Real Madrid got their LaLiga title hopes back on track after rallying from behind to defeat Espanyol 3-1 on Saturday afternoon.
Result: Real Madrid 3-1 Espanyol
Date: 11 March 2023
Venue: Santiago Bernabeu
Los Blancos coach Carlo Ancelotti made three changes from the stalemate against Real Betis, with Karim Benzema, Lucaz Vazquez and Antonio Rudiger dropped out for Luka Modric, Dani Carvajal and Nacho.
The visitors made the good start after Joselu opened the scoring on eight minutes with a superb first-time finish that sailed into the top corner and left Thibaut Courtois with no chance.
Madrid managed to get themselves back on level terms in the 21st minute as Vinicius Junior collected a pass from Toni Kroos before cutting inside and rifling the ball into the top corner.
Ancelotti's charges had a couple more chances to go ahead seven minutes later as goalkeeper Fernando Pacheco did well to deny Vinicus, who also had a goal-bound strike cleared away from goals moments after.
The hosts would go on to complete the turnaround five minutes before the interval, with Eder Militao blasted home from close range after his initial header Aurelien Tchouameni's cross hit the woodwork.
The visitors came out firing in the second half and had a chance to pull level ten minutes in, but Leandro Cabrera scuffed his shot wide of the mark from close range after Sergi Darder's cross.
Ancelotti also had one eye on the upcoming UEFA Champions League tie against Liverpool this week, which saw the likes of Modric, Kroos and Tchouameni withdrawn for Marco Asensio, Dani Ceballos and Rudiger on 73 minutes.
The hosts continued to push for more goals as Rodrygo went agonisingly close with 13 minutes to play, as his free-kick crashed against the crossbar with Pachecho well-beaten.
Los Blancos did bag a third goal in second-half stoppage time, with Asensio getting his name on the score-sheet to wrap up a vital victory for the defending champions.
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