Real Madrid recorded a comfortable win over Espanyol despite playing with ten men for the final stages after Ferland Mendy was sent off.
Benzema set up French team-mate Raphael Varane for the opener and scored another to make it 2-0 with just over 10 minutes to close. The striker also wasted a huge chance in the second half, hitting it straight at keeper Diego Lopez from close range.
The hosts squandered numerous chances to extend their lead before Benzema made it 2-0 – Vinicius having three shots on target, while Toni Kroos and Federico Valverde came close.
Real were comfortably the better team, although Espanyol did come close in the first half when Esteban Granero’s header was palmed away by Thibaut Courtois, seconds before Vinicius Junior raced up the other end and forced a save out of Lopez.
Mendy was shown a second yellow card in the 82nd minute for a rash challenge.
New Formation Worked in Real Madrid
Real started with Benzema, Rodrygo, and Vinicius. Brazilian Vinicius, 19, was a constant threat on the left and causing problems for Espanyol’s defense. Brazilians replaced Belgian and Wales captain, as both Hazard and Bale were not available due to injury.
Real Madrid was also playing in an unfamiliar green kit – the first time they have done so at the Bernabeu – to show support for the COP25 climate summit in Madrid.
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