Gareth Bale doubtful for Real Madrid's match with Espanyol

Real Madrid team news Achraf makes debut for Merengue against Espanyol

Cristiano Ronaldo is the only member of Real's famed "BBC" frontline to be available against Espanyol. Keeping Madrid frustrated and winless at home for as long as possible will be the goal of all of La Liga, and it's going to be interesting to see what it takes for the defending Champions League winners to break that ill fortune.

Isco was involved again when his long-range shot was comfortably gathered by Lopez, before Marco Asensio scuffed wide from a corner.

Meanwhile their away form has been ideal, with last Saturday's win away to Alaves meaning they have won their last 12 league games on the road and as if to emphasis the difference, Tuesday saw them produce arguably their best display of the season to defeat Borussia Dortmund 3-1 in the Champions League. The playmaker has become of the most important players at the Santiago Bernabeu over the past few months and that was on display this evening.

With a World Cup qualifier in Georgia looming on Friday, 6 October, Wales will await the result nervously even though Real boss Zinedine Zidane says it is "a small problem".

Sanchez Flores succeeded Benitez at Real Madrid's reserves and his work there garnered similar plaudits, leading to admiring glances from Getafe and later Valencia, who he guided to two consecutive Champions League qualifications. Real Madrid should be ahead after 24 seconds!

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Espanyol had another brilliant opportunity 20 minutes from time when Moreno took the ball away from Ramos before looking to feed Baptistao, but Nacho came across to make a goal-saving challenge.

30' GOAL! Real Madrid 1-0 Espanyol: Real Madrid have made the breakthrough on the half hour mark!

Real Madrid broke immediately down the other end, however, and doubled their lead courtesy of another super finish from Isco, who had collected a pass from Asensio inside the Espanyol box.

2-0 was how the score remain at the full-time whistle, as Real move up to fifth spot in the table.

The global break may be seen as well-timed for Real in that regard, giving Zidane a fortnight to reassess their start to the campaign ahead of their trip to Getafe on October 14.

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