Nothing new in Chamartín. As is the tradition since April 21, 1996, Madrid beat Espanyol, whose last victory at La Castellana dates back 27 years. Half an hour of drive in the first act was enough for Real to overcome Joselu’s sporadic goal. Nothing more said Espanyol, timorous all day, even though they reached the last stretch with a 2-1. Vinicius and Militão turned the parrots around before the final firecracker from Nacho, the player of the match by many circumstances.
Courtois, Eder Militao, Nacho, Camavinga, Dani Carvajal, Aurelien Tchouameni (Rüdiger, min. 74), Modric (Marco Asensio, min. 71), Kroos (Dani Ceballos, min. 74), Federico Valverde, Vinicius Junior (Álvaro Rodríguez , min.89) and Rodrygo
Pacheco, Sergi Gómez (Melamed, min. 84), Óscar Gil (Ronael Pierre Gabriel, min. 68), Cabrera, César Montes, Braithwaite, José Gragera (Denis Suárez, min. 75), Vinicius, Rubén Sánchez, Joselu and Darder
goals 0-1 min. 7: Joselu. 1-1 min. 22: Vinicius Junior. 2-1 min. 39: Eder Militao. 3-1 min. 92: Marco Asensio.
Referee Jorge Figueroa Vazquez
yellow cards Cabrera (min. 18), Vinicius Junior (min. 31), Óscar Gil (min. 55), Dani Ceballos (min. 86) and Dani Carvajal (min. 87)
After a second act with a relaxed Real playing around with the ball a lot, the white captain took the well-deserved honours. Chamartín was already cheering his name – “Nacho, stay, Nacho stay” – when the youth squad, first central and then lateral, traced Vinicius. He dispatched a row of rivals, went for a snack and summoned Asensio with the final 3-1. Nacho, always diligent, effective year after year and sometimes even outstanding, is the essence of Real Madrid. Now it will be necessary to see if he expires in summer. The people spoke out clearly.
Espanyol carried two trips to the moon without scoring in Chamartín. In total, 3,219 days. In the last seven visits, 20-0 for the whites. The parrots usually arrive at the Bernabéu so troubled that Joselu’s whipping caused a whole revelry among the blue and whites when they only had eight minutes.
Diego Martínez’s team had started with self-confidence. Rubén Sánchez, Óscar Gil’s escort in Vinicius’s confinement, also had the opportunity to nag Camavinga, once again an orthopedic winger. With Rubén’s thread, Braithwaite almost scored, blocked by Militão. And again the blue and white winger put Camavinga in check, who swallowed a long pass. Rubén, by then punctual in the vanguard, assisted Joselu marvelously, who closed the play with a shot with a left-footed touch. The ball stampeded towards Courtois’s left corner. More than a great goal, a chest two from the ex-madridista, who already has twelve league goals. Immediately, the Belgian goalkeeper had to intervene before a header from the other Vinicius, Souza. Real Madrid was still with the vermouth.
The goal made Carlo Ancelotti’s men wake up. Little by little, Real overshadowed Espanyol, limited to the initial mirage of Joselu. With Carvajal and Camavinga embedded in the parakeet field, sometimes even anchored in Pacheco’s area, Madrid was carbonizing their rival. A Espanyol increasingly sheltered in its trench.
Kroos and Modric maneuvered with ease, Rodrygo threatened, from nine for Benzema, and, of course, Vinicius, the Real Madrid player, went and went. Rubén only recoiled from the constant challenges of the Brazilian, who never lacks effort.
The same thing gave Espanyol double the mark to the former Flamengo soccer player. No matter how much riot police there is ahead, Vinicius does not repair. It is the same thing that a play is presented to him with nothing that appears to be a goal in sight. Sure, it’s Vinicius.
The winger, parked on the left of the attack, fixed Óscar Gil and Rubén, removed the chain from both, and it was not because Gragera came to the aid. Vinicius’s shot into the farthest corner of the goal was categorical. Another great goal in the Madrid spring midday.
Real was already very plugged in when Tchouameni winked at Modric. The Croatian, a teacher as he is, should give a training symposium on how to use the outer insteps. The author’s coup of him. The Frenchman did it and Militão, who has poles for legs, hung in the air until he headed into Pacheco’s net.
A Madrid monologue until the end. He didn’t even require more sleeve rolling in the second half, already more soda. Espanyol did not let go, with Braithwaite, their second goalscorer, away from Courtois’ ranch, forced to defend and defend, to sweat and sweat with a pick and a shovel. The same as Joselu, who had no more gunpowder and ended up stiff, cramped.
Diego Martínez moved the basket without success. Not even half a chance he had his team. Ancelotti, with Liverpool and Barça in the waiting room, finished off Praetorians like Modric, Kroos and Vinicius. But Nacho was left, already on the side due to Camavinga’s mismatches, uncomfortable as a defender, where he feels like an outsider.
Nacho for everything, the Nacho of a lifetime in white. And an unknown Nacho. His final play to avoid any local anguish sealed a game that perhaps only Nacho will rewind. For Espanyol, the usual. The Bernabéu afflicts him more than necessary. So much so that Madrid scored the goal after a few weeks of dry land.
You can follow EL PAÍS Sports on Facebook and Twitteror sign up here to receive our weekly newsletter.