ruled out for offside. Madrid continued to attack the Espanyol goal and Benzema finally found a way through on 88’. Rodrygo whipped in a fine cross for the Frenchman to scored at the back post with a well-controlled volley. The Madrid captain was not finished there though and in injury time, as the hosts were reduced to ten men after Lecomte was given his marching orders for bringing down Ceballos. Benzema curled in the resulting freekick to seal a 1-3 win.




The referee

Melero López (Andalusia), assisted by Barbero Sevilla and Martínez Serrato. Monter Solans was the fourth official and Munuera Montero (Andalusia) was the video assistant referee.