|First Division - Day 3|
Espanyol 1 - Real Madrid 0
Armando Sá, Jarque, Lopo, David García; Costa, Ito; Corominas
(Jonathan 59'), De la Peña (Yagüe 91'), Domi; Luis García
(Fredson 80'). 4-2-3-1.
Team changes: Espanyol: Armando Sá, Ito, Corominas, De la Peña for Zabaleta, Juanfran, Fredson, Tamudo / Madrid: Sergio Ramos, Pablo García, Raúl for Pavón, Gravesen, Guti.
Luxemburgo, the Real Madrid coach, arrived at Montjuïc confident that his team would return to winning ways. He may have been unaware that the Olympic Stadium has been a graveyard for Real in recent times. Last year they lost the final of the Copa del Rey there and went down by a single goal to Espanyol. That result saw the end of the Camacho reign and after Sunday's repeat score line the Brazilian coach is under severe pressure early in the season.
Espanyol started strongly with Armando Sá raiding down the right flank and producing some dangerous crosses. Madrid enjoyed the bulk of possession throughout the match but were unable to apply the killer touch. Ramos sent a free header over the bar in the 13th minute. Just after the half hour mark Ronaldo headed a Beckham free kick into the side netting when it had looked easier to score.
But it was Espanyol who had the better chances, thanks in the main to the highly effective De la Peña. Firstly, he had Casillas stretching to claw away an in swinging corner and then he set up Coro who unleashed a powerful shot just wide of target. Just before half-time De la Peña controlled the ball deftly on his chest and Casillas was relieved to see the strike go whizzing past his left-hand post.
Espanyol almost took the lead shortly after the restart with Casillas palming away a goal bound free kick from Coro. Madrid enjoyed their best spell over the next fifteen minutes with Robinho hitting the woodwork after a neat Ronaldo flick. Ronaldo then had a shot deflected wide but Madrid were unable to capitalise on a series of corners. The entrance of Guti for the disappointing Pablo García briefly injected more thrust into the Madrid attack. The substitute rifled a shot just wide and afterwards set up Ronaldo for an effort which Kameni did well to hold.
Real Madrid's downfall was their total inability to subdue De la Peña. He was finding more room with Real pushing forward in search of the three points. They failed to heed the warning when De la Peña curled a free kick just over the bar. A few minutes later Jarque headed home De la Peña's next set piece. There appeared to be some doubt as to whether the goal had been awarded but the ref ignored all Real's protests.
De la Peña was now in full flow and he broke from midfield to set up Luis García with telling passes on two separate occasions. The striker should have done better but dwelt too long on the ball both times.
The Whites responded with a Roberto Carlos drive which Kameni blocked with his legs. De la Peña almost sealed it with a delightful chip that hit the cross bar and an even cheekier forty yard chip that went wide.
Things went from bad to worse for Madrid when Ramos was sent off for a second caution. Ronaldo, who was making his 100th league appearance for Real, ensured it would be an evening to forget. The Brazilian striker somehow put the ball over from six yards after a through ball from Beckham. Real's misery was completed when Baptista was given a straight red for a foul on Espanyol substitute Jonathan.
Questions are certain to be asked about Luxemburgo after a third straight defeat. For Espanyol it was another hard fought home win over Real on a night when De la Peña outshone all the "Galacticos".