Cornella de Llobregat, Spain, Aug 28 (EFE).- Real Madrid notched its third win of the season on Sunday, defeating Espanyol 3-1 at RDCE Stadium before some 26,000 fans with two tallies by Karim Benzema in the 88th and 100th minutes, breaking the 1-1 tie at the intermission established by Vinicius (for Real) in the 12th minute and Joselu (evening things up for Espanyol) in the 43rd.
The Catalan squad improved markedly after the break but Benzema ultimately led the visitors to the win, with the duel becoming an exchange of shots on goal that – particularly during the second half – looked as if it would end up in a tie.
Vinicius Junior knocked the first goal in after a through ball by Aurelien Tchouameni in the 12th minute, but Joselu evened things up just before the break on his second shot after Thibaut Courtois saved the first one and the ball bounced back to him.
The second half went back and forth but ultimately Benzema managed to send it home with just two minutes left in regulation time after a great crossing shot by Rodrygo, and then 12 minutes later it was the Frenchman scoring once again, this time after a 10-man Espanyol after Benjamin Lecomte was red-carded after fouling Ceballos.
With his double in this match, Benzema now has 28 goals to his credit this season in all competitions, and no other player in any of European football’s big five leagues is ahead of him in the tally total.
Espanyol: Lecomte; Oscar Gil, Cabrera, Calero, Brian Olivan; Vini Souza (Keidi Bare, m.69), Edu Exposito (Dani Gómez, m.89), Darder; Ruben Sanchez, Puado (Melamed, m.78) and Joselu.
Real Madrid: Courtois; Lucas (Carvajal, m.85), Militao, Rudiger, Alaba; Tchouameni, Modric (Camavinga, m.58), Kroos (Ceballos, m.80); Valverde (Rodrygo, m.58), Benzema and Vinicius.