Brazil international defender MARCELO of Real Madrid (right) sticks out a leg to block the cross of Espanyol Barcelona defender DIDAC VIDAL (left) at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu in the capital city of Spain. (Pedro Armestre/AFP)
Matchday # 4
3 – Real Madrid —————– Ronaldo pen 28′, Higuain 79′, Benzema 87′
0 – Espanyol Barcelona
Two late goals helped REAL MADRID roll to a third consecutive victory in La Liga with a deceiving 3-0 win over a spirited ESPANYOL BARCELONA.
Espanyol set out to defend from the outset and were unlucky when a free kick from twenty-five yard out was ruled to have struck striker LUIS GARCIA on the hand in the box; Portugal World Cup attacker CRISTIANO RONALDO made no mistake with the penalty kick for Real Madrid to register his second goal in as many La Liga games for Los Blancos.
Both teams lost a player within a quarter hour of the second half restart — Portugal World Cup defender PEPE of Real Madrid was shown a second yellow card in the 60th minute while Espanyol defender ERNESTO GALAN was given the straight red for a hard foul on Ronaldo less than 120 seconds later.
Although the first two substitutes sent on by manager JOSE MOURINHO were of a defensive nature, Real Madrid added two late goals to seal the deal from Argentina World Cup striker GONZALO HIGUAIN and his substitute, French forward KARIM BENZEMA.
REAL MADRID : Casillas ; Marcelo, Carvalho, Pepe, Sergio Ramos ; L. Diarra, Xabi Alonso, Oezil (Khedira 64′) ; Di Maria (Arbeloa 64′), Higuain (Benzema 80′), Ronaldo
ESPANYOL BARCELONA : Kameni ; D. Garcia (Vila 46′), Forlin, Chica, Galan ; Molina, Duscher, Verdu, S. Garcia (Vasquez 73′); Callejon (Javi Lopez 85′), L. Garcia
With Spain’s World Cup-winning midfielder XABI ALONSO (14) watching, Real Madrid’s Portugal World Cup attacker CRISTIANO RONALDO (7) sends Cameroon World Cup reserve goalkeeper IDRISS KAMENI of Espanyol Barcelona the wrong way with his penalty kick in the 28th minute at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu. (Reuters photo)