First Division - Day 23

Real Madrid 2 - Espanyol 0

Madrid: Kiko Casilla; Dani Carvajal, Pepe, Varane, Nacho (Marcelo 81’); Kovacic (Casemiro 61’), Kroos, Isco; Lucas Vázquez, Morata (Bale 71’), Ronaldo. 4-3-3.
Espanyol: Diego López; David López, Oscar Duarte, Diego Reyes, Aarón Martín; Javi Fuego, Diop; Reyes (Hernán Pérez 46’), Jurado (Alvaro Vázquez 82’), Piatti; Gerard Moreno. 4-2-3-1.

1-0. 33. Morata. Got free of marker to head Isco cross wide of Diego López.
2-0. 83. Bale. Ran on to long Isco pass and fired angled shot across keeper.

Yellow cards: Gerard Moreno 28’, Kovacic 41’, Isco 48’, Javi Fuego 53’, Diop 68’, Aarón Martín 80’, Casemiro 82’.

Real Madrid continued their push at the top of the table, a 2-0 victory over Espanyol on Saturday afternoon keeping them clear of their closest rivals. Zidane rested several key players after the midweek Champions League game, leaving Keylor Navas, Modric and Benzema out of the squad, and Marcelo and Casemiro on the bench. Even so though they had the better chances early on, Pepe heading a Kroos corner just wide, and Morata failing to turn in a Ronaldo cross before the Spanish international striker headed the opener from Isco’s cross on the half hour mark. After the interval half time substitute Hernán Pérez brought a good save out of Kiko Casilla, but Ronaldo and Lucas Vázquez went close at the other end. And with seven minutes to go Gareth Bale made it two with an angled shot past Diego López just minutes after coming on for his first appearance after a long injury lay-off.