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LaLiga Report: Espanyol v Real Madrid 28 June 2020 Espanyol 0-1 Real Madrid: Karim Benzema stars as Real move two clear at La Liga summit
Cary Erickson | 30 June, 2020, 20:21

With Real content at preserving their lead and Espanyol keen to avoid further damage, the game drifted towards its conclusion, and by the time the hosts mounted a late rally they were unable to regain momentum as Real returned to the top of the table and left Espanyol floundering at the foot.

Zidane denied that Real Madrid's two-point lead means they now have the edge over Barcelona. "I knew that Casemiro was behind me, but for me, that was just normal football".

I'm not surprised by what Karim does.

With Espanyol about to make it to halftime with a clean sheet, Benzema cleverly unlocked the hosts' defense on Sunday. "Three points and now we have to rest up", Zidane said.

Ramos flicked on Marcelo's crossfield pass and Benzema, moving away from goal, backheeled off the bounce through the legs of Bernardo Espinosa for the arriving Casemiro to finish.

With Barcelona held to 2-2 draw at Celta Vigo, Zinedine Zidane's men needed a win against relegation-threatened Espanyol to open up a point-gap at the tabletop. His incredible backheel sent Madrid to top of the points table and also widen the gap in the standings making their La Liga title win nearly imminent with only six games to go.

Last-place Espanyol appears headed for the second division after falling 10 points from safety. Madrid defender Dani Carvajal blocked a strike by Sergi Darder three minutes into the game when Wu found him with a low cross.

Casemiro heat map at Espanyol Real Madrid
Casemiro heat map at Espanyol Real Madrid

"The goal is Karim's", Casemiro said. "I already know how he plays and I ask for the ball into space, then he pulls off that incredible back-heel and the goal is his".

Espanyol was coached by sports director Francisco Rufete, a former player who stepped in after the club fired Abelardo Fernández on Saturday.

Hamburg needed to better the result of Heidenheim, who now go into a play-off again the Bundesliga's third-last placed team, Werder Bremen, for next season's final top-tier berth. This was the only goal scored in the match and the victory moved Real Madrid to the top of the league.

Moreno added a second goal just before halftime off a brilliant pass from Santi Cazorla in an impressive team move. "We're used to the quality he brings to his play and I had to celebrate it with him because it was all down to him", Casemiro said.

Levante bounced back to winning ways with a comfortable 4-2 home win against mid-table rivals Real Betis.

Although Benzema has six LaLiga games and one of the Champions (at least) to improve their numbers and close the course in the best way; His best record continues to be in the 32 goals and 19 assists he achieved in the 2011-12 season, that of the League of Records.

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